Other disgruntled Marvel creators began working for Malibu, which, fearful of putting all its eggs in the Image basket, was putting together plans for a shared universe—an “Ultraverse”—of its own characters. At a Scottsdale, Arizona, resort hotel, seven creators—including Steve Gerber and Steve Englehart—brainstormed in conference rooms, by tennis courts, and next to the swimming pool. They wouldn’t own the characters they created for Malibu, but they’d get a bigger share of profits than they would from Marvel. Even more important, they could follow their imaginations to the limit, creating comics about, say, a superhero who needed alcohol to manifest his powers, or a corrupt cop who was reincarnated as a sentient mass of sewage. Gerber and Englehart had grown frustrated with the thirty years of backstory baggage involved in writing Marvel characters, with having to ask editors for permission every time they wrote a line of dialogue. Walking around the complex at the end of the weekend, Gerber turned to Englehart. “This is what Marvel used to be like.”
Huh. I had no inkling of what the ideas behind Malibu Comics were at the time, this suddenly makes me want to find and read this stuff. Although the art on those covers has mostly the opposite effect.