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Marvel Comics Presents #40: Review

Dec 1989
Marv Wolfman, John Buscema

Story Name:

Black Shadow! White Shadow! Part 3: Hong Kong Inferno

Review & Comments

3 stars

Marvel Comics Presents #40 Review by (October 5, 2021)

Review: Long-running anthology series is wildly uneven with its format of multi-part tales and occasional one-shots in each issue, many of which are too brief to be good. This issue features an uninteresting Wolverine chapter, a multi-part Hercules story a cut below Bob Layton’s earlier Herc work. The Over-Mind story is pretty good, centering on a super-powered character whose values do not mesh well with those of human society. Best story in the issue is the Wonder Man serial with its Johnny Carson guest appearance, though that bizarre scene mocking ex-President Ronald Reagan seems out of place and messes up the pacing.

Comments: First story: Part 3 of 10. Second story: Part 3 of 8. Story three: Part 2 of 3. Appearances by Johnny Carson, sidekick Ed McMahon, bandleader Doc Severinsen (misspelled Severinson), and producer Fred de Cordova. Not to mention former President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy. Note: de Cordova directed Reagan in his most notorious film BEDTIME FOR BONZO and its sequel, mentioned in the story. Story four: One-shot. Over-Mind was introduced in FANTASTIC FOUR #113-116 followed by DEFENDERS #111-122.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Marvel Comics Presents #40 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The battle in Hong Kong between the Black Shadow and the White Shadow gets out of hand, with blasts destroying the neighborhood. Wolverine (as Patch) rescues Mai but is wounded. While recovering he recalls what brought him to Hong Kong: he had helped a friend, Linn Chow get to Hong Kong to recover her children and was killed by the Black Shadow so he came to investigate. Mai’s group plans to had to China so Patch volunteers to go with them….

“Stardust Miseries Part 3: Some Enchanted Evening”
Writer: Michael Higgins. Pencils: Javier Saltares. Inks: Jose Marzan Jr. Colors: Tom Vincent.
Synopsis: On THE TONIGHT SHOW, Beast, accompanied by police looking for Wonder Man as a possible murderer, tries to talk Simon into surrendering peacefully. But Simon, his mind controlled by Amora Lorelei, is in a violent rage and fights his old pal. Producer Fred de Cordova calls his old friend, former President Ronald Reagan, for help but the clueless Reagan thinks he’s talking about old movies. Simon knocks out Beast and Amora reveals herself to the Enchantress, using Simon for her scheme of revenge….

“All in the Family! Part 2: The Hit”
Writer: Bob Layton. Art: Bob Layton. Colors: Brad Vancata.
Synopsis: Hercules and his son Emperor Arimathes are in the palace garden accompanied by Recorder 417 when they are fired upon by assassins hired by the Emperor Mother. A huge brawl breaks out with the two heroes handily beating the armored killers and Recorder being used as both a shield and a weapon. But the final assassin, an android, activates his destruct mode; to save his father, Arimathes grabs the bad guy and throws himself upon him as he explodes….

Writer: Scott Lobdell. Pencils: Don Heck. Inks: Jeff Albrecht. Colors: Cheryl Van Valkenberg.
Synopsis: Two men in hazmat suits are investigating a toxic chemical spill near the town of Millwood, New Hampshire. They are shocked to find the town and its environs are unharmed and unaware of any trouble. They are referred to Over-Mind who is teaching school. The two inspectors find Over-Mind who explains he has used his psychic abilities to convince the people to keep a positive mental attitude. But the inspectors tell him that the people can be cured but Over-Mind refuses. A little girl convinces him to heed his own advice. Over-Mind lifts the illusion, the people fall gravely ill, and the inspectors scramble to summon aid. Over-Mind departs with a tear in his eye….

John Buscema
John Buscema
Nel Yomtov
Marshall Rogers (Cover Penciler)
Marshall Rogers (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Arimathes, Overmind (Grom), President Ronald Reagan, Recorder 417, Skyppi.

> Marvel Comics Presents: Book info and issue index

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