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Comic Book Detectives: Searching for Ruins

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Comic Book Detectives: Searching for Ruins

This is the Great Comic Book Detectives, where readers send in requests for the names of comic books that they remembered reading years ago and I try to find them for them! Send any future requests to!

Reader droffelle wrote in to ask:

I am looking for the name of a graphic novel. I think the novel came out approx. 20 years ago. It should what it might be like for people with mutant powers in the real world. The two parts I remember was Magneto trying to get onto an airplane and going through security. He had a device on him and security thought it was a bomb. The device kept him from being magnetic once they took it from him all the metal just shot towards him. The second was Scott Summers in an insane asylum, he had ripped out his own eyes. If you could help me out I would appreciate it.

The comic that you’re thinking of is a two-part prestige format miniseries from 1995 by Warren Ellis, Terese Nielsen, Cliff Nielsen, and Chris Moeller (Moeller finished the end of the second issue) called “Ruins.”

“Ruins” was a parody of the hit Marvel series, “Marvels” by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross. After that series had become such a hit, people were clamoring for Marvel to do more painted prestige format series and they responded, at least in part, with this series, which was bleak parody of “Marvels” by sending Phil Sheldon (the photojournalist from “Marvels”) around an alternate reality Marvel Universe where everything that could have gone wrong for the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe HAS gone wrong. Just lots of twisted stuff, like the Gamma Bomb turned Bruce Banner into a mass of tumors rather than the Incredible Hulk. Stuff like that.

And sure enough, in the second issue, that’s just what happened to Magneto…

and Cyclops…

Like I said, bleak stuff.

I remember people were not quite prepared for just HOW bleak it was going to be back in the day, so a lot of people were really upset by it. I recall Warren Ellis once speaking of some of the histrionic reactions he received from some fans over it.

Okay, that’s another case solved! Thanks for the request, droffelle! If anyone else has a comic book from their youth that they can’t recall now, drop me a line at and I’ll see if we can find out the comic you’re missing!

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