TITLE: Marvel Fanfare Vol. 1, Issue #21
YEAR: July 1985
COMPANY: Marvel Comics
Written by Jim Starlin
Pencils/Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Annette Kawecki
Colorist: Christie Scheele
Editor: Al Milgrom
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Marvel Comics unveiled “Marvel Fanfare”, a bi-monthly comic book series, which ran for 60 issues from 1982-1991.
The series was created to showcase the comic industry’s best talent, featuring 36-pages with no advertising and printed on better paperstock, featured detailed coloring and because of that, the comics were also a little over double the price of a normal comic book.
Edited by Al Milgrom, this was Marvel Comics showing appreciation to its talent but in the end, as Al Milgrom said, “what finally killed it was the advent of incentive payments to freelancers – top creators could make far more than the rate-and-a-half Fanfare paid if they worked on many of the better-selling regular titles”.
As a child, instead of getting two books, I could get “Marvel Fanfare” and would always get the ones with the cover and characters that I enjoyed.
And sure enough, any comic book featuring a fight between The Thing vs. the Hulk was an immediate must-buy, including “Marvel Fanfare” issue #21.
The comic book featured an evil sorcerer named Xandu who took Dr. Strange’s Eye of Agamotto and if he would combine the Ruby of Domination with it, he would have the power to have mind-control over anyone on Earth and make them his slave.
And sure enough, as The Thing is helping out Dr. Strange, Xandu has controlled the Hulk.
As Dr. Strange would fight Xandu, The Thing has to take on The Hulk and while the Hulk has strength and The Thing has brains and brawn (but not as vulnerable or as strong as the Hulk), when it comes to fights between the two, The Hulk has won the majority of them.
As Hulk is being mind-controlled, The Thing has the upperhand in beating the Hulk, because Hulk gets stronger only when he’s angry and because he’s being mind-controlled, he’s not getting angry. Something that Xandu picks up immediately and let’s the Hulk turn back to normal, right after The Thing hits him in the jaw.
And you know what that means….Hulk is now going to get angry.
In terms of Thing vs. Hulk battles, this is one of the better ones. As others can be too short in terms of a fight, in this 21st issue of “Marvel Fanfare”, these two are fighting. But at the same time, Thing happens to be preoccupied of finding ways to save Dr. Strange, who is losing to Xandu but Starlin does a great job balancing the characters but most importantly, making sure fans get what they wanted with a battle almost lasting throughout the whole issue. Too many battles between these two are quite short and for once, glad to see this fight go on for many pages. In a battle scale of 1/10, this fight would get a 7.