In 1994, Marvel was on the verge on bankruptcy.

American business tycoon Ron Perelman had purchased the company in 1989, and shelled out $700 million on strategic acquisitions in just four years. Then, just as Marvel’s coffers were running dry, the comics bubble burst.

The collapse was simple. For years, hardcore collectors had been buying 20 editions of a single comic, keeping 19 in mint condition and reading one. This trend created the illusion of a far greater market than actually existed, and was only exacerbated by treasure-in-the-attic news stories and clever marketing ploys.

But as the cost of comic-books continued to ...

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