Marvel Fanfare #42 (Captain Marvel)
Issue(s): Marvel Fanfare #42 (Captain Marvel story only)
Monica checks in with the Scarlet Witch before responding to the call, and gets a warning that Laveau doesn't always play fair.
Laveau promises to tell no lies, and tells Captain Marvel that she is actually super-long lived, and her longevity comes from a concoction that requires vampire blood. Since there are no more vampires thanks to Dr. Strange, Laveau wants Captain Marvel to go back in time using a magical black mirror that she has, and grab some blood from a vampire in that time period. Captain Marvel is suited for this task because she can take the form of sunlight, which is a good defense against vampires. The appeal is that Captain Marvel has an opportunity to visit any point in the past, and that seems to intrigue her. Captain Marvel says that she's never traveled in time before. She may (somewhat understandably) not be counting her trip to Limbo in Avengers #267-269 and also her trip to the past in Hulk #284 when she was a prisoner of the Leader the entire time, but it's a bit weird for her to be saying that she only knows that it's possible from "the Avengers' casebooks".
Since vampires existed in all period prior to Doctor Strange #62, CM has her choice of times to go to, and she chooses Pre-Revolutionary France, and is sent to the year 1784, where she meets Cagliostro, who i guess was the holder of the mirror at that time.
Captain Marvel uses a little bat-radar that Laveau gave her that points to her vampire target, which turns out to be at a fancy dress ball. Cagliostro takes her there, and the target turns out to be Dracula himself.
CM later tracks Dracula to his coffin and extracts his blood, but nearly gets herself turned into a vampire. She turns into light and gets away. I'm more than a little surprised to see CM able to pick up the needle in light form.
CM worries that this incident has made Dracula an enemy of Cagliostro, but he says not to worry about it because it's destined that they'll fight and he knows that he'll win, although he unaware of the cost. When she gets back to the present, Laveau says that Cagliostro was so taken with her that over the years he wrote five sonnet about her! (Which is a violation of Marvel's time travel rules at this point, i believe.) But more importantly, it turns out that when Dracula's blood is brought into the modern period, it explodes.
This is because the nature of Dr. Strange's spell wasn't just to remove all vampires, but to prevent them from ever returning. Which, you'd think Captain Marvel might have tried to check with Dr. Strange or some other authority before embarking on this mission. Not just to see if Laveau's plan would work, but just to make sure that bringing vampire blood through time wasn't dangerous or to confirm that Laveau really cold be trusted. I guess CM did go to Scarlet Witch, but that was before she knew specifically what Laveau wanted. Anyway, all's well that doesn't end in a vampiric apocalypse, i guess.
I'm not sure if the black mirror in this story is at all related to the one that appeared in Tomb of Dracula #4. Marie Laveau did appear in Dracula Lives #2, but that didn't show the mirror. Cagliostro also appeared in some Dracula Lives stories; not the one that Laveau appeared in, but he was mentioned in that issue.
I like Bill Sienkiewicz, but his inking doesn't always suit the penciler, and that's definitely how i feel about his work over Bob Hall's usual clean and simple style. The art sometimes gets a bit scraggly looking.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Scarlet Witch is seen sitting in front of a computer console, which implies that she's a member of ab Avengers team at the moment. So this story could take place some time after Doctor Strange #62 but before the Vision and the Scarlet Witch leave the Avengers in Avengers #255, or it could take place after Scarlet Witch joins the West Coast Avengers in West Coast Avengers #33-36. The MCP chooses the latter route (which keeps things closer to publication date), but therefore means this needs to occur before Avengers #291-294 when Captain Marvel is incapacitated. I've placed the other story from this issue in a separate entry.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I guess there is no accounting for taste; this art seems far more appealing to me than that of Sienkiewicz in the New Mutants.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | June 27, 2014 8:49 PM
This story was originally announced for Solo Avengers.
Again, Marvel inexplicably makes Marie Laveau caucasian.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 28, 2014 5:24 PM
This seems like a very cool, nice little done-in-one interesting story though it's a kind of ridiculous plot but that's okay. Wish Marvel did such kinds of stories now but since they won't, I'm glad to relive these. Every story is new to someone, right?
Posted by: George Gordon | June 28, 2014 7:27 PM
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