Marvel Spotlight #1-4 (1979-1980)

In a desperate attempt to keep Captain Marvel character alive, Marvel puts out a “Spotlight” title that picks up right where the final issue of his cancelled solo series left off.  Turns out, slapping “Marvel Spotlight” over his name on the title didn’t improve the quality.

Drax, Rick Jones, Rick’s girlfriend, and Mar-Vell finish beating up the ISAAC computer, which they were fighting back when his main series ended, and then go back to Earth, where some aliens track them down and fight them.  At this point, creators Moench and Broderick—both of whom are capable to much, much better work—decide to quit the series and the reins are handed over to a new team.  Archie Goodwin and Steve Ditko decide to completely abandon the story that was being developed in issue #3 and instead treat us to a story about Captain Mar-Vell literally fighting his own shadow.  It’s inhabited by some other-dimensional demons called The Screamers.  The Captain goes to their dimension and helps some good Screamers free themselves from the bad ones.

It’s a Moses story, and it’s not bad—the panels that take place in the other dimension are perfect for Steve Ditko—but it really isn’t going anywhere, and next issue Marvel Spotlight will leave Captain Marvel in the rear view.

Creators: Doug Moench and Pat Broderick (#1-3); Archie Goodwin and Steve Ditko, with a plot assist from Marv Wolfman(#4).
Grade: D

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.


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