Review: Marvel Fanfare #21

Marvel Fanfare #21 cover
Cover by Jim Starlin

Marvel Fanfare #21
Published and © by Marvel, July 1985

Title: “Clash: Part 2”
Synopsis: Returning to Earth to save the universe, the Thing squares off with the Hulk while Doctor Strange battles Xandu.

Writer: Jim Starlin
Penciler: Starlin
Inker: Al Milgrom

Review: As with the first half of this Jim Starlin “epic” (see review of Marvel Fanfare #20), this Thing/Doctor Strange team up is ultimately disappointing. Starlin was one of the stars of the early Bronze Age, but seemed content to coast on past successes in the 1980s – at least with his work-for-hire projects. There’s some pretty good tension in the issue-long, well-choreographed slugfest between the Thing and the Hulk. But the Doctor Strange material is all mystical mumbo jumbo, and the story stakes never seem real. Add in some inconsistent art and this one tops out at adequate.

Grade: B-

Cool factor: This two-parter could have – should have – been a contender.
Not-so-cool factor: Al Milgrom’s inking here doesn’t do the art any favors.

Notable: Includes a one-page “Editori-Al” by editor Al Milgrom. 

Character quotable: “The meld begins! I marry power infinite! LET THE STARS BEWARE!” – Xandu, not very convincing as an all-powerful big bad

Editor’s note: This review was written Nov. 19 , 2021.

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