Skip to main content

Marvel Comics Presents #1


 Marvel Comics presents started in 1988 as a way to showcase characters and talent that the wider comics world weren't familiar with. The idea was to have an X-Men story that would get people to buy the book (this was during the height of the X-Men popularity boom) and then have other stories featuring characters that had either faded in popularity or had never gained it in the first place.

The first story in issue #1 featured Wolverine, because putting Wolverine on your cover at the time was like printing money. We see Wolverine for the first time in Madripoor, a place that would become a big part of his lore. He is going to a bar to ask about someone named Tiger. The man he plans to talk to is getting a beat down by some local thugs. Wolverine makes quick work of them. The man he rescued shows little gratitude though, as he and the others in the bar pull guns as soon as Wolverine says who sent him there. Short but just enough to whet your appetite. I'll admit I wasn't part of the X-Men craze of the period, but I'm actually looking forward to digging into some of the Wolverine mythology in this series, where a lot of his back story was actually played out.

Man-Thing is one of Marvel's weirdest characters. I'm not surprised it never really caught on, but I keep hoping it will. Sort of an answer to DC's Swamp Thing, but much more bizarre. Man-Thing has empathic abilities, to the point that the feelings of others cause it pain. So when it feels someone in pain coming toward it, it needs to end that pain. The man coming his way is not really a man anymore, he has turned into a man shaped mass of exposed tissue. Man-Thing puts him and itself out of their misery by smashing his head. Then two men show up hunting the man . They talk about the man being part of an experiment, and mention an implant. Man-Thing follows them back to a cabin, where they talk to a general. After the general leaves, the two go inside where we see a pentagram on the wall and crates full of cocaine. Another creature like the one Man-Thing killed comes at the men. Lured by all of the emotion happening, Man-Thing also comes out. When it makes contact with the creature, it feels pain. They fall into the water and continue their struggle while the two men make good their getaway. Finally the creature is flung ashore and Man-Thing rises victorious from the swamp. So much stuff in 8 short pages of story.  As much as I enjoyed the tease of the Wolverine story, I have to say I'm much more looking forward to reading more of this one.

Master of Kung Fu didn't have nearly as much meat on it's bones as Man-Thing, or even Wolverine. Shang Chi returns to Hong Kong and is attacked by a group of assassins dressed as fishermen. He sees a man in a suit watching him kick their collective ass and chases him. The man leads him to a pond where a woman named Leiko is swimming. He dives in with her and they kiss. When they emerge others are there, including a man named Tarr. I never read Master of Kung Fu, and I get the feeling this would all make more sense and be more meaningful if I had. Reading out of context this way just left me a little disinterested. It doesn't mean it won't end up being a good story, and I realize that Shang Chi is at a disadvantage to Wolverine and Man-Thing, both of whom I have read before. Besides, I know there's a movie coming, so it's past time I familiarized myself with the character.

The last story is the only one that isn't to be continued. It has the Silver Surfer facing off against a parasite that feeds on fear. The Surfer doesn't know the creature is inside him, causing him to face his greatest fears so that it can feed off him. He is first trapped back on Earth, then put in restraints, and finally made mortal again. But each time the Surfer defeats his fear, and in doing so finally defats the parasite itself. Not permanently though, as it heads to Earth in search of easier prey. This really felt like a Green Lantern story that had been repurposed. It was even titled Fear itself. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't one of the better Surfer stories I've read. Of course, there's only so much you can do in 8 pages.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nancy Sinatra Gets Nude

Nancy Sinatra was known for her song These Boots are made for Walking. Her musical career didn't  last nearly as long as her famous crooner father's did, but she remained a real looker. In fact, she did a photo shoot for Playboy in her 50's. Another thing that lasted into her 50's, she remained daddy's little princess. This is illustrated by the fact that she got Frank's permission before doing the shoot. The most surprising thing is that the Chairman of the Board agreed to let her show her goods in a nationally published magazine.

A Salute To Elvira

Cassandra Peterson was born in Kansas in 1951. That is a very bland statement of fact for the arrival into this world as the Queen of Halloween. Of course Peterson wasn't born as the seductive Mistress of the Dark. When she was just a small child, she was scalded by boiling water and had severe burns on 35% of her body. She was teased for the scars this left as she was growing up, She says that as a child she was more interested in horror themed toys than the Barbie dolls the other girls were playing with. It apparently didn't take her long to find at least some of her talents. As a teen she worked as a go-go dancer in a local gay bar. Dancing was to be her gateway to becoming an icon beloved the world over. At 17 she went on a trip to Las Vegas. She convinced her parents to let her see a show, and the story has it that the producers noticed her and approached her about becoming a performer herself. Since she was underage she had to get her parents' permission, but they agr

The Original Shrek

Chris Farley was originally cast as the voice of Shrek, and even began work on the movie. Unfortunately he passed before finishing recording his dialog. He was replaced by his friend Mike Myers, who took the character in his own direction.