Review: Marvel Comics Presents #2
Three fantastic fables in one mighty magazine! First, a tale of Logan in the fabulous fifties! Then, a new swinging story of the jungle’s cursed crusader, Gorilla-Man! Finally, Reed Richards and Victor Von Doom enter the space race as Sputnik takes orbit!
I don’t have a long history with Marvel Comics Presents, although I have read stories reprinted from the original series, I’ve never read one of the original issues. The first one I had picked up was the first issue of the 2019 series, and I was immediately taken with the format. Probably because I’m a big Wolverine fan.
Thus far, each comic features two standalone stories, with the series being linked by a multi-part story featuring Wolverine (though even that can be read starting here is you missed MCP#1). It’s a format that immediately brings me back to a time when I didn’t care about continuity as much as I did a good story (now I’m a little more concerned with continuity whilst also wanting a good story). This issue has three stories that decline gradually in quality from the first to the final, though I’d happily read the issue for two of the three, so one average tale in an anthology style comic isn’t bad (especially when it takes up the least amount of page space).
Charles Soule‘s Wolverine tale kicks us off, and was the highlight for me. It follows on from the previous issue, though one can read this without having read the first part. The story is set in the fifties, and finds Logan teaming up with a young mystic to combat an unkillable demon named The Truth from corrupting the world; one can argue the allegories and symbolism in this till the day is long, but even on face value this is still a very entertaining tale.
Mark Waid‘s revisionist take on the Fantastic Four before their powers is interesting, and a neat twist on Marvel’s First Family focused more on Reed and Ben’s relationship against a Cold War setting. It’s an interesting What If? style story that I’d love to get more of in the future.
Lastly, we have the Gorilla-Man feature by David and Maria Lapham. It isn’t bad by any means, but certainly isn’t the highlight of the issue. In fairness, this may be more down to my lack of knowledge of – and desire to read about – Gorilla Man than any indication of the ability of the writers. It wasn’t my cup of tea, and I found it a touch jumbled as it seemed to bounce the story between present and flashback. Still, this is far from unreadable, and suffers more because of the stories it’s paired with than anything else.
All in all, Marvel Comics Presents #2 is a win. Easily one of the more fun comics for Marvel right now., unencumbered by continuity and story constraints as it is.
Wolverine: The Vigil
Story: Charles Soule Penciler: Paulo Siqueira
Colour Artist: Frank D’Armata Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.7
Liftoff featuring Mister Fantastic
Story: Mark Waid Artist Djibril Morissette-Phan
Colour Artist: Dan Brown Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.1 Overall: 7.8
This Man, This Gorilla featuring Gorilla-Man
Story: David & Maria Lapham Artist: David Lapham Colour Artist: Lee Loughridge Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Story: 6.3 Art: 7.2 Overall: 6.7
Marvel Comics Presents #2 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel Provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review