Friday, October 12, 2012

Flashback Friday: Marvel Fanfare #8

            I just picked this comic up the other day.  A new store called Five Below has opened in a nearby city and it is what it claims, everything is $5 or below.  This comicbook was part of a bundle that sold for $4 and contained four comics.  I picked up the DCnU Justice League #8 in this bundle.  Some will be given as Trick or Treat treats.  I saved on cover price as this book sold for $1.50 back in 1983.  There must have just been a price increase as the inside cover has a tongue and cheek apology/explanation as to why it was increased.  Better paper seems the main selling point, also the need to pay to get top notch writers and artist.  Whatever, not my concern as it was bought as a back issue.

            The book contains two stories.  The first is a tale of the Master of the Mystic Arts.  It starts out with a man named Jim Mandarin and his love Meredith.  They are a nice couple that seems ordinary enough, even if she is painting Jim as the true Doctor Strange atop a medieval stallion.  Soon Jim is checking out a new book he bought.  He tries to do a spell and thinks nothing happens.  It becomes all too clear that he has succeeded in summoning something and it captures him and they both disappear.

            That is when Meredith heads to find Doctor Strange.  It is interesting seeing her seek out the Sanctum of Dr. Strange.  If her plight was not so serious it would almost be comical.  She does arrive and the adventure begins.  Strange, Meredith and Wong end up drawn into a different dimension where Jim is the servant of an evil force of darkness.  It is even more powerful then Dr. Strange.  Thanks to Meredith the man she loves breaks free of the Darkness and she is able to bring her painting to life.  Dr. Strange combines Jim and himself to make a dual person that can face the Darkness.

            Jim had been turned away by Dr. Strange.  After this battle he begins to reconsider his decision.  All and all this is a nice little story.

            The second story is the beginning of what we all know as The Jungle Book.  Written by Rudyard Kipling and popularized by Disney, this is a familiar tale.  Gil Kane writes and draws the tale.  It really is beautiful.  This covers the initial finding and adoption of Mowgli by the Wolf Pack.  It is cool seeing realistic animals in the roles.  The society they have created is cool as well.  This is a great back-up piece.

A cool bit of art wraps up this comicbook.  It is a Bill Sienkiewicz portfolio that includes the following; Dazzler, Doctor Strange (conjuring a vampire bunny?), Hulk, Shanna the She-Devil, and Thor.  Thor as the goofiest smile on his face and I really dislike that pic.  These are really neat, plus they ran short a few pages so we get this instead.  Still, would have been upset paying full price and having six pages of filler.