QUASAR #44-46 (1993): 1st Shadowoman

“Muck Amok.” Issue #44 certainly gets an A+ for its title.

When we last saw Quasar, he was imprisoned in another dimension and lost his Quantum Bands, but he found the starbrand–officially bringing Jim Shooter’s failed New Universe project into the 1990s. He comes back to Earth with his new power source and literally flies straight through his old enemy Quagmire.


Quagmire gets a huge power up in these issues due to the Antibody from New Universe title DP7. I didn’t tag the New Universe characters when they appeared in New Universe titles because they weren’t 616. Now they are.

Once incorporated in Quagmire, the two become giant and can split into multiple bodies.

It causes Quasar some problems for issue #44.

Meanwhile, we see The Presence escape from his space jail and rush towards Earth for vengeance on Quasar. He arrives during the Antibody/Quagmire fight, so now Quasar has two enemies to deal with at the same time.

And remember how Mark Gruenwald loves to create new characters? He also loves to use old ones. He just loves to have a ton of people in his stories–it’s why he focuses on plotting over character. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. Some comics are purely plot-driven and they’re fun. Like Secret Wars. (Whereas Secret Wars II, which focused on developing Beyonder as a character, was not nearly as good.) In this case, Gruenwald decides to give Dr. Druid a team: Shock Troop. It’s got a mix of existing characters and new ones, all esoteric. He brings back Living Mummy. In the grand Gruenwald tradition of knowing every Marvel comic ever published, he reboots Skull the Slayer as Blazing Skull (from the old Invaders comic), without much (any) explanation.

And the team has Spider-Woman. No, wait. Jessica Drew is still depowered. It’s a new person: Shadow-Woman. Why is she wearing Spider-Woman’s costume? No idea.

The Shock Troop take care of Antibody and all his duplicates.

Quasar takes care of The Presence and the renegade Imperial Guards who are with Presence (forgot to mention them), and then goes back out into space to rescue Kayla Ballantine. Yes, that’s been ANOTHER subplot through these issues. He also fights Thunderstrike.

He lands briefly on the moon, where he asks Uatu to help him find his Quantum Bands.  It’s a pretty funny scene.

Also, Kismet is still flying around, looking for the starbrand.

Shock Troop don’t get their own comic. Seems like they would have fit into the Ghost Rider extended universe, but oh well. Missed opportunity.

Quasar is a fun book, even if the number of characters and stories per issue can sometimes exceed X-Men stories.

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