January 13, 2007

Marvel Super-Heroes #5 [1991]

Speedball short stories plotted and pencilled by Ditko rattled around in various Marvel anthology books after his series was cancelled. One of the odder looking ones was this 11-page story inked by Mark Badger, who put his own style pretty heavily on the pencils, and scripted by Jo Duffy.

"Jolly Roger" begins with Robbie Baldwin's high school class going to a preview of a pirate exhibit at a local museum. They're surprised to see a man dressed as a very flamboyant version of a pirate robbing the museum. Some of Robbie's classmates decide to go down to the old pirate coves, where Robbie plans to join them later (after a break for some unresolved sub-plotting involving catching the cat which might hold the secret to the control of his powers). Arriving at the cove, he saves his friends and fights the pirate aboard a sinking pirate ship.

The story isn't the best, it feels like a bit of a victim of the "Marvel method" where the scripter wasn't quite clear on how everything was supposed to tie together. The artwork is odd, kind of nice in the "would never want to see another Ditko story inked like this, but not sorry we got this one" way that overpowering inker combinations can be.

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