Marvel Comics Presents launched in 1988 as an ad-free anthology showcasing four eight-page features, stuffed inside a wrap-around cover. This guide will tell you everything you wanted to know about the series – and more!
Cover Date: Late December 1989 | Cover Price: $1.25 | Cover Artist: Dave Cockrum
Excalibur in “Having A Wild Weekend” part 7
written by Michael Higgins
art by Erik Larsen
Lockheed and Widget wake to find themselves dressed as Sherlock Holmes and Watson, hot on the trail of a dastardly villain! Meanwhile, Kitty Pryde finds a way to free them and Captain Britain from their confinements AND put the Loonies to sleep using the poppies from one of the prisons. Next up?! Time to take down the mastermind behind all of these … Murderworlds! (Oh, c’mon! You’ve gotta know who it is by now, don’tcha?)
Black Panther in “Panther’s Quest” conclusion
written by Don McGregor
art by Gene Colan
Black Panther narrowly escapes being drowned by Elmer Gore and manages to turn the fight around, defeating the mercenary. Finally, he can make his way, unfettered, into the mansion of Anton Pretorius (South African Magistrate of Communications) who is holding the Panther’s long-lost mother, Ramonda. He breaks in through a window to find his mother chained to a bedpost, the object of affection for Pretorius. The secret object, that is. For, surely, interracial love was forbidden in South Africa, at the time. Especially amongst high-ranking officials! Ramonda reveals that the letter she wrote was meant to protect him and that it did not reveal her true feelings. Like any real mother, she longed to be reunited with her son. And, now, with Anton easily defeated, they are!
Devil-Slayer in “To Slay The Devil“
written by Dwight Zimmerman
art by Rodney Ramos
Balthazar and a horde of other demons have lured Devil-Slayer into a trap, surrounding him within a night club. As their plot is exposed, he reaches into his shadow cloak and draws … Dragonfang! It’s Valkyrie’s sword – but for him to possess the sword, it must mean that she has died! He puts the thought aside, but, as the battle against a horde of demons continues, he finds his cloak is being controlled by an outside force. It transports him and the horde to the Border of the Land of the Dead where he encounters statues of Valkyrie, the Interloper, Manslaughter and Andromeda (their remains were left behind in New Defenders #152 – the final issue). After dispatching Balthazar and the other demons, Devil-Slayer determines that Dragonfang has transported him to this land to be reunited with its master’s remains.
With this issue, the longest story in MCP history draws to its end. Although, it really only signifies the beginning … the start of the healing process for the Black Panther’s relationship with his mother. At times, this story really seemed to drag on (to be fair, it is 216 pages in total). It expanded scenes that could have been handled in one page, into an 8-page tale. To be fair, it gave McGregor a chance to delve deep into the Panther’s mental-processes and revealed the thought or instincts behind his every move. Aside from being an important part of the Panther’s history, it also served to make the reader aware of how things were in South Africa. It was given the opportunity and allowed plenty of room in the story to show the plight of the black man, worked to death – and the white mercenaries ruling over them. This story was truly a shared feature – the unjust culture of South Africa was exposed and shared the spotlight equally with the Black Panther’s quest to find his mother.
As a continuity-junkie, I was excited to see that the Devil-Slayer story tied in well with the events of the last issue of the Defenders (or, New Defenders, as it was called, then). And, as a Marvel Zombie, I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I didn’t guess the identity of the Loonies’ boss (from the Excalibur feature) until Kitty Pryde called their prisons Murderworld.
On Ebay: Marvel Comics Presents | Black Panther | Devil-Slayer | Excalibur
On AtomicAvenue: Marvel Comics Presents | Black Panther | Devil-Slayer | Excalibur