Over The Edge and Under a Buck #1-10 (1995-1996)

As part of an effort save itself from bankruptcy, Marvel launched “The Edge” imprint, which had comics that cost 99 cents. When they fired Tom DeFalco, Marvel replaced him with five Editors in Chief and assigned each a publishing line. Some good stuff came out of it (Skrull Kill Krew, e.g.), but Marvel in 1995 was mostly a failure.

Bobbie Chase–who had semi-successfully launched the Midnight Sons family of books a few years earlier–got Marvel’s street oriented, darker characters: Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Punisher, etc. So she decided to put out a series of self-contained, done-in-one stories by various name-brand creators, each focusing her gritty line of books. The whole experiment lasted six months.

The full title of the new series was “Over the Edge and Under a Buck.”

Trying to get readers interested in characters by charging 99 cents wasn’t a bad idea. Hiring creators who didn’t regularly work with the starring heroes wasn’t a bad idea, either.

And yet, Over the Edge was bad. No. Not bad. Just…Bland.

Issue #1 featured Daredevil saving Ben Urich from Mister Fear by Ralph Macchio and Robert Brown. The same creative team returns again in #6 for a DD/Black Panther/Klaw/Killmonger story. Neither are bad, but neither are great, either.

Issue # 2 was a Doc Strange tale by Mark Gruenwald. Strange and a bunch of mystic D-listers fight Silver dagger’s cult. Here’s Dagger stabbing Arcanna of the Squadron Supreme. Strange is back in #7, taking on Nightmare.

I like her new costume.

Macchio returned to write Hulk in issue #3, with art by Stephen Jones.

Hulk has a new spin on the trenchcoat disguise: Head-to-toe bandages. Not only is that more conspicuous, but he has a big “H” on his jacket.

Hulk and Betty are stuck in a small town, which is patrolled by Andy Griffith and Barney Fife and controlled by The Toad Men. This story is one of the. best of this series. It rises above the mediocre and its actually pretty fun.

Issue #4 had Bruce Sakow and Robert Brown doing Ghost Rider, for those of you who simply haven’t read enough Ghost Rider comics in the mid-’90s. He’s back in #9. Neither story is worth writing about. And speaking of overexposed ’90s characters, Punisher kills criminals in issue #5.

Elektra is the star of #8. Not much here, but I did like this panel…

…You don’t really need the context. Frankly, you probably don’t even want it. The story is boring.

The series (and the entire Edge line) ends in August 1996 with another Daredevil story. Joe Kelly writes it, and I do like the way he puts pen to paper.

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