Marvel Fanfare #31-32
Issue(s): Marvel Fanfare #31, Marvel Fanfare #32
Vision & Scarlet Witch
Al Milgrom - Editor
Meanwhile, the novice super-hero Frog-Man accidentally comes across some goons trying to kill a man, and tries to fight them off. He helps the guy escape but is about to get beaten down by the thugs when Captain America arrives and rescues him.
Frog-Man goes into immediate fanboy mode but probably doesn't win any points by comparing himself to Bucky...
...and Cap has heard about Frog-Man from Spider-Man and the Beast anyway, and he sends the boy home.
Instead, however, Frog-Man follows up on the man that ran away, and discovers him being taken away by more goons. And he even finds the cliched matchbook clue, leading him to a boarded up restaurant that is hiding a secret lair of the Yellow Claw.
It turns out that Bhagwan Sri Ananda is actually the Yellow Claw...
...and he intends to make the end of the world style predictions that he's been making come true. The Claw has also used drugged incense to capture Captain America while Cap was visiting.
Instead of killing either hero, Captain America is thrown into a cell where he is visited by the spirit of the real Bhagwan Sri Ananda and given his shield back. Frog-Man, meanwhile, is taken somewhere where he's meant to be killed by giant frogs, creations of the Yellow Claw. But instead the frogs befriend him.
Meanwhile, the Claw has organized an event at a large stadium, and in a scheme reminiscent of the Man-Beast's from Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #12-15 (both based of course on real life events by the likes of the Unification Church)...
...he plans to absorb the spiritual energy of his followers to unleash the earthquakes and tidal waves that he'd been predicting as Ananda.
Meanwhile, Frog-Man's father (the retired Leap-Frog), had reached out to Spider-Man asking for help finding his missing son. Spider-Man says that if Captain America was already involved and needed help, they are going to need back-up and he knows just who to call:
Together the heroes and frogs stop the Yellow Claw's plot.
When it's over, Frog-Man's father seems a little more accepting of his son's super-hero aspirations.
In issue #31, the story started off generic enough but the guest stars and frog brigade of #32 add some nice flavor.
A Dr. Strange back-up by Mark Wheatley has Strange tracing a spell that he detected in the Amazon jungle, and he finds a young mystic impatient to become a full fledged sorcerer.
Strange creates a storytelling spell walking the young mystic through a modified version of Strange's own origin story, showing the boy that actually living through the experiences is better than just gaining power without earning it.
A 3-page Daredevil story by Norm Breyfogle has Matt Murdock's nice day getting interrupted by a bank robbery.
A Vision and Scarlet Witch back-up has the Vision and Ben Urich tracking down a serial killer that murdered a homeless lady named Rosie that Vision and the Scarlet Witch used to know.
This is a fairly dark story, touching on homelessness and also having the Vision pursue the killer towards an oncoming subway train, just phasing himself so that the train passes through him while the killer is smashed.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 61,691. Single issue closest to filing date = 71,867.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is primarily a Captain America story, and it's pretty context free from his perspective. Based on Spider-Man knowing how to contact X-Factor and the Beast saying in Amazing Spider-Man #282 that it's the first time Spider-Man saw the Beast after he became blue and fuzzy, this has to come after the ASM issue, and in fact it must come pretty much directly afterward since X-Factor's timeline is already very tight (even the ASM issue doesn't comfortably fit into any gap in X-Factor's run before the Mutant Massacre where Angel's wings are destroyed)(the Beast is obviously giving a different color scheme for his costume a try-out). I've got the Human Torch here before the FF appear in Power Pack #22-28. As for the back-up stories, i'm going with what isn't necessarily optimal placement just to avoid breaking those stories up from the book. The Dr. Strange story just needs to take place before Strange's cloak is destroyed in Doctor Strange #77, no problems there. The Daredevil story most likely was meant to take place before Born Again, since Matt Murdock is seen walking out of what looks more like a brownstone than a Hell's Kitchen apartment, and it's also said that "Business is good", but both of those are open enough for interpretation that it can occur at any time. Vision and Scarlet Witch are shown walking in New York without their babies, but there's no reason they couldn't have hired a babysitter for a night out on the town.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAngel, Beast, Ben Urich, Captain America, Daredevil, Dr. Strange, Frog-Man II, Hop Sung, Human Torch, Iceman, Leap-Frog, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Vision, Yellow Claw
The Yellow Claw's fake identity is based on the real-life California late cult leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
How would the frogs kill Frog-Man? By simultaneously jumping on him? Frogs don't have teeth(or is that toads?)
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 8, 2014 1:22 PM
Posted by: fnord12 | February 8, 2014 1:40 PM
Spidey doesnt seem to have a concussion here either.
Posted by: kveto | February 7, 2016 5:28 AM
I'd argue his agreeing to team-up with Frog-Face says otherwise.
Posted by: JC | February 7, 2016 8:11 AM
Posted by: kveto | February 7, 2016 10:25 AM
Comments are now closed.
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