Marvel Super Heroes #4 (Spitfire & Speedball)
Issue(s): Marvel Super Heroes #4 (Spitfire & Speedball stories only)
The last time we saw the Golden Age hero Spitfire (in Captain America #253-254), it was said that her powers had faded. It's now implied that she's psychologically suppressed them due to an experience during World War II.
When she's brought to a hospital to be treated for cancer, and finds that the cancer is suddenly in complete remission, it's suggested that she might still have her powers. And then they manifest when Spitfire sees a nurse being abused by an abusive ex-boyfriend.
It's actually a not-terrible story, though. A South African girl named Shara was exposed to radioactive vibranium. She's been brought to Doc Benson's lab for treatment. Speedball, who works there in his Robbie Baldwin identity, strikes up a friendship, and more, with Shara even though her diagnosis is terminal.
He even tells her his secret identity.
However, before Shara returns home, an earthquake in South Africa kills her family. Shara goes crazy and develops vibration based powers that cancel out Robbie's.
She eventually comes to her senses but is killed by the avalanche she creates.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: These are the only two stories that take place circa publication date. The Nick Fury/Spider-Man, Daredevil, Wonder Man, and Black Knight stories are all covered in separate entries.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): show
I wonder if that last Speedball panel was intended as yet another Dark Phoenix reference.
Posted by: TCP | July 29, 2015 12:42 PM
For as goofy as his stories were, Speedball sure did see a surprising amount of death back then...
Posted by: Max_Spider | July 29, 2015 1:54 PM
"Speedball sure did see a surprising amount of death back then..."
Thankfully, that also included the "death" of his atrocious comic book.
Posted by: clyde | July 29, 2015 2:21 PM
Spitfire's back The return nobody demanded.
Posted by: kveto | July 29, 2015 4:33 PM
Is it me or are these Marvel Super Heroes stories just not very good from the sound of things?
Posted by: david banes | July 29, 2015 6:27 PM
It's not just you David. These are inventory stories that never saw print. Their only reason for being published is for Marvel to make some quick dough on stories already paid for. So we're getting the absolute worst stuff.
Posted by: Chris | July 29, 2015 10:28 PM
I didn't realize Don Perlin was still doing work for Marvel at this point.
Posted by: Bob | July 29, 2015 10:41 PM
His job at that point was art director, which basically involved training new artists for Marvel.
Posted by: Michael | July 29, 2015 11:55 PM
I like Ditko's Speedball for the sheer goofiness and "so bad it's good" aspect. A Speedball without Ditko bores me to tears. He doesn't chase a cat once in this!
Posted by: Robert | January 5, 2016 9:34 PM
But were these really inventory stories? Lobdell was fairly new to Marvel, and comics, at this point, and while there is inventory material in MSH--like the lost Claremont/Vosberg Ms. Marvel issues--more of the material seems to me to be either too short or by creators who are too new for these to be inventory stories. Or in the case of Squirrel Girl, you have new characters. The only place I could imagine most if these stories having been originalky intended for is Marvel Comics Presents. And it is the case that a lot of MCP-commissioned stories got pushed out by making Wolverine a regular feature, and maybe others got pushed out by Ghost Rider. But I still have the nasty feeling that a lot of MSH crap was commissioned specifically for this series.
Hey, maybe it was like "The Producers"---could Marvel make money by losing money, through an insurance scam? ;-)
Posted by: Walter Lawson | January 7, 2016 4:19 AM
The Squirrel Girl story was a full 22 pages, so i suspect that it was intended for a regular issue. The shorter stories could have been Marvel Comics Presents overflow, or creator try-out work. This book's semi-predecessor Marvel Fanfare published a few short stories that were identified as try-outs that they decided they might as well publish. It's also possible that Marvel just commissioned lots of short stories knowing they could be published in Marvel Comics Presents, or Marvel Super Heroes, or in the backs of annuals.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 7, 2016 3:53 PM
Walter,a LOT of the material in Marvel Super Heroes was inventory- the Ditko Speedball stories, all the Iron Man stories except the Squirrel Girl one, the Vision and the Scarlet Witch story in Marvel Super Heroes 10, the Ghost Rider and Black Goliath stories in issue 11- or was intended as a fill-in for the regular series (e.g. the Namor story in Marvel Super Heroes 10).
Posted by: Michael | January 7, 2016 9:40 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|