Current Reviews


Marvel Milestones: Blade, Man-Thing, Satana

Posted: Monday, October 31, 2005
By: Shawn Hill

Reprints Tomb of Dracula #10, Adventure into Fear #11, Vampire Tales #2

Significant writers: Marv Wolfman, Steve Gerber, Roy Thomas
Significant artists: Gene Colan, Val Mayerik, John Romita Sr.

Publisher: Marvel Comics

All-righhhhttt! A Marvel Monster Mash, just in time for Halloween? How do these disparate and unrelated tales fare? It’s a real mixed bag, man, so let’s make it short and sweet.

“His Name is Blade”: Sketchy work by Gene Colan is utterly undercut by inappropriate inking from Jack Able. That cat missed every nuance that ever came his way, and is a horrible match for a suggestive but sometimes barely focused artist like Colan, who needs an inker to finish his vague anatomy and rushed backgrounds. Even
under this harsh light, however, Blade is one cool and sexy MF. Dracula has him on the ropes before a befuddled blonde steps in, and I don’t know what to make of the Christian Muslim among the revelers on a pleasure-boat Dracula struggles to subdue, but seeing Blade don scuba gear and swim alone to the beleaguered boat is pure James Bond by way of Shaft. Or is that Nick Fury by way of Steranko?

“Cry of the Native!”: Gerber gives us a battle between Native Americans and a vile construction crew intent on destroying their sacred and swampy ground, but I’m more distracted by Mayerik’s many scenes of shirtless construction workers handling their equipment so aggressively. I mean, wow. Weren’t comics still for kids then?

“Satana”: In glorious black and white, Thomas and Romita Sr. give us a four page textbook example of the femme fatale. It’s a shame this character never went anywhere. Maybe she made more sense in an era where literal femme fatales could kill through suggestion and expression alone. Recent attempts to revive her have made the sexual threat far too literal, which is about as unimaginative as
Thomas and Romita weren’t. Worth the price of admission, a very minor classic.

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