MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #28-34 (1989): Single-Issue Stories Only

OK.  I’m going to use this space to plow through several unrelated, 6-8 page stories from this largely forgettable and mostly poor quality anthology series.  I’m also going to note that included in these issues were stories about Nth Man and Coldblood, neither of whom are 616 Universe characters—but Marvel did produce an Nth Man comic for several years, and it wasn’t terrible.

 Anyway, in #28, Triton of The Inhumans swims in the water on the Blue Area of the Moon and fights a monster that was created by Roxxon Industries, which is dumping chemical waste on the moon.  Ridiculous.  And I don’t think this concept was used in the future, so it’s not even sowing a seed.

In issue #29, Quasar, who was both appearing in The Avengers and had his own series, gets an 8-page story by the writer of his solo series.  It’s overkill with this Green Lantern wannabe.  He meets a hot chick and asks her out and fights Quagmire, who will be a somewhat regular opponent in Quasar’s own series.

He also meets Man-Thing, who got impregnated by the Nexus of Realities.

Issue #30 focused on the Celtic god Leir.  I’m not touching this one.

Issue #32 has Sunfire versus the old Iron Man foe, The Corrupter, who is using his power to control other people to influence a Japanese political deal.  It’s written in this really weird style, like it’s a bad translation of an anime.  Like look at that caption at the bottom of the panel.  But I do appreciate that they’re trying something new here.

And while normally I hate Don Heck, Dave Cockrum’s inking work makes it much better.

Issue #33 has a really neat Namor story, where he saves some water birds from the effects of pollution.  There’s no fighting, and no words at all.  A silent story with an ecological message.  Very, very well done.

Namor and the Sunfire story show the kind of risk-taking work that can be in an anthology, because the stories don’t “matter” to the greater Marvel narrative. 

In #34, we get what I think is a very interesting idea—but sadly it’s compressed to an 8-page story. 

The Thin Man, who was a WWII superhero and member of the Liberty Legion, is now an old man hunting down Nazis, and he’s tracked a Nazi supervillain to the U.S.  And an added wrinkle is that the guy was hidden here by the CIA.  Cap agrees to help, they track the villain down, and Thin Man kills him (over Cap’s objection).

This could (should) have been an extended Captain America arc.  10 pages at the back of an anthology didn’t do it the justice it deserved.

Here’s the rundown:

Triton: Robert Campanella, Javier Saltares.  Grade: D
Quasar: Mark Gruenwald, Paul Ryan.  Grade: C-
Leir: Sue Flaxman, Tom Morgan.  Grade: F
Sunfire: Scott Lobdell, Don Heck.  Grade: C
Sub-Mariner: Don McGregor, Jim Lee.  Grade: C+
Captain America: Sholly Fisch, Jack Sparling.  Grade: C+

Leave a Comment