I’m not happy that my first Clutter Report in some time is a crosspost from the other site, never mind one I only posted this week. However, I want to get back to writing for this site and this will hopefully be the first step on that front.

Many moons ago we looked at the first collaboration between Marvel Comics and Drake’s snack cakes, a four-issue miniseries in which Spider-Man, Wolverine, the Hulk, and Silver Surfer were slowly drawn into battle with Doctor Doom to rescue Jubilee from his energy experiments. Apparently the promotion was good enough to create a second one in 1994, this time five issues long and drawing in the other X-Men.

Eric Fein returns as the writer of these issues with rotating art teams. Letterer Janice Chiang and editor Glenn Herdling, as well as the Editor-In-Chief at Marvel at the time, Tom DeFalco, are the only other consistent names. So until the Comicstorian (if you don’t know who that is, I think I know what the next “Internet Spotlight” is going to be on) finally goes over these, it’s up to me to complete the review of this event. Good thing we loved our Coffee Cakes and Devil Dogs at the future BW HQ at the time. Never really got into Yodels.

Drakes 2 Silver Surfer

Guess someone else is tired of Surfer’s “woe is me”monologing.

Silver Surfer: “Breakout!”

(penciler: Robert Walker  inker: John Stanisci  colorist: Bob Sharen)

Our adventure begins on the planet Hala, where the losers of the “Galactic Storm”, a group of Kree warriors, are locked up by the winners, the Shi’Ar Empire. (Nice of Marvel to tie the story into one of their events, which may mean this is canon in the Marvel Universe, or at least building on it.) However a small band of soldiers manages to escape thanks to one general’s operatives. Darkbird and her Starforce team attempt to apprehend the escapees but a few ships manage to escape. Meanwhile, rumors of the jailbreak have reached the Silver Surfer. How? Beats the heck out of me. There’s very little time since the breakout and Surfer arriving, or so it appears. Maybe he heard about the breakout attempt and went to try to stop it?

Anyway, Lilandra also learns about the jailbreak. She sends the protesting Darkbird and her team back to Hala (Surfer and the Starforce caught up to one of the ships) and Surfer volunteers to help collect the Kree war criminals. Where are the other ships headed? Why to Earth of course. Where else do aliens go in these stories? This might have been an interesting way to go over the cosmic heroes but it makes sense to stick with ones kids know. The Silver Surfer was in the previous miniseries and had appeared on television before. (I don’t remember if he had his own TV series yet, but as far as I know there isn’t a single Fantastic Four series without the Surfer dropping by.) As for the other heroes, they were certainly popular enough to be included.

Drakes 2 Amazing Spider-Man
“All I did was recommend IHop over Denny’s.”

The Amazing Spider-Man: “When Heroes Clash!”

(penciler: Jim Craig  inkers: Dan & David Day  colorist:Paul Becton)

One of the Kree ships lands in New York, led by Dylon-Cir. He plans to force the Avengers into service on their side. (From what I read they didn’t choose sides in the war between Kree and Shi’Ar.) It’s Spider-Man that comes across the landing. Dylon-Cir tells Spidey that he only wants to seek their help against their oppressors, but Pete’s not buying it. Then Gladiator and Starbolt arrive to retrieve the prisoners. While Spidey wants to be sure which side is right, Gladiator is his usual jerk self and attacks Spider-Man. In the battle between the two sides, Spidey recovers to see that one of the Kree is trying to kill Starbolt and tips the fight in the favor of the Shi’Ar representatives. Gladiator apologizes (wait, he does that?) and takes his prisoners away.

Drakes 2 The Incredible Hulk

Gladiator just can’t make friends with anybody, can he?

The Incredible Hulk: “Pantheon Raid”

(penciler: Jim Craig  inkers: Dan & David Day  colorist: Bob Sharen)

Kona-Lar, the only female general in this story, leads her team to the Pantheon, the science stronghold where Bruce Banner (still during the ‘Hulk 24/7″ period) was trying to have a romantic nighttime picnic with Betty. (Frankly, I didn’t know Bruce and Betty ever married…and considering he’s always Hulk, it brings up the kinds of questions that ruined the Clark/Lois marriage.) The Kree trio try breaking into the Pantheon but Hulk, Ulysses, and Hector stop them. Like Dylon-Cir, Kona-Lar tries to convince the heroes that they need the weapons to fight their oppressors, but when Hulk says he wants to check out their story, the villains attack. The heroes win and Gladiator shows up to collect the prisoners. Since Gladiator’s manners are seriously lacking, he and Hulk come to blows before Lilandra recalls him and Starbolt. Hulk lets them take the prisoners.

I’m not too thrilled with this story. With minor changes it’s the same situation as Spider-Man’s dance with the Kree and Shi’Ar. Maybe if Gladiator wasn’t such a jerk? And speaking of jerks…

Drakes 2 Wolverine

“Fine, you don’t have public restrooms. I just asked.”

Wolverine: “The Nuke Hunters”

(penciler: Dan Day  inkers: Dan & David Day  colorist: Bob Sharen)

Our last group is led by Tallun, the only general who doesn’t get to have a hyphen in his name. (Maybe he has to earn that somehow?) His target is a joint Russian/Canadian/American nuke decommission plant…and now we get to something that’s bugged me since the last comic. Obviously the Kree would know who the Avengers are, but how did they know about the Pantheon? Do these revolutionaries have allies on Earth that never take part in the fights? That still doesn’t explain this base. Wolverine, who has been in this part of Canada before, even remarks that he never saw this base until this trip. How does Tallun?

It’s also quite the coincidence that Wolverine just happened to be in this very secluded area near a base he never knew about just as the Kree show up. Spider-Man would have no trouble seeing a ship land on a roof near his usual patrol route (insert jaded New Yorker gag here) and the second ship specifically went to where the Hulk lives. At least this time there’s no attempt to convince Wolverine they’re on the good guys team and just get their butts kicked by the mutant. And only after he’s done do the other X-Men arrive, having tracked Wolverine using the portable Cerebro in the jet. Lilandra has called her mutant friends for backup so they’ll take this last group back to Hala and help quell the rebellion. Naturally Logan tags along because there’s fighting involved.

Drakes 2 X-Men
Who are the heroes again? Because the ones they chose are scary looking.

X-Men: “Siege And Destroy”

(penciler: Andrew Wildman  inker: Stephen Baskerville  colorist: Jim Houston)

Galen-Kor (it was his operatives that caused the breakout in the first issue) has taken over the palace on Hala. The X-Men (for this mission: Cyclops, Iceman, Archangel, Wolverine, Jubilee, and Gambit) and the Silver Surfer bust in, have a huge fight with the Kree, and win. Then they get a victory banquet. That’s really all that happens but it’s not a bad ending.

My problem with this story isn’t that it doesn’t live up to the previous Drake’s miniseries. I mean, it doesn’t. The first series had better build-up as the heroes slowly gathered. Jubilee is kidnapped after helping Spider-Man stop the Rhino. Spider-Man investigates Rhino’s pursuit of energy sources and runs into Wolverine trying to find Jubilee only to come across Sabertooth and be drawn into the mystery. A clue leads to the Hulk and a team-up of the three heroes against Juggernaut. The last clue sends the three to Latveria, where the Silver Surfer is drawn to stop Doctor Doom from destroying the sun with his experiments and Jubilee is rescued. Each chapter builds the adventure as the stakes get higher.

In this one we get five mostly stand-alone stories. The first issue sets up events in the next three and comes full-circle for the final adventure. So it’s weaker than the first, but if it was a good story that would be enough for me. Sadly, it really isn’t. It isn’t bad necessarily. I’m not adding this to the purge pile or anything. (Although I may have some extras around somewhere.) But it makes some mistakes. Spider-Man and Hulk’s tales are too similar. There’s the plothole about the Kree knowing about the Pantheon, never mind a secret nuke decommisson base they should know nothing about. The art is nothing spectacular, and the last issue is hit with the 90s (or Wildman), or at least tapped as it isn’t as bad as most 90s Marvel art.

I’m guessing this one didn’t go over as well with the snack cake eating comic fans because this was the last time Marvel and Drake’s produced a mini-comic miniseries together. It’s rather lackluster so I totally see why. It’s not one I would recommend hunting down but if you do stumble across it I would chase you off either. It was a good idea but didn’t quite make the grade.