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Marvel Fanfare #4 (1982, September)

August 31, 2013

No update yesterday because I didn’t feel great. I’m skipping Mass Effect today because I move tomorrow. So I figured I’d just do Fanfare real quick. By Claremont and Paul Smith, this story is “Lost Souls!”

Lost Souls!

Wrap-around cover! Hurrah!

Angel wakes up greeted by Ka-Zar, who’s fetched some dinosaur for dinner. We get a quick recap of Angel’s view of the previous issue, and find out that Shanna’s probably been captured by Sauron. They work out that Sauron probably has a will-sapping device, and come up with a plan for Angel to lure Sauron out while Ka-Zar frees the captives.

Inside Sauron’s base, Storm is being turned back to normal. She is less than happy. Angel and Ka-Zar launch a catapult attack, and Sauron chases Angel while Ka-Zar sneaks in. Meanwhile, Brainchild has Storm dressed up and taken to his room. Ew. He tells her he wants her, and she refuses and backhands him. He backhands her in return. He open the door, and passes out when he sees Zabu. So now Storm is free.

They head through the base, past the devolved Shanna and Tanya, to the devolution ray, which is being used on Nightcrawler. Storm is pissed enough that she creates a brief hurricane. Even a weak Storm is badass. She frees Wolverine and Colossus, who go to town on some guards with Ka-Zar. Storm re-evolves Nightcrawler, who rescues Angel from a returning Sauron. Then Storm whips up a snowstorm. Sauron drops into a punch from Colossus, gets one of his wings shredded by Wolverine, and then Colossus drops a wall on him. He emerges from it, ready to kill them. Then we cut outside, see a big boom, and cut back in to see Storm standing over Karl Lykos.

So, a happy ending. The Mutates get devolved again, but this obviously isn’t the last we’ll see of them. The evolution ray is destroyed. And then Xavier cures Lykos. Hurrah hurrah. That actually lasts for a long time. It’ll actually be 10 years before Sauron shows up again, in the pages of X-Force. Since then, of course, he’s become a much more recurring threat, most recently in Wolverine and the X-Men, where Jason Aaron showed how few shits he gave about the character by suddenly turning him into a mad scientist, despite the fact that Sauron has never actually been a mad scientist. Blah.

Anyway. This was a pretty good story. Angel and Storm both got to show off their courage and dedication. It’s always fun watching Ka-Zar kick ass. Sauron was scary, and his defeat very satisfying. The way he was cured felt like a bit of a cheat. It just sorta happened. It felt tacked on. Maybe Claremont just wanted to give Lykos a happy ending. Claremont did like giving people happy endings, even if they never stuck. Of course, he also liked making people miserable, but I imagine all good writers do.

  1. I love that cover, but then again I love everything Ka-Zar related!

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