Thursday, May 19, 2016

80-Page Thursdays: Marvel Super Heroes Winter Special!

We've looked at a few of these before--#1, #3, #5, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, and #13--but today we've got 1990's Marvel Super-Heroes Winter Special, or #4. Featuring stories from Gregory Wright & Dwayne McDuffie, Scott Lobdell, Bill Mumy, Archie Goodwin & Gerry Conway, and more; with art by Don Perlin, Alan Davis, Ron Wilson, and more.

So, we've obviously seen a few of these Marvel Super-Heroes issues, and they were all inventory burn-off, clearing out unused stories. Some of them were probably intended as fill-in issues, if the regular creative team blew deadline; this issue's Spider-Man/Nick Fury story, for example, may have been intended for Marvel Team-Up. Other stories are more difficult to guess where they may have been meant to go: the biweekly Marvel Comics Presents used to run a lot of eight-page stories; while others may have been meant for back-ups in an annual; but where was an eleven-page Black Knight story going to be published? (In England, maybe?)

Accordingly, the Spidey/Nick Fury story is workmanlike at best. Bill Mumy's "Scout's Motto" has a nice three-page opening sequence as a western before becoming a Wonder Man story; and the Black Knight tale is carried by Alan Davis art. This isn't the worst issue of this series; I know there was a two-part X-Men that may have been an unused back-up and I don't think they were good.

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