Topps Comics is a division of the American trading card publisher and gum/candy distributor the Topps Company, Inc. that published comic books from 1993–1998, beginning its existence during a short comics-industry boom that attracted many investors and new companies. It was based at 254 36th Street, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, and at One Whitehall Street, in New York City's Manhattan.

The company specialized in licensed titles, particularly movie and television series tie-ins, though it also published a smattering of such original series as Cadillacs and Dinosaurs and several based on concepts by then-retired industry legend Jack Kirby. Its best-selling title was The X-Files, based on the Fox TV show.

Creative personnel

The editor-in-chief and associate publisher was Jim Salicrup. Editors included Len Brown (co-creator of Topps' 1962 Mars Attacks cards), Howard Zimmerman, and Dwight Jon Zimmerman. Its notable writers besides the aforementioned included science fiction novelist Harry Harrison, Stefan Petrucha (the initial X-Files writer), Don McGregor (the Zorro and James Bond titles, and that of his original Zorro spinoff character, Lady Rawhide), and James Van Hise. Among Topps Comics' notable artists besides the aforementioned were Charles Adlard, Rich Buckler, Dick Giordano, Miriam Kim, Rick Magyar, Esteban Maroto, Mike Mignola, P. Craig Russell, Alex Saviuk, Anthony Williams, and Thomas Yeates. Some covers and frontispieces were drawn or painted by Tim Bradstreet, Kelley Jones, Michael William Kaluta, and Jim Steranko.

The company's sales and promotions manager Charles S. Novinskie is listed as, additionally, a Topps Comics editor in his mini-bio at Non-Sport Update magazine.[1]

The company's design director Brian Boerner is listed as Reprint Editor (along with Charles S. Novinskie) in the Xena trade paperbacks' credits.

The Kirbyverse


The "Kirbyverse" comics, launched simultaneously with April 1993 cover-dates, stemmed from character designs and story concepts that the prolific Kirby, at this very late point in his life, had in his files of unrealized projects and preliminary sketches (some for Pacific Comics, which went defunct in the 1980s). Topps licensed them for an eight-title, interrelated mythos based around what became Jack Kirby's Secret City Saga. That flagship title was written by former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Roy Thomas, with an issue #0 prequel drawn by artist Walt Simonson and the remainder of the series by Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko.

Kirby himself wrote and drew eight pages (which may have been drawn in the 1970s[2]) of the Satan's Six premiere, interlaced with story pages by writer Tony Isabella, penciler John Cleary and inker Armando Gil. As well, the covers of the Bombast, Captain Glory, and NightGlider [3] one-shots noted below were built around preexisting Kirby character-design art.

Along with Secret City Saga and Satan's Six, the Kirbyverse titles were:

Kurt Busiek, in an undated interview archived June 28, 2002, [4] gave some background on the comics line: "Silver Star is a Jack Kirby character, originally done as a miniseries for Pacific [Comics]. Back when I was writing for the Topps Kirbyverse, I started two miniseries that were never completed, Victory and Silver Star, both of which got one issue published before the line collapsed. Victory was a crossover, bringing together all the established Kirbyverse characters and reintroducing Captain Victory [of the 1981-84 Pacific Comics series Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers ] ... but Silver Star was a standalone project, one that was completely plotted and mostly scripted".

In 1999 and 2000, The Hollywood Reporter and Cinescape reported Dark Horse Entertainment had acquired Satan's Six for possible movie development. [5]


Tony Isabella on difficulties with The X-Files creator Chris Carter over the Topps Comics' series:

[W]hoever was approving the comics over in Chris Carter Land were the poster kids for anal retentiveness. Although it's possible that they were so picky because they never wanted the comics out there in the first place. The main reason the comics fell behind schedule was because it took so long to satisfy the X-Files people. They went over everything with a fine-tooth comb, including the letters columns. . . . I rarely ran negative letters in these columns because the [Topps] editors were afraid that the X-Files people would want even more changes in the material. Almost from the start, there were never enough usable letters for our needs. That's why I started including the 'Deep Postage' news items — and making up letters completely. I also wrote the Xena letters columns, but those were a lot easier to produce.[6]

List of Topps Comics

File:LadyRawhide v1n1.jpg
File:MartianChronicles comic.jpg
File:P literature.svg This literature-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Note: Most, but not all, were designed as limited series.

Original series

Kirbyverse comics

  • Bombast #1 (April 1993 one-shot)
  • Captain Glory #1 (April 1993 one-shot)
  • Jack Kirby's Secret City Saga #0-4 (April-Aug. 1993)
  • Jack Kirby's Silver Star #1 (planned four-issue miniseries, truncated)
  • Jack Kirby's TeenAgents #1-4 (Aug.-Nov. 1993)
  • Night Glider #1 (April 1993 one-shot)
  • Satan's Six #1-4 (April-July 1993)
  • Satan's Six: Hellspawn #1-3 (months n.a., 1994)
  • Victory #1 (June 1994; planned five-issue miniseries, truncated)

Literary adaptations/tie-ins

Movie adaptations/tie-ins

TV/radio adaptations/tie-ins

  • Duckman #1-5 (Nov. 1994 - n.a. ) plus #0
  • Duckman Duckman: The Mob Frog Saga #1-3 (miniseries; Nov. 1994 - n.a. )
  • Exosquad #0-1
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys #1-5 (June-Oct. 1996)
  • The Lone Ranger and Tonto
  • The Marriage of Hercules and Xena
  • Space: Above and Beyond
  • Space: Above and Beyond — The Gauntlet
  • The X-Files #1-41 (Jan. 1995 - Sept. 1998), plus #0 (adaptation of series pilot)
  • The X-Files Annual #1-2 (Aug. 1995; 1996)
  • The X-Files Comics Digest #1-3 (Dec. 1995 - n.a.)
  • X-Files, The: Ground Zero #1-4 (Dec. 1997 - March 1998)
  • Xena: Warrior Princess vs Callisto
  • Xena: Warrior Princess/Joxer: Warrior Prince
  • Xena: Warrior Princess/The Dragon's Teeth
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: And The Original Olympics
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Bloodlines
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: The Orpheus Trilogy
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: The Wrath of Hera
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Year One

Trading-card adaptations/tie-ins


  • Topps Comics Presents


  1. Non-Sport Update: Who's Who at NSU
  2. Per Chris Knowles in "The Kirby-Files: An Overview of Jack's Occult and Supernatural Themes" in Jack Kirby Collector #13 (Dec. 1996), [1] "The 1970s was the flowering of Jack's interest in the paranormal. Freed from the restraints of more conservative collaborators, Jack delved into these themes with gusto. ... [He] developed 'Satan's Six' around this time, although it didn't see the light of day until the Topps Kirbyverse campaign in the 1990s".
  3. Sources disagree on its spelling, sometimes even within the same source: The cover of the single issue itself appears to spell it "NightGlider". The cover of Victory #1 likewise spells it as one word, though in an all-caps typeface. The Grand Comics Database entry [2] spells it as both "Nightglider" and "Night Glider". The Jack Kirby Museum site [3] spells it "Night Glider"
  4. The Slush Factory (n.d.): "20 Questions with Kurt Buseik"
  5. Satan's Six
  6. Script error


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