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Five Best Wizard Magazine freebies

“Wizard” magazine was one of the most controversial magazines of the nineties for comic book fans. It divided comic book buffs big time, with half of them considering it a cheap and exploitative rag that showed obscene favor to DC and Marvel, while also overlooking the indie comics scene. For others it’s a wonderful memento that, while imperfect, brought some fun memories, including great articles, fun tutorials and some sweet swag. Fans that bought the magazine would almost always find a free gift within the plastic bag housing the mag. As a constant buyer these are five of my all time favorite freebies that I consumed before the internet became common place.

5. Mini Comics
Wizard was notable for including small or mini comics for the subscribers and fans. While they never gave full comics, a lot of times they’d include a mini comic promoting “The Avengers” cartoon, or maybe they’d have sketchbooks for events like Marvel Knights and or Earth X from Marvel. The comics were actually a lot of fun to read and if you were an art nut like me, they were great to help you learn the art form. I was able to take a lot of the mini-comics and sketchbooks and pair them with the actual comics as a sort of larger experience for the comic.

4. Christmas Gift Tags
For Christmas Wizard gifted fans their very own gift tags featuring some of their favorite comic book characters and teams. I have two whole sheets of comic tags to this day featuring Gen 13, Witchblade, the Justice League and the like. I didn’t know anyone back in the nineties that would have appreciated the tags, but they shockingly have aged beautifully and would likely be a treat for any comic book or pop culture geek today.


3. Chrome Promo Cards
Back then along with variant comic books with multiple covers, companies were convinced that trading cards would also appreciate with value and garner collectors big cash in a decade. We had sheets of these when I was a kid, and Wizard allowed fans various chrome collectors cards with characters like Superman Blue, Iron Man and Onslaught. They were pretty cool cards, overall-- even if about ninety nine percent of the trading cards have zero value.


2. X-Men Diploma
Imagine being an X-Men geek like yours truly, and opening up your Wizard to see your very own X-Men diploma in mint condition for you. This is yet another freebie from Wizard magazine that I still own to this day and have signed it with my own signature. It’s a wonderful bit of wish fulfillment for a comic book geek like me. It’s surprising that these were made relatively free considering the quality. I might have to finally frame the diploma.


1. Avengers ID Card
Originally included in Wizard issue 76, Wizard included a blank Avengers ID Card that felt like a genuine ID Card, right down to the signature from then president Bill Clinton. I went nuts for this freebie when I found it in my Wizard magazine, and filled it out with my own original comic book character at the time. The ID is a wonderful memento and I still own it to this day.
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Hoju Koolander Posted on Mar 09, 2019 at 04:01 AM

I was a big Wizard reader and subscriber from issue 7 on, so this article was right up my alley. I actually got a Grendel 1/2 comic as a birthday present one year from a cheapskate classmate just passing along his Wizard insert. I do have to disagree with your claim that the magazine showed favoritism toward Marvel and DC though. Especially in the early days the staff acted like the books from Image and Valiant were the pinnacle of graphic storytelling along with other indie books like Shi, Bone, Hellboy and Lady Death. It was only after the early 90s boom ended and the "Big Two" were back to being the main providers of comics to the mainstream that they got more coverage. At least that was my experience.

jkatz Posted on Mar 06, 2019 at 11:51 PM

"a cheap and exploitative rag that showed obscene favor to DC and Marvel, while also overlooking the indie comics scene."

I'd buy Wizards occasionally and I have to agree this is kinda true...they got a little better about it in later years, though.

Vaporman87 Posted on Mar 06, 2019 at 09:49 PM

I had my fair share of Wizard Magazine. I did like some of the unique covers and the pack-ins that you would get with it. I still have a stash of them hidden away somewhere, some of which are not opened.

Benjanime Posted on Mar 06, 2019 at 02:19 AM

oh man, i think my older brother would have flipped over that xavier institute diploma, lol. i was never a huge follower of the magazine, but i do remember the goodies you mentioned. i was more of a gaming magazine geek at the time and had a few issues of gamepro and official playstation magazine here and there.

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