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Marvel Fanfare #5: Review

Nov 1982
Chris Claremont, P. Craig Russell

Story Name:

To Steal the Sorcerer's Soul!

Review & Comments

4 stars


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Marvel Fanfare #5 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
Late one evening, Dr. Strange is unable to sleep because of a foreboding in the air. Clea persuades him to relax and return to bed…. In the street a little girl rushes through the rain to hammer on Strange’s door. As the sorcerer goes to answer, suddenly a bright light fills the room. Opening the door he discovers the girl paralyzed from an enemy’s spell. Casting a protective aura, he carries her inside and discovers that her psychic aura has been drained from her. As Clea leaves the house to pursue a hunch, Strange leaves Wong to guard the girl while he enters the Astral Plane to investigate. Moments later, however, the little girl emerges from the protective spell, overpowers Wong, and opens the front door to admit the sorcerer Nicodemus, who plots revenge against Dr. Strange. Elsewhere, having recognized the spell on the girl as something that had once happened to her, Clea has come to an abandoned church where she was held prisoner by Nicodemus in order to steal her occult power (DEFENDERS #53). At that time she overcame her foe and Strange erased his memory. She now enters the church and falls into a trap as the building explodes. Sensing something is wrong with his beloved, Strange hurries back from the Astral Plane and is ambushed by his foe who steals most (but not all) of his power. Strange escapes into the Astral Plane with Nicodemus in pursuit. Clea arrives (having used the Shield of the Seraphim to protect herself from the explosion) and receives Strange’s message implanted in the girl’s mind, an enigmatic reference to the villain’s defeat lying in his heart’s desire. Clea realizes that Nicodemus sees magic as a tool, a means to power (his heart’s desire) rather than a source of wisdom. She calls Strange out of the Astral Plane and uses a spell to transfer Strange’s remaining power to Nicodemus. The sudden inrush of power but without Strange’s experience and wisdom to control it knocks the villain unconscious That was Dr. Strange’s plan: to heal his enemy rather than destroying him by showing him the folly of his lust for power. The little girl recovers and is sent home.

Story #2

Shall Freedom Endure…

Writer: Roger McKenzie. Penciler: Luke McDonnell. Inker: John Beatty. Colorist: Glynis Wein.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

On a wartime mission Captain America and Bucky ran into a trap and Cap was attacked by an armored Nazi called Stryker who was to kill Captain America on film for Hitler’s enjoyment. Things did not work out that way however, Cap escaped from Stryker’s bear hug with a judo flip and then proceeded to toss his foe across the room before using his shield to destroy the armored suit’s circuitry. They left the film of the Nazi’s defeat for Der Fuehrer’s instruction. Now, many decades later, that film is being reviewed by the henchmen of Stryker, son of the original armored Nazi, who wants revenge against Captain America for his father’s disgrace. His scheme: strip away his costume and shield and Captain America can easily be destroyed. On a late night several weeks later, Captain America appears at a new military museum to approve his display. When he sees the tribute, Cap gets a shock: it is a statue of him raising a Nazi flag and threatening Bucky. Stryker spring his trap: his thugs disguised as figures in the exhibit come to life and overpower the hero. When he wakes up, Steve finds he is dressed in a Nazi uniform and tied to a huge swastika, while Stryker wears the Captain America outfit. While filming the gruesome proceedings for posterity, Stryker abuses Cap, trying to get the hero to renounce his allegiance to America. Shouting "Never," Cap breaks free and escapes into the darkened museum. Under cover of shadow, he subdues Stryker’s goons one at a time, leaving the mastermind for last. The villain savagely beats Cap with his own shield, insisting he is nothing without the costume to hide behind. But Steve will not go down. Finally in the Captain America exhibit, Stryker damages the base of the Cap statue which topples, impaling the villain with the Nazi flag. Cap reclaims his costume and shield, regretting that Stryker never realized that these trappings only represent freedom—which can never be destroyed.

P. Craig Russell
P. Craig Russell
Bob Sharen
Marshall Rogers (Cover Penciler)
P. Craig Russell (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

Plus: Nicodemus.

> Marvel Fanfare: Book info and issue index

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