Marvel Fanfare #33
Issue(s): Marvel Fanfare #33
The Hulk and Fantastic Four issues of this series had to make some minor adjustments to ensure that the characters appearing in the game were appropriately "classic" (the Hulk story ignored Hulk's Banner-brain status, and the FF issue had the Chief Examiner pick up the Thing from the Secret Wars Battleplanet instead of using She-Hulk), but this one doesn't seem to make any concessions and indeed it's Magneto who winds up going through the portal into the Questprobe game. I understand that the unfinished game is available for download on the internet, but i couldn't even get the finished games working on my computer, so i don't know if you actually played as Magneto, which would have been pretty interesting.
Creator-wise, this is by far the best team to work on a Questprobe story. Claremont writing the X-Men, and art by June Brigman and Terry Austin inks? No doubt about Milgrom's decision to publish this in Fanfare (Bob Budianksy was the original editor of this issue when it was part of the Questprobe series. Al Milgrom is of course the Editor of Marvel Fanfare.).
The story offers a few twists on the standard Questprobe formula, and continues to develop the plot. We start with the X-Men relaxing on Magneto's island in the Bermuda Triangle while he packs up some equipment. It's a bit difficult to relax due to all the creepy statues...
...but they do their best until the statues start coming to life.
The statues touch is petrifying, and most of the X-Men, and Lee Forrester, are turned to stone, leaving just Magneto and Rogue. The Chief Examiner shows up as well, trying to get Magneto into his portal.
Rogue bumps into the portal and, in a cool move, she absorbs the powers of all the heroes that have passed through it previously: Hulk, Spider-Man, and the Human Torch (i guess the Thing's strength is mixed in with Hulk's).
Magneto's fight with the Examiner also has the unexpected effect of freeing the evil Bio-Gem that was secretly controlling the Examiner. The Examiner's body becomes inert and Magneto is possessed by the Gem.
On the Astral Plane, Magneto works with the Examiner's creator, Durgan, to restore Durgan's control.
When things are set right, Magneto willing enters the portal...
...and then the Examiner heads off to continue his quest, refusing further help from the X-Men.
Magneto wonders if Durgan's unorthodoxy - his people have eschewed all violence even as their race is threatened by the Black Fleet, and Durgan is taking on the fight by himself - will cause him to lose all that he and his people hold ideal. It's an interesting consideration in light of Magneto's own confession that his fight for mutant rights was actually the primary cause of anti-mutant sentiment.
The MCP doesn't list the Chief Examiner as appearing in this issue; not sure if it's a miss or if the later Quasar stories that pick up on the dangling threads here reveal something.
We learn a little bit more about Magneto's island. Storm says:
Horrible creatures inhabited the citadel and committed such unspeakable atrocities that the very stones radiate a primal malevolence which neither time nor effort can ever exorcise.
And then Kitty:
Those ancients were weird, all right, but they were no dummies, I've been examining the statues -- they're not stone. It's some form of crystalline circuity matrix. They're devices!
It's really just setting up the statues to attack, but it's another clue to this unresolved mystery.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this after Uncanny X-Men #201. The X-Men are back on Magneto's island, for a vacation but also presumably to pick up some of Magneto's stuff to bring it back to the X-Mansion.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showChief Examiner, Colossus, Lee Forrester, Magneto, Rogue, Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde), Storm, Wolverine
The footnote to X-Men Annual 9 should be to X-Men Annual 7- only one footnote and they got it wrong.
Posted by: Michael | July 7, 2012 5:28 PM
I'm utterly stunned at Claremont's suggestion here that the fight for mutant rights was the primary cause of anti-mutant sentiment.
That's like saying that racism didn't exist until after rights activists like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr or Malcolm X started speaking out and demanding equality. The only reason the fight for rights occurred in the first place was because society at the time was utterly indifferent to their needs and rights in addressing inequality, so they had to stand up.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | January 6, 2015 11:24 PM
No, he's arguing that mutants are largely feared because of MAGNETO- that makes sense, since a lot of the public didn't believe in mutants until Magneto showed up. At this point in Marvel continuity, it WAS canon that there were individual anti-mutant incidents but no organized anti-mutant movement until Magneto showed up. (Later retcons (e.g. Genosha) contradict this but it was canon at the time.) Just don't think about the real-life equivalents.
Posted by: Michael | January 6, 2015 11:30 PM
While Larry Hama later revealed the Bermuda Triangle Island (that Magneto and the X-Men had both used as a temporary base) as being connected to the N'Garai, in Marvel Fanfare #33 we learn some interesting tidbits about it, including when Storm says "Horrible creatures inhabited the citadel and committed such unspeakable atrocities that the very stones radiate a primal malevolence which neither time nor effort can ever exorcise" and Kitty then "Those ancients were weird, all right, but they were no dummies, I've been examining the statues -- they're not stone. It's some form of crystalline circuity matrix. They're devices!"
However, with Kitty's suggestion above, she'd have undoubtedly connected it to the N'Garai if there was one intended by Claremont, given her earlier encounter with one.
However, the other time Claremont refers to crystalline matrix technology is the M'Kraan Crystal. So might this finally resolve where the inhabitants of the city contained within the Crystal went? That is, did Claremont intend the race that had left the city inside the M'Kraan Crystal as the same ones who had constructed the temple on the Bermuda Triangle Island? Did he intend a Cthuloid race to have constructed the M'Kraan Crystal? Did they create the Crystal to contain Azathoth, and the Soul-Drinker D'Ken summoned one of its mindless, amorphous dancers (D'Ken a master of the black arts, a Shi'ar equivalent to Baron Mordo)?
Which has now got me to wondering if Claremont intended the Shadow King as Nyarlathotep;)
Posted by: Nathan Adler | December 10, 2015 9:37 AM
I came across a blog that reviewed the Questprobe games, including the fourth from an incomplete copy provided by Scott Adams:
It looks like Magneto really would have been the protagonist, and would have lead a team including Beast, Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Toad... and Aquarian?!
Posted by: Mortificator | September 24, 2017 9:11 PM
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