Characters Appearing: Constrictor, Nick Fury
Marvel Comics Presents #119-120 (Constrictor)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #119, Marvel Comics Presents #120 (Constrictor story only)
But i did notice something interesting, if convoluted, about Paula Foye. This is a Constrictor story, and previously i've noted that Scott Lobdell seems to have taken an interest in the character, having written an "important" story about the character in Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #36 as well as two stories featuring the character in this series. But with Lobdell becoming a regular X-Men writer, he seems to have moved on from doing stories in this book, and i noticed that Paula Foye scripted a story that Lobdell plotted for Marvel Comics Presents #104. And now she's taken on the Constrictor in this series as well, so it's almost like she's taking over Lobdell's Marvel Comics Presents projects. Even more interesting is that Foye wrote NFL Superpro #11, which built on (or reversed, but at least acknowledged) the developments that Lobdell made for the Constrictor in the Nick Fury book. So whether or not it's true that she's picking up Lobdell's projects, she's definitely adopted the Constrictor.
Anyway, here is the chicken scratch that Mark Powers calls art.
Is he Constrictor or Bird-Man?
The story is that the Constrictor is down on his luck and is having trouble getting jobs. So he agrees to get involved in a custody battle between a mobster named Toe Jam and his wife and kidnap Toe Jam's son from the wife.
Constrictor also thinks Toe Jam looks like his father.
After a bit of comedy as Constrictor tries to find the wife's house...
...Constrictor kidnaps the kid in the supermarket while he's playing a Park Ranger video game.
God oh brother this art.
Constrictor has second thoughts as he's handing the kid over, and his doubts are confirmed when a mob hit on Toe Jam puts the kid in danger and the father doesn't seem to care. So Constrictor re-kidnaps, or de-kidnaps, the kid.
Constrictor finds himself being chased by both Toe Jam and his mobsters and the FBI. And while he's on the run he runs into some rednecks that think he looks like "one of those Northstar-types".
The time spent dealing with them allows Toe Jam to catch up with him. Toe Jam offers Constrictor a bonus, and he promises to give the kid everything that money can buy if Constrictor will give him back. Constrictor leaves it up to the kid, who refuses, and then Toe Jam hits the kid, which again reminds Constrictor of his father. He starts beating up Toe Jam, but he's stopped by Nick Fury.
The art! It burns! The story here might not be that bad, although i think the fact that Constrictor is flaunting his "parole" should be more up front and center' it's weird that Fury continues to attempt to recruit Constrictor even after Fury's surely learned that Constrictor got into this via a kidnapping scheme. But i can't actually tell if the story is any good because i'm too horrified by the fact that Terry Kavanagh let Mark Powers put this into print.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: It seems like this should take place before NFL Superpro #11 since Constrictor is still on "parole" and Nick Fury is still trying to convince him to re-join SHIELD. Constrictor is arrested in NFL Superpro #11 so it seems unlikely that Fury would still be trying to recruit him, even though he does seem to have a soft spot for him.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Time for a funny story. When I was in high school and college, I was a prolific letterhack. One of the titles I wrote into regularly was MCP, and they published nearly all of my letters... probably because I was one of the few people actually writing in :)
Anyway, when I was dashing off a letter about these issues, I disparagingly observed that the artwork on this story made the Constrictor's nose look like a huge beak. Obviously I was *not* paying too much attention to the credits, otherwise I would have realized that penciler Mark Powers was also the book's assistant editor.
Fast forward a few months and my letter got published... again, probably because they didn't have too much fan mail to choose from. Whoever was writing the lettercol responses, probably Mark Powers, unsurprisingly had an extremely testy reply to my comments about the Constrictor's schnozz. Ah, well, live and learn!
Posted by: Ben Herman | May 19, 2016 1:51 PM
Clearly the secret inspiration for 2014's 'Birdman' movie.
Posted by: Oliver_C | May 19, 2016 2:53 PM
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