Marvel Super Heroes #15
Issue(s): Marvel Super Heroes #15
She brings him to a giant door that is locked thanks to a magical gem embedded in it. She tells Volstagg that she'd like him to give her the gem. He complies.
Thor follows, but the Executioner attacks, delaying him. Meanwhile, the gate opens and giants pour through.
Volstagg, through his usual clumsiness, manages to stop the giants. The pages are split between Volstagg's telling of events and what really happened.
In the end, the giants are driven back, and Volstagg is honored for his help.
Volstagg's kids don't believe the story, but the Enchantress, overhearing approaches Volstagg and gives him a kiss.
This is cute, and Joe Barney does a nice job matching the tone of the story, to the point where i don't even regret that Walt Simonson isn't doing the art here.
This is the last issue of Marvel Super Heroes. It's worth recalling that Marvel Fanfare started as a prestige format title, but it quickly became apparent that it was really just publishing inventory material. Marvel eventually gave up the pretense, cancelled Fanfare and (not quite sequentially) just started publishing this stuff in a cheaper format for Marvel Super Heroes. Throughout the span of both books, we got a few stories that were good (and/or of historical interest). But many were never published the first time around for a reason. A higher percentage fell somewhere in the middle, stories created just in case a series needed a fill-in but which eventually couldn't get published because the continuity changed or the series got cancelled. Which means that even if the good balanced out the bad, we were mostly contending with filler. I'm sure no one else got to hating it as much i did, since only i'm insane enough to feel obligated to read and review every story. But i personally am glad to see the end of it.
An Iron Man story is covered in a separate entry. Also in this issue is a Thor story by Bill Mantlo and Don Heck, but it's a Tales of Asgard so it's out of scope for my project. It's nothing of consequence, although it does feature Thor in a dress.
The final story is an oddity. It was originally drawn by Paul Neary (original plotter unstated), and it seemed to be intended as a resolution to the situation in West Coast Avengers #8-9 where Shooting Star got possessed by a demon. Texas Twister goes to Dr. Druid for help, and Dr. Druid winds up working with Daimon Hellstrom. But i guess since the story never got published, Shooting Star's situation was instead resolved in Solo Avengers #18 in a way that makes this story impossible to reconcile. Interestingly, there was a line in there with Hawkeye wondering why the Avengers hadn't turned Shooting Star over to Hellstrom yet, which now reads like metacommentary to me. Anyway, the story got finished by Rick Parker, and i guess aware that it couldn't be canon, he turned it into a complete goof. Love the "engages in moderate regular exercise" Handbook lingo.
Note that what is obviously supposed to be Hydrobase is instead the Fiji Island Institute for the Study of Occult and Tanning.
The whole thing is extremely insane. I assume Parker was looking at the finished pencils with no guidance on what the story was meant to be, so he just turned it into a wild satire.
Lord knows what was really supposed to have happened, but Dr. Druid and Hellstrom do rescue Shooting Star.
And then the epilogue, penciled by Parker, is even weirder and also terrifying.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP place this story right at publication date. It could really go anywhere, but i'm following that. See above regarding the other stories in this issue. The Iron Man story is covered in a separate entry.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
"Thor in a dress" is from a real Norse myth.
Posted by: Michael | April 3, 2017 8:41 PM
True myth! Thor used a ruse to retrieve Mjolnir from Frost Giants.
Posted by: Cecil | April 3, 2017 11:21 PM
Rick Parker's a great guy.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | April 4, 2017 5:27 AM
Rick Parker's stuff freaks me out in an underground comix sort of way. I kinda want to read the original script now just to see what would have actually gone down here.
I liked Marvel Fanfare back in the day. I think I'll go back and pick up this run Marvel Super Heroes now that I don't read modern comics anymore. Simonson's story is indeed cute and a sweet use of Amora. As was the case with Fanfare, there are some good stories tucked away in this series.
Posted by: Clutch | April 4, 2017 8:36 AM
Rick Parker definitely seems to be channelling Robert Crumb in his inking here, it's most evident in the close-ups of Dr. Druid's face.
Posted by: Tuomas | April 4, 2017 12:03 PM
yeah, that last page with Gru and DeFalco is especially disturbing.
Posted by: Wis | September 11, 2017 8:19 PM
Minus the original pages at the end by Parker, how long is the Druid story?
I'd be willing to wager on it being a Solo Avengers story from between #13 and the relaunch as Spotlight. It looks like the Solo Avengers was having problems with actually getting the promised stories out. The Starfox and Moondragon stories were constantly mentioned in the solicitations and then wouldn't be in the issues and then would re-appear in the next Solo Avengers issue's solicit. I know the Starfox one appears something like 3 or 4 times before it finally was actually published and the Moondragon ones at no point seemed to have any issues between each part.
So I'd assume the Druid one was intended for a Solo but quickly became obsolete when Druid was written out of the team/went evil and so the Hawkeye story resolved the plot instead. Which is a shame as I think it'd have been a much better use of the book.
Posted by: AF | September 15, 2017 12:37 PM
mikesamazingworld has the whole story clock in at 12 pages. Assuming fnord's scans represent the whole epilogue, that takes out a page and change, which would make the story fit snugly in Solo's 11-page counts.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | September 15, 2017 6:02 PM
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