Today's Post of Mystery

*Winnings Dept: A truly fine contest is up right now at the Comics Reporter, in the way that every truly fine contest involves giving away large amounts of random free stuff for no discernible reason. So click over now, for your chance to win the entire run of the mid-to-late-‘80s Marvel series Strikeforce: Morituri (except for issue #31), and its 1989-90 miniseries sequel Strikeforce: Morituri - Electric Undertow. Written by Peter B. Gillis and James D. Hudnall, with plenty of early art in there from Astro City’s Brent Anderson, Wetworks’ Whilce Portacio, and Ultimate Spider-Man’s Mark Bagley. When was the last chance you had to win that, eh?

*While we’re on the topic of miscellaneous comics giveaways, I have a question to toss out there into the internet ether in case anyone knows: what was in Bravura #0? More specifically, was the material in Bravura #0 reprints, or new material.

For the purposes of explanation and background, I recently managed to fish the Walter Simonson miniseries Star Slammers out of a discount bin. Star Slammers the miniseries was actually a mid-’90s sequel to a Marvel Graphic Novel that Simonson did back in 1983 (it was Marvel Graphic Novel #6, I believe), set many thousands of years after the events of the first book. Simonson presented the miniseries as part of Malibu’s creator-owned Bravura line of books; he was a founder of that effort, though Star Slammers didn’t arrive until a ways after the other books, and wound up taking nine months to release four out of its intended five issues. The Bravura line then folded before the last issue could be released, but Dark Horse eventually published it as a one-shot special over a year later. It’s kind of a goofy, familiar sci-fi story, but there’s some fun characters and some really nice Simonson art, especially in issue #1.

That’s not the point. The point revolves around one of Bravura’s ploys to get people reading more of their books: included in most Bravura books were tear-out stamps, which could be pasted to cards included in many titles, as well as assorted comics magazines. Completing a certain amount of stamps and sending the card in would get you prizes. Most of the prizes were simply ‘rare’ variant covers for various issues of books you’d have already read, but one of the prizes was something called Bravura #0, a collection of stories by various Bravura creators (Simonson, Howard Chaykin, Jim Starlin, Ernie Colon, Steven Grant & Gil Kane). It was apparently only available by pasting down those lousy stamps.

Woe be to the poor collector who wanted to fill out every empty space on their card. That wound up being impossible, as certain Bravura miniseries (like Star Slammers, for example) never released enough issues to allow for that. However, enough stamps went out to make Bravura #0 possible, and I know the damn thing exists, and I’m just curious as to whether the stories in there are new or reprints or whatever. Someone help me out.