Comic Book Spotlight of the Day: Marvel Comics Presents vol. 1, issue #77 (Marvel Comics)

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TITLE: Marvel Comics Presents Issue #77

YEAR: 1991

COMPANY: Marvel Comics

Weapon X – Story/Art by Barry Windsor-Smith, Letterer: Jim Novak

Shanna – Writer: Gerard Jones, Penciler: Paul Gulacy, Inker: Gary Martin, Letterer: Jade Moede, Colorist: Steve Mattsson

Sgt. Fury/Dracula – Writer: Doug Murray, Penciler: Tom Lyle, Inkers: Joe Rubinstein/Art Nichols, Letterer: Mike Heisler, Colorist: Steve Mattson

Sub-Mariner: Writer: Robert Campanella, Penciler: Grant Miehm, Inker: Robert Campanella, Letterer: Richard Starkings, Colorist: Glynis Oliver

From 1988 to 1995 and again in 2007-2008, Marvel Comics Presents was Marvel’s anthology series was a way to showcase characters in their own stories.  Typically four eight-page stories, to promote the series, Marvel would capitalize by featuring a member of the X-Men.  Typically Colossus, Cyclops, Havok and Excalibur, the series would then would then feature Wolverine from issue #39 to issue #121.

The most notable storyline arc to come from Marvel Comics Presents is Barry Windsor-Smith’s “Weapon X” arc (issues #72-84) which goes into detail of how Logan became Wolverine.

In issue #77, “Weapon X: Chapter Five” featuring story/art by Barry Windsor Smith and lettering by Jim Novak, would be the first test of Weapon X (Logan) being released into the wild as the scientists observe him.

They release a hungry pack of wolves to devour Weapon X to see if he will fight back and survive.

But Weapon X just stands there as he is being eaten by the wolves.

It doesn’t take too long for Weapon X’ razor sharp claws to come out of his knuckles and immediately, kills all wolves.  Observed is Weapon X’s berserker rage and mention of how his bones were bonded to adamantium.  And how they made Weapon X the perfect fighting machine.

This arc was the first test in the outdoors and more stories would follow right after.

For the second storyline, Shanna the She-Devil” must take on a man who is possessed by the power of Africa.

The third storyline was quite interesting as it’s a Sgt. Fury/Dracula storyline and Dracula awakens to find out all his gypsy servants have been taken by the Nazi.  He wants to rescue them but he is unable to enter the area unless invited.

Meanwhile, Sgt. Fury is set to the town called Ploesti in Transylvania and because it’s the Nazi’s biggest oil dump, he and his crew must blow the town up.

The final story involves Sub-Mariner thinking about himself and his purpose in life.  As he contemplates, he sees his enemy Tiger Shark being pursued by the Barnbus Lucian Cross and being caught for experimentation.

Sub-Mariner debates, should he save his enemy or let him be captured?

Overall, this issue is important for those who are fans of Wolverine and want to collect the Weapon X storyline.  The other stories were OK, with the Sgt. Fury and Dracula storyline to be interesting and the Sub-Mariner storyline to be the second best.  But overall an issue worth checking out!


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