Thursday, May 2, 2013

Iron Man 3 Week - Extra! 1985 - Marvel Fanfare #22-23

A few readers have mentioned this story and I thought I'd have a read and let you know what all the noise is about!

Marvel Fanfare #22-23 (1985)
"Night of the Octopus"
Writer: Roger McKenzie
Artist: Ken Stacy

While the story starts a bit slow, it does so for a great purpose and that's to foreshadow things to come. Stark is giving the warden of Ryker's Island a tour of the new security features his company has installed in the prison. Sandman, Grey Gargoyle, Electro, and Doctor Octopus are some of the more lethal villains being housed at Ryker's.

Meanwhile, Doctor Octopus is remotely summoning his Octopus arms that are being tested in a Stark lab. Stark excuses himself and responds to the lab's alarms, but he's unable to stop the arms from escaping. He follows them and of course the arms have free Doctor Octopus and the other villains at Ryker's. However, Iron Man deals with the minions surprisingly easily, but it's Doctor Octopus that proves to be the deadliest threat.Out thinking Iron Man, Doctor Octopus uses a second set of arms to catch him of guard and to rip the very armour from Stark's chest.

Can't say I've seen any other Iron Man vs Doctor Octopus stories, perhaps other than Secret Wars, so I was curious to see how it would be handled. McKenzie and Stacy capture that diabolical look and feel of the classic Spidey villain and effectively demonstrate how dangerous he can be.

Stacy does some incredible work with some lovely, moody scenes playing with shadows and lights and the textures of the various powers of the villains.

Marvel Fanfare #23 was a bit of a different beast. The story covers a lot of ground in its 26 pages, but bounces around a bit before settling down to a great climax. Tony Stark not only has to deal with rebuilding his armor but with a legal attack, instigated by Ryker's warden, that paralyzes his company. Tony does find the time though to get romantically involved with Cherry Wood, who was injured when Doc Ock's arms escaped from the Stark lab. Their dinner is interrupted by Doc Ock was takes Cherry as a hostage. But, Tony Stark as Iron Man comes to her rescue, but she's not your typical damsel in distress and helps Iron Man defeat Doc Ock. And Iron Man defeats him using the second set of Octopus arms, having overrode Ock's controls.

Unfortunately, these two issues seem to be Ms. Cherry Wood's only appearances to date.

For both covers, Stacy did an air-brushed version of the Editori-AL cartoon for the logo box. Marvel Fanfare #23 would actually be the last issue featuring Editori-Al as the covers going forward would feature the characters spotlighted in that particular issue.


  1. Strangely enough, I was on vacation in Vegas while you posted this, but I ran into both issues in a dollar bin, and picked them up (I'm usually pretty thrifty, but for 2 bucks it will save me from digging through my old collection).
    I can't wait to reread this great story!




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