Marvel Fanfare #1-2
Issue(s): Marvel Fanfare #1, Marvel Fanfare #2
The problem with Fanfare quickly became the fact that there just didn't seem to be enough star creators out there. Fanfare almost immediately become a place to dump inventory stories - even these first issues were very probably from Chris Claremont's run on Marvel Team-Up. This inevitably led to stories that were generic filler and hard to fit into Marvel's continuity (which is why you've probably already encountered Fanfare entries if you've been going through this site chronologically). Worse, most issues featured a back-up story that was just plain terrible.
Still, these first few issues were quite good.
Karl Lykos' old girlfriend Tanya Anderssen contacts the Angel and asks him to accompany her on a trip to find Sauron. Angel thinks he's dead, or at least pretends to think so considering the X-Men met Lykos not too long ago (but maybe they never had time to tell Angel about it), but Anderssen is able to prove he's alive and Angel agrees to help. The Daily Bugle sends Peter Parker to cover the expedition since he's had experience in the Savage Land. They of course crash on their way into the Savage Land...
...and Angel and Peter (who quickly turns into Spider-Man when they run into trouble in the Savage Land but neither Angel nor Tanya seem to notice it) are captured by the Savage Land Mutates...
...and mutated into a giant spider and a giant bird, respectively.
Tanya is found by Ka-Zar, Zabu, Lykos, and Tongah...
...and they launch a rescue effort.
Spider-Man, perhaps since he's mutated into a giant spider before, is able to regain some control of his mind, and he's not happy about what's happened to him. Even after he's cured it's said it will be a traumatic event that he'll never forget (but i don't think it's ever referenced again).
Angel, unlike Spider-Man, never gains control of his mind when he's in bird form.
Lykos absorbs the mutant energy from Spider-Man and the Angel (and also Tanya, who gets turned into a Neanderthal at one point), which cures them but turns him into Sauron.
Sauron decides not to get into a fight right away, so he flies off.
Ka-zar is talking in a way that predicts his introspective self-doubt in Bruce Jone's upcoming Ka-Zar the Savage series.
A back-up story in issue #1 (by Roger McKenzie/Paul Smith/Terry Austin) has Daredevil helping out a Salvation Army Santa that gets mugged. Not a good start for the Marvel Fanfare back-up features, but it is a sign of things to come. On the plus side, it's got Paul Smith's earliest art at Marvel.
Issue #2's back-up, by McKenzie/Trevor Von Eeden/Armando Gil, is even worse, with Mr. Fantastic getting into a fight with Annihilus...
...while trying to find a cure for the Thing and beating him single-handedly. A very pointless story.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Based on the footnotes, it seems this was intended to take place before Angel's return to the X-Men in #132. The footnote when he says he quit the X-Men refers to issue #94, not #148. However, Fanfare #3-4 builds on the story here, requiring the placement of these issues to occur after Angel's second departure from the team. Angel's blue costume is an anomaly; as Jay points out, Angel's had several costume variations since last wearing the blue version. As for the other characters, Tongah is alive in these issues. Tongah's death, shown in flashback in Ka-Zar the Savage #5, was the impetus for Ka-Zar's identity crisis which begins in Ka-Zar the Savage #1, so these issues need to take place before that. Spider-Man's appearance is context free. As for the back-up stories, unless there's a very obvious reason why it's not possible, i'll always try to fit them into the same time as the main story. Daredevil's story is context free, and as for the FF, placing it right before the John Byrne run begin and Sue's haircut works for me (Annihilus seems to have his Cosmic Control Rod but it could just be an empty container; the MCP also places this after Marvel Two-In-One #75).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAmphibius (Savage Land Mutate), Angel, Annihilus, Barbarus, Brainchild (Savage Land Mutate), Candy Southern, Daredevil, Debbie Harris, Foggy Nelson, Gaza, Glory Grant, Heather Glenn, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, J. Jonah Jameson, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Ka-Zar, Mr. Fantastic, Sauron, Spider-Man, Tanya Anderssen, Thing, Tongah, Vertigo (Savage Land Mutate), Zabu
Comics Journal #50 confirms this story was to appear in Marvel Team-Up in late 1979/early 1980, and Foom #22 states the Red Skull was the villain behind everything in the early writing stage.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 8, 2012 2:29 AM
In late 1980 it was announced that Marvel Fanfare would run another X-Men story located by Al Milgrom--specifically, a 1970 Original X-Men story by Len Wein & Ross Andru. It was the first part of a 2-parter and Milgrom stated he would have a new team finish it up(the 2nd part was never started, and the 1st part may not have even been inked). This would have been Wein's first X-Men, but I don't think it ever has shown up to this day, so now there may be a great lost X-Men story floating around somewhere.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 7, 2012 5:40 PM
In mid-1981 it was announced that Fanfare and the Graphic Novels would alternate with each other, but that idea was quickly abandoned.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 11, 2012 4:01 PM
You're forgetting that Angel joined the Champions shortly after he left the X-Men in The X-Men #93. There he first wore a new yellow & red costume, then a red & white version of this costume design with yellow gloves & boots. He wears the later-era Champions costume in pretty much every appearance after up until he replaces the yellow gloves & boots for white ones when he joins the New Defenders team EXCEPT for these Marvel Fanfare stories.
It's possible he wore the this blue & white version again to remind himself to stay alert while down in the Savage Land, because he discovered that the original version of this costume was put on him by Magneto to absorb his "mutant energies" as he found out when Magneto attacked him and stole the costume back in Avengers #111.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | July 17, 2013 12:00 AM
This issue was referenced when the New Avengers went to the Savage Land, however it was basically just Spider-Man just saying he knew who Sauron was (and he may have encountered him after the events of these issues but I don't think so).
Posted by: AbeLincoln1865 | August 19, 2013 10:07 AM
Also Brainchild seemed to recognize Spider-Man in that issue so that's something.
Posted by: AbeLincoln1865 | August 19, 2013 10:16 AM
"Spider-Man, perhaps since he's mutated into a giant spider before, is able to regain some control of his mind..."
When did this prior mutation occur?
Posted by: TCP | September 6, 2014 3:37 PM
I was referring to Amazing Spider-Man #101.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 6, 2014 3:47 PM
Ah, I had wondered if that was what you meant. Don't know if I'd call that form a "giant spider" per se, but 8 limbs is enough!
Posted by: TCP | September 6, 2014 3:54 PM
It's rather interesting that Claremont swapped out Equilibrius for the similarly powered Vertigo, probably mostly for gender balance. Of course, it means that the Savage Land Mutates now have two female members whose main ability is to render opponents helpless rather than having more directly physical powers.
So what happened to Equilibrius after Avengers #105? He eventually returns in a 1990s issue of Wolverine without any further explanation.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | April 22, 2017 10:12 AM
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