Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Painting the Big Apple Red--Asgardian Style

Marvel Spotlight #30: featuring the Warriors Three (October 1976)

Anyone who read my reviews of Thor  stories will not be surprised when I say that I always liked the Warriors Three--that trio of Asgardian Warriors who popped up to help out the Thunder God from time to time. Fandrall the Dashing, Hogun the Grim and Volstagg the Voluminous had personalities that roughly approximated the Three Musketeers and spouted the sort of faux-Shakespeare dialogue that all the mythological gods in the Marvel Universe inexplicably used. They enjoyed a good fight (well, except for Volstagg, who mostly worried about being late for lunch) and are a nifty if minor part of the Marvel canon.

In this issue of Marvel Spotlight, they were given a lead role in their own adventure. Marvel Spotlight was one of several anthology books that existed in the 1970s and were used to try out different ideas. New characters like Moon Knight and Iron Fist were introduced in such books. Old characters not then headlining their own books, like Nick Fury, were given an occasional solo adventure. And supporting characters like the Warriors Three were allowed to step forward and show off.

The story begins with our heroes hanging out in New York City--they'd been helping out Thor, but the Thunder God was now busy battling Firelord in his own book, leaving the Warriors on their own in the Big Apple.

The Warriors soon find adventure. They prevent a despondent girl from committing suicide. Learning that her boy friend Arnold is being forced by gangsters to help rob the diamond exchange he works at, the Warriors instantly opt to save him as well.

Arnold is being forced by gangsters to help rob the diamond exchange he works at, the Warriors instantly opt to save him as well.

With the help of a cab driver named Myron and a drunken bum named Ragland T. Pepperpot, they waylay the gangsters at the diamond exchange, then later get into a fight at a waterfront bar while looking for Arnold. Finally, Arnold and his girl are reunited and Fandrall hauls them off to a
magistrate to make sure they get married.

It's a fun story, with humor, a plot that actually makes sense in a comic book universe and great art by John Buscema. It's by no means an important milestone in Marvel comics--it's just good fun.

And, of course, it provides us with just another example of how important it is for comics to maintain a viable continuity. This story was possible because writer/editor Len Wein was paying attention to the Marvel Universe as a whole and saw an opportunity created by the ongoing plot in Thor to tell a small but entertaining side story. And he did this without violating established Marvel history or established characterizations. It's something editors and writers today could definitely learn from.


  1. Ahem! Moon Knight may have been featured in Marvel Spotlight, but he was introduced in Werewolf By Night.

  2. You're right. I stand corrected. (Werewolf by Night #32--August 1975).


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