In which Marvel publishes even more short stories in the anthology format, most of which are disposable—but these are better quality than the ones in Marvel Comics Presents, and have some kinda neat aspects to them.
We start with Captain America meeting Dominic Fortune on the streets of NYC and learning that Fortune knows Cap’s secret identity. From there, it’s a flashback tale of how Fortune knew Steve Rogers as a kid and, guess what? He helped rescue him from bullies. Like every other person who knew Steve as a youth. We also learn that Dominic tried to get into the super soldier program but washed out. It’s a barely above average tale by Danny Fingeroth and Gary Hartle. There’s nothing really “bad” about this story.
Next, Wasp has a “King Size Problem” (that’s the title to the story) when she fights a villainous bull named Kingsize, who can also change forms into other animals.
Black Widow shows up to help. No. Wait. That’s not Black Widow. That’s Dakota North! Why is she dressed like Widow?
Best part: The last panel. That’s Steve Englehart in the foreground, who appears as book author “J. Dudley Harkness,” which is the actual pseudonym used by Englehart when he rushed his ending to his Fantastic Four run with issue #333. Props to Dwight Jon Zimmerman for paying tribute to one of the greats. Also, note early pencil work by Amanda Conner. C+.
So far, two above average stories. For a ’90s anthology, that’s pretty damn rare. Dakota North and Dominic Fortune are both fringe characters that feel like Golden Agers (but they’re actually not), and we never get to see them anywhere so it seems appropriate to use them in a book like this, since there’s not really another place for them—especially since Marvel Team-Up and Two-in-One are cancelled.
Next, a single page on how Speedball’s powers work. Which is kinda handy because I still don’t really “get” the character.
Next, Hulk gets an F-grade story by Steve Ditko and Hollis Bright. He’s grey and he fights an electric guy who never appears again. This is complete filler. Nothing to see here, let’s move quickly past this train wreck.
Then Blue Shield gets a job as the head of security at Project Pegasus. Other than reminding us that the character and location are still around, there’s no point to this one, either. But theres’ nothing really “bad” about it and he’s a character you can’t see anywhere else so, for an anthology, I’d give Len Kaminski and Greg Capullo a “C”.
And last but not least (but only because the Hulk story is saw godawful), Peter Gillis plots a story about Captain Mar-Vell with art by Jerry Bingham and scripted by “Diverse Hands.” (script). Mar-Vell has been dead for a decade. To just print a story about him with no explanation is ponderous. To print a bad one simply soils his legacy.