Marvel Fanfare #48
Issue(s): Marvel Fanfare #48
She-Hulk (first story)
She-Hulk (second story)
Al Milgrom - Editor
The first two She-Hulk stories both have her going back to California. In the first one, she's there to participate in a bodybuilding contest as a judge. But that goes sour when her dad shows up, saying that she hasn't had any contact with him since moving to the east coast.
It gets even worse when he finds out that She-Hulk is stuck in her green form. He doesn't accept the idea that Jen Walters and She-Hulk are one and the same.
To parallel these family problems, we're introduced to Morris Walter's sister, a crazy lady that hated their father and also abstract art.
So she injects her son (She-Hulk's cousin, but not that one) with a strength formula and sends him off to attack She-Hulk.
After a lengthy fight, She-Hulk has her cousin "Brawn" on the ropes. The fight is interrupted by the crazy aunt, and then dad shows up with a gun.
Brawn eventually refuses to kill his cousin and jumps away with the aunt, and dad takes a lesson about holding on to anger at family members.
In the second story, She-Hulk has a dream that she knows is a call for help from Dylan Cavanaugh.
Sure, you know Dylan Cavanaugh. He's that guy that we never heard about before that She-Hulk has always known has the power to project himself into your dreams.
She flies to LA in a borrowed Quinjet (based on my placement, at a time when the Avengers definitely weren't using it) and finds out that Dylan's boss at a company called MedTech, a man named Ogden, wanted to use Dylan for industrial espionage. Dylan refused, Ogden didn't like that, and so She-Hulk was called in to help.
Ogden is also a psychic, so they wind up fighting on the psychic plane...
...and She-Hulk wins by fighting with her mind instead of her physical strength...
...which is represented by her projecting an image of Jen Walters.
The ending is very abrupt.
And it's really an awful story, with this Dylan Cavanaugh guy being inserted into She-Hulk's history very clunkily.
The final story is a really random story about the Vision. He's floating around thinking about how he used to be the Human Torch.
This was published after John Byrne's revelation that he actually wasn't the Torch, although it takes place at a time when he thought he was. He even remembers, or thinks he does, burning Hitler.
It's possible that the scripting was adjusted to account for the Byrne story, with the idea that the Hitler thing wasn't really a memory, and this panel of the Vision saying that he might not actually have a soul and that he needs to find an identity for himself.
Regardless of all that, the story has him encountering a crazy Vietnam veteran and preventing him from killing his family.
It seems like the Vision reaches into his brain and "fixes" him.
It's a garbage story, and the fact that we've got three garbage short stories in this issue makes it a garbage pile of an issue.
It's worth noting that the second and third stories were written by assistant editors.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: A footnote tells us that the Vision story takes place before West Coast Avengers #42 (obviously). The Vision says that Scarlet Witch has gone with the kids to visit their former teammates on the East Coast. Since the Vision and the Scarlet Witch lived on the East Coast before they joined the West Coast Avengers, that would be odd phrasing unless this takes place after they joined the Whackos (and as Michael notes, the Vision explicitly mentions joining the West Coast team elsewhere).
As for She-Hulk, the stories seem context free. But we do have She-Hulk's father's message on the answering machine in She-Hulk #8, so if as stated here Jen hadn't spoken to her father since leaving California in She-Hulk #25, this story should probably go prior to that. In the second She-Hulk story, she thinks to herself that she would have brought Dr. Druid along if she knew that she was going to need a psychic Avenger, so probably this should take place before he tries to take over the Avengers in Avengers #295-297. We'd also want the East Coast Avengers to not be Disassembled if the Scarlet Witch has gone to visit them.
Looking for a place to fit that all in, between West Coast Avengers #37 and West Coast Avengers annual #3 looks good, since that's also before Avengers #295-297.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
The third story definitely takes place some time after Vision joined the West Coast Avengers- Vision says "joining the West Coast Avengers required some period of readjustment".
Posted by: Michael | November 13, 2014 7:56 PM
This book defies all reason. Marvel has other titles that have gone off the rails (Power Pack), and Marvel Comics Presents is mostly mediocre, but Fanfare continues year after year to produce irrelevant stories with barely professional art, and its whole reason for being is that it's supposed to be a premium book. It's not as if Marvel wa incapable of canceling anything: halfway decent books got culled to make way for the New U, which itself got cancelled. But somehow this survives until 1991.
Sorry for the meta commentary, but this book persistently defies my ability to think rationally.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 13, 2014 8:17 PM
I had a (mail) subscription to Marvel Fanfare. The story behind that: I had a subscription to another comic, which got canceled. When a book is canceled, they allowed you to pick any other book - regardless of format - for the remainder of your subscription term. So I thought the best "value" would be to get one of these "high end" books. How wrong I was!
The best material in Fanfare was probably pin-ups.
Posted by: cullen | November 14, 2014 12:37 AM
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