Characters Appearing: Black Panther, Daredevil
Marvel Fanfare #60
Issue(s): Marvel Fanfare #60
Al Milgrom - Editor
This is the final issue of Marvel Fanfare. Al Milgrom says that it's because of declining sales, but he also says that the reason for the book no longer exists and he hasn't had time to devote to the book anyway because of his freelance schedule.
The basic idea of running inventory material will actually live on for a while in the Marvel Super Heroes quarterly book, but it will use standard paper and provides more value for the price (if value can be measured in quantity, anyway). As Milgrom notes in his Editor-Al, this book did sometimes run a special feature, and there are two such stories in this issue (and there's also an inventory story covered in a separate entry). To be clear, neither are very good, exactly, but you can see why they were commissioned.
The first pairs Walt Simonson with Denys Cowan, which is interesting, and the subject is Black Panther, who Cowan drew in the 1988 mini-series. The story, though, is nonsense. It starts with the Black Panther encountering a grocer who speaks in stereotypical and antiquated Chinese caricature.
It's funny for a second but it gets more offensive when it goes on for pages. The explanation is that the grocer is really an alien, although it's not really an explanation because he can speak normally when he's not pretending to be Asian.
The Black Panther is mentally paralyzed by the alien, but he's rescued by the little girl that was caught stealing from the grocer, and then the Panther kicks the aliens back through their portal.
Dumb. I'd rather just a couple of pin-ups of Simonson inking Cowan.
The other "special" story is a Daredevil story by Paul Smith. It's special because it's Paul Smith's first writing assignment. It seems quaint to see Smith developing his chops writing small back-ups for Marvel Fanfare. Doesn't he know that he should just get Marvel to launch a new Spider- or X-book that he can write without any prior experience?
Anyway, this is a sequel to the Daredevil story Paul Smith drew for Marvel Fanfare #1, which was his first work for Marvel, making this a nice bookend. The original featured a Salvation Army Santa getting beaten up for the money he was collecting for children. That happens again to the same Santa in this issue, and Daredevil is unable to get the money back. The story ends with a look at why the Santa does what he does, which of course parallels with why Daredevil does what he does.
Daredevil also bucks the 1990s trend of killing the bad guys.
Smith also lettered this story, and the way he makes his Es are very distracting. It's a decent story though.
That said, nothing about any of the stories in this issue make me doubt the decision to cancel Marvel Fanfare.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Daredevil mentions Foggy, so this should take place at some point while he and Foggy are working together. The Rogue story in this issue is covered in a separate entry.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Fnord, I think the point of the Black Panther story is to make fun of how stupid stereotypes are- the idea is that the alien is trying to impersonate an Asian but it only learned how to talk from Asian stereotypes so anyone that's actually had contact with a real Asian can see something's wrong.
Posted by: Michael | October 28, 2015 8:26 PM
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