Marvel 1985 #4 Review

The Revolution enjoyed the first two issues of Marvel 1985, but the last one was a bit of a disappointment. Millar has given the reader a slow story and since we are limited to just six issues, Millar really needs to get the story moving with Marvel 1985 #4. I am afraid that Marvel 1985 will end up being a story that had plenty of potential, but never really amounted to much in the end. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Marvel 1985 #4.

Creative Team
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Tommy Lee Edwards

Art Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Toby and his father managing to escape an attack by the Lizard. We then learn that back when Jerry was a kid and hanging out at Clyde Wyncham’s home that Jerry somehow managed to hypnotize half the town and get them to sleepwalk out to Clyde’s home. Clyde’s mom rants that Jerry is a freak and that she told Clyde not to hand out with Jerry. Clyde’s mom tells Jerry to call off the townspeople.

Jerry claims that he is not doing anything. Then we see that one of the townspeople that Jerry summoned was his dad. We learn that Jerry was young and did not know about his mutant power and how it manifested in times of stress. We see Clyde’s mom ranting that she is going to kill Jerry.

We hop back to the present where Toby learns that the town has been evacuated and the National Guard has been called in to battle the Marvel villains who are rampaging through the streets of the city. Evidently, Toby’s mom refused to leave her home because she could not find Toby. Jerry then runs back into town to go save Toby’s mom.

Toby asks his friend and the comic book store owner to come with him to help him beat the Marvel villains. Toby says that they have read tons of comic books and no more about how to beat these villains than anyone else. Toby’s friend and the comic book store owner decline to come with Toby. Toby then races back into town after his father.

As Toby races toward the old Wyncham house he sees various Marvel villains rampaging in the town like Bullseye, Blob, Wendigo, Hate-Monger, Abomination and the Mandarin. Toby arrives at the Wyncham house and sneaks inside and heads down to the basement. There Toby finds double doors with the word “Private” painted on them. (Huh. That’s it. No more security than that? You know, if I had a set of doors that led to an alternate dimension that I did not want anyone to get through then you would think you might at least slap a padlock or something on those doors. Maybe at least have a rabid Chihuahua with a laser strapped to its head guarding the doors.)

Toby thinks how he can hear voices on the other side of the doors. Toby knows that this must be the entrance into the 616 Universe. Toby opens the door and is bathed in a bright yellow light. One of the villains enters the basement and yells for Toby to not enter the doors.

Toby jumps through the doors and falls through the light and lands in the middle of New York City in the Marvel Universe. The bystanders on the street are stunned at Toby’s sudden appearance. Toby then exclaims that it is an emergency and that he needs the Avengers. End of issue.

The Good: Marvel 1985 #4 was a bit disappointing. However, there were still several nice aspects to this issue. Millar finally gives the reader a bit more information about Toby’s father, Jerry. We also get more insight into that mysterious night at the Wyncham house back when Jerry and Clyde were kids.

I am not surprised to learn that Jerry is the mutant. Millar hinted strongly enough to let the reader know that there was something strange going on with Jerry. The idea of this slacker dad who gets little respect being the only mutant on Earth is pretty neat. I am certainly curious to learn more about Jerry, his powers and how he fits into the plans of all the 616 Universe villains.

Millar ends the issue with a solid hook ending as Toby arrives in the 616 Universe. It was pretty cool to see this little kid who has grown up on a steady diet of Marvel comic books suddenly finding himself inside the Marvel Universe. This must be a pretty mind blowing experience for Toby. I am interested in seeing how Toby handles gathering together a band of heroes to go back to his Earth in order to stop the villains who are on a huge rampage.

The Bad: Marvel 1984 #4 was a slightly above average read. This has been such a slow story. And a six issue mini-series should never be a slow and plodding read. The plotting on this title has been disappointing. It seems like it is taking forever for these plotlines to form and get moving.

We only have two issues left and we still do not know what happened at the Wyncham house, what is the deal with Jerry’s powers, what are Jerry’s connections to the villains, how will Toby gather together a group of heroes to stop the villains, and how will the heroes vanquish the villains. Those are a ton of plot questions considering that we only have two issues left on this title.

Millar’s dialogue in this issue is the weakest that we have gotten so far on this title. It is not terrible, but it certainly is nothing special. It is downright ordinary and not as enjoyable as what we got on the first two issues of this title.

Marvel 1985 #4 has a fair amount of action, but the reader is detached from it all. Aside from when the Lizard attacks Toby and Jerry, Millar simply shows the reader a bystander’s view of all the other action scenes. It removes the reader from the action scenes themselves. Therefore, there is no dynamic element to much of the action which saps it of much of its impact on the reader.

I found the flashback scene at the Wyncham house with Jerry, Clyde and Ms. Wyncham to be a bit confusing. I know that Millar is still trying to tease the reader concerning Jerry’s powers, but this scene just came across way to disjointed.

The artwork on Marvel 1985 continues to disappoint. I am just not a fan of Tommy Lee Edwards’ style of artwork. It is way too rough, sketchy and sloppy. And the colors are terribly muted. They give this issue a dull and muddy look. The art is so poor that it makes Marvel 1985 #4 a chore to read.

Overall: Marvel 1985 #4 was average. I do not know how many comic book readers are going to be attracted to this title. There has been very little buzz surrounding Marvel 1985. Part of that is the timing of it coming out during the Secret Invasion and Final Crisis frenzy. But, part of it is also the fact that this story has been slow and dry. Still, we have lots to resolve with just the final two issues so Millar may have two exciting and action packed issues in store for us.

1 thought on “Marvel 1985 #4 Review

  1. I found the premise to the series interesting although I am never a big fan of breaking the 4th wall. Overall, there have been some good characters in this comic and though the artwork is sketchy as you say, I grew accustomed to it. The nostalgic magic that this title tried to capture in the first issue was diluted a bit in trying to cram too many Marvel villains into the thrust of the narrative. Yea, it must be hard to try and get it all wrapped up in 6 issues. I think this would have worked out better as a 10 or 12 issue series.

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