Characters Appearing: Roy Fortune, Sally Fortune, Snaarl, Snugg, Spellbinder, Zxaxz
Marvel Comics Presents #138-142 (Spellbound)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #138, Marvel Comics Presents #139, Marvel Comics Presents #140, Marvel Comics Presents #141, Marvel Comics Presents #142 (Spellbound story only)
The original mini started off seeming like it was introducing a new character, Erica Fortune, as a potentially ongoing character called Spellbinder. A line in the series even made it sound to me like she was being created to add a new female character to the male-heavy Marvel universe. But the series surprised me by making Erica get corrupted by the power she acquired. She went increasingly mad and had to be banished along with the villain Zxaxz at the end of the series, with the Spellbinder mantle falling to her younger brother, Roy. The youngest sibling, Sally, was also showing some latent psychic ability.
In this series, Erica is still trapped in another dimension, and is still corrupted. She'll be the villain for this story.
Or one of them. Zxaxz returns while Erica is sleeping, traps her in a crystal, and returns to Earth in a bid to get his Spellbinder artifacts, the Order and Chaos rings, back from Roy.
Roy, meanwhile, is still in a band with Snaarl, one of the two former slaves of Zxaxz who came to Earth to help the Spellbinder (the other is the fairy named Snugg).
Roy senses Zxaxz's planned return.
Roy and Sally are staying at the home of Erica's former boyfriend, Andrew, who plans to adopt them. Zxaxz possesses a cab driver and goes to Andrew's home and tries to get Snugg to give him his rings back.
Snugg promises to help if Zxaxz swears that he won't hurt her new family. She lets Zxaxz in, and he teleports everyone back to his home dimension with no intention of keeping his promise to Snugg.
That's where the second chapter is. We also got a sign in chapter two that the rings were corrupting Roy the way they corrupted Erica. It's entirely possible that the series could have gone from here in a direction where Erica escaped from the crystal, recovered her senses, and was restored as the Spellbinder. But that's definitely not what happens.
Zxaxz takes everyone prisoner...
...but Roy is able to summon the Spellbinder power even without touching the rings.
He burns Zxaxz...
...and sends him into a black hole. Snugg grabs Zxaxz's last artifact, his crown.
Roy then takes everyone back to Earth. But then Erica escapes her crystal, and, still mad, blames Roy and Sally for her imprisonment.
So they fight.
Andrew is killed in the clash.
That briefly snaps Erica out of her madness, but it doesn't last.
Erica teleports away, telling Sally that she'd better take the time to practice her magic.
The situation doesn't stop Roy's band from doing their gig the next night.
Spellbinder possesses a bouncer and enters the concert hall. She attacks Sally during the show. Roy rushes off stage to help.
After a short battle, Roy re-imprisons Erica in the crystal.
Roy then destroys all the Spellbinder artifacts.
Everybody seems a little too happy considering their sister is insane and imprisoned and the only means of getting her out has been destroyed. Of course, both Roy and Erica have demonstrated the ability to use their powers without the artifacts (although it's less clear if that would have been possible if the artifacts didn't exist at all). So it seems possible that the characters could have come back for another story. But this is the last we'll see of them.
This story is executed well enough. But to the degree that anyone was interested in seeing the Spellbound characters again, it was probably to see the situation with Erica get resolved, and that doesn't happen here. This story also forgoes the ties to the larger Marvel universe that the original story had. If Roy's band was still opening for Lila Cheney, that might have been a fun hook.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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