Marvel Spotlight #16-17
Issue(s): Marvel Spotlight #16, Marvel Spotlight #17
...and although the holes were rather small, the police have to count them all.
The appearance of the holes triggers a gathering of nihilists and other weirdos...
...and when Daimon Hellstrom goes to the park to investigate (along with Reynolds and Hyatt), he's recognized (unfavorably!) as the guy who fought Satan on the Gateway Arch last issue, and a minor riot breaks out, especially since Daimon is unable to control his temper. He winds up using his hellfire...
...which ignites the powder in all the holes, and creates a giant fire dragon.
Hellstrom does a little research and determines that the last time this dragon appeared, it was before the cataclysm that caused Atlantis to sink into the sea. So Hellstrom uses his soulfire to travel back in time, taking Reynolds and Hyatt with him.
They head to Atlantis looking for Zhered-Na, but of course Kamuu and Zarta don't believe Zhered-Na's prophecies.
So talking to them just gets Hellstrom and company in trouble. They flee Atlantis and Hellstrom is soon contacted telepathically by Zhered-Na. Hellstrom is unable to astrally project, but Zhered-Na is able to help there, so she pulls him out of his body for a conference.
Hellstrom learns that the Cataclysms are a natural part of life, used as a way to purge the planet when men become too violent.
Nonetheless, Daimon decides to fight the guardian of the Cataclysm event, who turns out to be Adam, the first man.
Hellstrom is able to trick Adam into throwing his axe at the dragon which interestingly averts the crisis in the future, not the one currently threatening Atlantis. Hellstrom and his (nearly inconsequential) supporting cast return to the present.
Heavy cosmic weirdness.
As we saw in Fear #15 (also relevant if you don't know who Zhered-Na is) the Ancient Atlanteans are colored pink instead of blue.
When i first ran into Kamuu and company in the Tales of Atlantis back-ups, they didn't seem all that important; not much of an impact on later Sub-Mariner stories, as far as i saw at the time. But i now see that Gerber managed to work them into seemingly unrelated titles like Man-Thing and here. One of the advantages of working on many different titles is you get to seed your contributions all over the Marvel Universe, which is cool.
Now that Daimon's identities are merged (as of last issue), he now has a way to deliberately transform into the Son of Satan.
A bit unnecessary and too super-hero-y, maybe.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Marvel Horror vol. 1
Gerber included lots of local references to St Louis in this series (I noticed many of them because I once lived in St Louis). At first I suspected that it was because the story that inspired the film "the exorcist" took place in St. Louis. Then I realized it was mostly because Gerber was born and grew up there. Most of the references feel forced and cutesie, kind of the way that artists and writers try to sneak their friends into the story. Mostly annoying.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | April 10, 2013 4:28 PM
On the other hand, it's nice for stories to not take place in New York for a change. ;-)
Posted by: fnord12 | April 10, 2013 4:33 PM
Oh, definitely. I'm all for any stories outside NY.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | April 10, 2013 6:55 PM
This is the only time that Daimon's able to travel in time.
Posted by: Michael | April 10, 2013 8:56 PM
You'll see in the Inbound References a link to Defenders #95 where he uses his powers to accelerate time, and it had a reference back to this issue as support for him having that ability.
I agree on the dragon, but you could argue that the idea is that the appearance of the dragon causes real-world things to happen that will result in a Cataclysm. I'm assuming the Biblical flood was meant as another Cataclysm, so for example if you destroyed the dragon at that time it would have stopped raining. Or if the dragon was allowed to exist long enough in 1974, it might have triggered a nuclear war or something.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 10, 2013 9:03 PM
Zhered-Na's outfit is extremely similar to Jennifer Kale's and Adam's closeup is likewise to the Orb's face in his Marvel Team-Up intro, which raises a question about whether Gerber or Mooney was responsible.
Eyepatch ladies showed up several times in pop culture about this time. One was a Dick Tracy villain, which leads me to question if both Gerber and Chester Gould took notice of Candy Samples in "Flesh Gordon".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 13, 2013 5:40 PM
The Zhered-Na/Jennifer Kale connection is deliberate and explicit, per Fear #14-15.
The Adam/Orb similarities are interesting though. I happen to have a scan of Orb in MTU #15 that is almost a mirror image of the scan of Adam above. Swiping?
Posted by: fnord12 | April 14, 2013 1:36 PM
Not outright swiping, but it looks like Ross Andru's horrific Orb design made an impression. Or maybe there was a common reference for both--a bit of Jonah Hex, perhaps? Or Two-Face?
Posted by: Walter Lawson | April 14, 2013 1:52 PM
The title to issue #16 is a reference to the line "4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire" from the Beatles' song "A Day in the Life", which of course is the closing number from the landmark album "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 1, 2017 9:47 PM
Sorry, fnord, I had skipped past your opening to check the comments before I added my two cents. My bad, serves me right.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 1, 2017 9:49 PM
Adam is a confusing character, to say the least. He's obviously based on the "primordial man" and is also known as K'ad-mon. But he also goes by Spyros in this story (at least on the cover) and according to the Marvel wiki he later goes as Man-Thing (what?). He also seems to appear in a 1999 Spider-Man annual. But there's another primordial Adam character in 2011 Ghost Rider issues. Maybe they're two aspects of the same guy? It's so confusing I hesitate to ask for a character tag for once. Maybe just wait until you reach 2011 to sort this mess.
Posted by: Nate Wolf | October 22, 2017 2:33 PM
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