Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #32

Issue Date: 
November 1989
Story Title: 
Having a Wild Weekend, part two: Dark Shadows (first story) <br>The Dreaded Deadline Doom (fourth story)

First story: Michael Higgins (writer), Erik Larsen (penciler), Terry Austin (inker), Tim Harkins (letterer), Tom Vincent (colorist)

Fourth Story: Scott Lobdell (writer), Don Heck (penciler), Dave Cockrum (inker), Diana Albers (letterer), Ken Fedunlewicz (colorist)
Todd McFarlane (cover artist), Kelly Corvese (assistant editor), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

First Story:
Shadowcat finds herself up against a large black and white cat called Rochester, who resembles the Loonies, the group who are responsible for capturing her and the rest of Excalibur. Kitty finds herself powerless, but uses her wits to out run the cat, and her technological genius to discover that the cat is some mechanical construct, and after she reprograms him, he stops attacking her and goes to sleep. Kitty finds some odd earrings on her, and once removed, her powers are back. Angry, she phases through the wall, ready to find whoever is responsible for her predicament.

Fourth Story:
After thwarting the robbery of the Central Bank of Japan by the Corrupter, Sunfire and his friend Erin attend the opening of a new science building of which Shiro had a hand in helping come to be built. The famed Dr. Kishi Oramosha is there, and the guests are shocked when he starts his speech, revealing that this is not a science building but a device which will set forth the destruction of the world, starting with Japan, so that people might learn to live in peace with each other and treat the world with more respect. Sunfire reveals himself as more than just Shiro Yoshida and attacks Oramosha, who calls himself Deadline. But Deadline is strong and wounds Sunfire’s pride, until Erin encourages Sunfire to get back in and stop Deadline, or else Japan will be known as the country that destroyed the world. Sunfire throws himself into the Doomsday device, and absorbs the energies, rechannelling them into the device to blow it up. Deadline is arrested and to Sunfire and Erin’s amazement, he makes out like this was his plan all along, just to get people aware of the peril the planet is in.

Full Summary: 

First Story:

Her name is Kitty Pryde a.k.a. Shadowcat of the British super group known as Excalibur, and tumbling downwards, she doesn’t know what is going on, but as she hits the ground, it hits her too, as darkness gives way to blinding light. The stunned Kitty holds a hand up to shield her face, asking where she is and how she got here. ‘What’s going on?’ While Kitty is dazed and confused, she doesn’t see a large and menacing cat shadow creep up on her.

Nearby, six odd-looking creatures dubbed “the Loonies” are dealing to the rest of Excalibur, all who are unconscious and placed into cannon-carrot confinement containers. The daffy-looking member of the Loonies called Billy Bird asks the team leader, Gums Gunny, what they are going to do with the rest of them. Gums Gunny asks Billy Bird where he was when they were all planning this, causing Tailgunner to laugh. ’Another Loony heard from’ mumbles Gums Gunny, before asking his teammates if he has to tell them everything.

The stammering pig known appropriately as the Ham manages to say ’I guess so, Gums’ before Gums Gunny explains that they are going to do the same thing to the rest of Excalibur that they did to the troublesome Shadowcat, who was manually jettisoned prematurely due to the technical difficulties in her carrot confinement container. Gums boasts that the rest of Excalibur will go with more of a bang, before the Loonies begin to prepare the carrot-cannons.

The short man known as Southpaw mentions to Rooster Cockburn that this is fun, to which the Rooster agrees. ’That’s all folks!’ stammers the Ham, and Billy Bird remarks that he couldn’t have said it better. Tailgunner shoves his teammates out of the way, ‘I like to do things fast! Heee-Heee!’ he laughs, before trying to set of the detonator, boasting that he won’t let them down, as he has seen to everything and even hooked the detonator up himself.

There is no explosion, so Gums Gunny slaps Tailgunner over the head, ‘Yeah, good work!’ he mutters, before telling him to stand aside and let a rabbit do the job, as it is the only way to make sure it is done right! Gums takes one of his carrot-guns and blasts the detonator, causing the carrot confinement containers housing Excalibur to explode! This sends Captain Britain, Meggan, Nightcrawler, Rachel Summers, Lockheed and Widget dropping down into the unknown.

When the dust from the explosion settles, the Loonies are completely burned, but of course fine. Southpaw asks if that worked out just the way they planned, to which Gums Gunny tells him to shut-up, that no one needs a Joker. Rooster Cockburn tells Gums that he doesn’t think the boss would like to hear him say that, to which Billy Bird remarks that their boss will be glad to know everything is going smoothly. ‘Dub-a-dub - I’ll say- exclaims the Ham.

Meanwhile, ‘I thought I saw - YOWTCH!’ exclaims Kitty as the large cat sneaks up behind her and wallops her across the room. Staring up at the cat, Kitty wonders where it came from, before realizing that it doesn’t seem to be more than a shadow. ‘That’s what you think, thweetie!’ lisps the large cat. Kitty gulps, ‘Nice kitty…’ she whispers as the large cat informs Kitty that he is more than a mere shadow, ‘I am your darketh nightmare!’ he boasts leaping at her.

Kitty tries to dodge, but finds herself trapped in amongst the cats claws. ‘You are no more than a bird in a cage!’ remarks that cat, while Kitty thinks that it is not a problem as she can just phase out, before realizing that she shouldn’t even be solid at the moment, not without concentrating on it. She wonders if her powers have returned to normal, but supposes not when she discovers she cannot phase at all.

Suddenly the ‘putty tat’ as Kitty calls him gets fried, Kitty mumbles that nothing like this has happened before as she leaps clear, ascertaining that despite something being wrong with her powers, contact with the cat seems to have disrupted his systems, which means he is operated by some sort of sophisticated computer-electronics.

‘Thuffering thquash and turnipth - or something like that!’ exclaims the shocked cat while Kitty realizes that she made “Puss ‘n’ Boots” pretty mad, while thinking to herself that he looks like he is going to lunge, but he isn’t moving. Kitty watches as the cat changes, and realizes that somehow her power is latent within her and the cat is suffering the side-effects.

The cat introduces himself as Rochester, and remarks that he is not wearing any boots, remarking that it is easier for his claws to get at her that way. Kitty is knocked across the room and lies motionless. She wishes she could figure out what is going on, as the last thing she remembers is Excalibur being attacked at their Lighthouse home. She knows she hasn’t seen Rochester before, but admits that he looks familiar, but whoever he is, Kitty knows that there is no way she is going to be able to fight under these conditions.

Rochester asks what the matter is, ‘Did I hurt the little Kitty-Bird?’ Rochester unsheathes a set of claws reminiscent of Kitty’s dear friend Wolverine and sniffs her motionless body, supposing that he could always just eat her. ‘Fat chance, fat cat!’ exclaims Kitty as she leaps for Rochester’s tail and climbs on his back, jumping around so he cannot get her.

‘Time for a little reprogramming!’ declares Kitty as she pulls apart Rochester’s fur, revealing various circuitries. The young computer-genius goes to work doing what she needs to do, when suddenly Rochester curls up and starts to sleep. ‘There, there, nice kitty!’

Shadowcat exclaims that she has a lot of figuring out to do, when suddenly she sees her reflection on one of Rochester’s panels, and exclaims ‘Earrings? YUCK! I’d never willingly wear anything like these!’ She starts to remove the yellow earrings, supposing that someone must have put them on for a reason, which must have been to tamper with her powers.

With the earrings now off, Kitty regains her mutant abilities and starts walking on air again, before frowning and boasting that whoever is responsible for this wont be - once she gets her hands on him, and phases through a wall.

Fourth Story:

The villain known as the Corrupter grins as he and his henchmen rush from the Central Bank of Japan, the blue-skinned felon carrying bags of yen while boasting that this is the perfect crime, and that he should have thought to come to Japan years ago, as there are no super heroes here. Suddenly the sidewalk bursts into flames, and the Corrupter’s henchmen ask him what they should do.

The Corrupter orders the men to throw down their weapons, which are taken by the authorities, while he mutters ‘Flaming sidewalks? Who could have known!’ Flying high in the air is the short-lived X-Man Shiro Yoshida a.k.a. Sunfire who remarks that American super villains are so arrogant. Shiro thinks to himself that it would be better if all the world was as humble as himself, after all, he is the one responsible for seeing that this new science building was erected here on the campus of Tokyo University, but he has the decency and humility not to brag about his accomplishment.

Sunfire lands on the rooftop of an adjoining building, and stimulates the unstable molecules in this costume that he obtained during his brief tenure with the X-Men, so that he is able to attend the dedication of the building as the even more humble Shiro Yoshida, student!

Shiro descends the staircase so that he can cross the banquet hall and attempt to converse with Kishi Oramosha, Japan’s most respected businessman. The elderly man calls to Shiro and waves him over. A young woman says to Shiro that as she is a French foreign-exchange student she is not familiar with that person, ‘who is that old guy over there?’ ‘”Old guy?”’ asks Shiro, before informing Erin that just to be in the same room with Kishi Oramosha is considered a great honor, and that Kishi looks happy to see her again also.

An announcer gets the attention of everyone at the banquet, exclaiming that he would like to introduce them to the man who has made their new science possible - Dr. Kishi Oramosha! Oramosha takes to the podium, and proclaims that today begins a new era in the proud history of Japan. The crowd gives a mighty applause, before the Doctor declares that the global village has fallen on dark times, that people are starving, countries are at war with each other and the environment is being destroyed by corporate exploitation of natural resources.

The audience becomes somewhat confused as to where Kishi is going with his speech, and the Doctor declares that the moment has come for the Land of the Rising Sun to light the way! A blinding light surges through the banquet hall, and none of the guests can see. Oramosha boasts that he is proud to introduce the end of the world, he is proud to introduce their salvation!

The Doctor places a visor over his eyes and tells the guests to imagine a world ravaged by the destructive power of its own sun. He remarks that Japan will be honored by being the first country to fall so that a deadline might be established, that the nations of the world will be forced to set aside their petty differences and unite in an effort to stop the chain reaction that will eventually destroy every major city in the world.

Kishi exclaims that what began as a simple “science building” will become the first incision in this operation to save the planet - it will cut deep into the center of the Earth itself! He remarks that he reluctantly assumed the role of Deadline and chose Tokyo as the first city marked for demolition because Japan has no super heroes!

‘That does it!’ Shiro thinks to himself, and to the astonishment of his friend Erin and others around him, in his red and white costume he takes to the air, claiming that he can stop this madness with a double-fisted blast of his atomic flame, which should obliterate the Doomsday device - but Shiro watches, stunned, as his blasts have no effect on the device.

Deadline exclaims that although the odds were against the sudden appearance of Japan’s lone super hero, he was prepared for just such an occurrence, and leaping at Sunfire, kicking him in the back, Kishi boasts that his exo-skeleton powered kick will attest to the accuracy of his statement. As Sunfire gets to his feet, Deadline tells him that if it is of any comfort to his bruised ego he should know that at least he was a consideration.

Sunfire leaps at Deadline, telling him that this must stop, but Deadline uses his exo-skeletal strength to toss Sunfire into a small fountain, asking him if it is more insane to sit back and let a world destroy itself out of ignorance and apathy? He claims that at least his way will insure that the people will have to use their collective intelligence, they will have to care if they intend to save themselves.

Sunfire tries to get up, but Deadline kicks him back down, admitting that when he first designed this structure he almost hoped that the power of Sunfire would actually be enough to stop him. GLUB GLUB is the only sound Sunfire makes, until Erin pulls him out of the water, ‘Oh no you don’t, Shiro! We have even less super heroes in France than you do in Japan!’ Erin remarks, before asking Shiro if this is where he pulls out all the stops and destroys the Doomsday device at the last possible instant?

Sunfire tells Erin that she doesn’t understand, as even though Kishi Oramosha calls himself Deadline, he is still the man who fears nothing. ‘Least of all me’. But Erin tells Shiro that Deadline is just intimidating him and that Shiro is believing it. Erin points out how far away from the heat-ray Oramosha stands, suggesting that he looks as human as either of them, well, as she anyway.

Sunfire remembers that Kishi did say there was some way to stop him. Erin encourages Sunfire to get in and do whatever it is he does, asking him if he wants Japan to be known as the country that destroyed the world. ‘Certainly not!’ declares Shiro as he flies into the Doomsday device, where the heat is unbearable, even for him. He believes that from this vantage point he can use his mutant abilities to collect solar energy, and channel it directly into the device itself.

Sunfire does so, and creates a counter-pulse that will cause feedback which is almost certain to destroy the “science building”. Shiro knows that he must hurry as there are only moments left before the heat-ray pierces the core of the Earth, and if he is lucky, he will have enough time to get away. Then the explosion occurs. When the dust settles, Erin discovers Sunfire lying in a pile of rubble, and congratulates him.

Sunfire and Erin watch as Oramosha is led away by the authorities. He admits that he underestimated the youth of this country, but at least he accomplished his goal of making people aware of the crises they face, which was of course his original plan. Erin asks Shiro if he believes the nerve of Oramosha, being defeated fair and square, but now he makes it sound like it was his plan all along. Sunfire agrees, and remarks that Oramosha’s arrogance amazes even him, adding that Oramosha should consider himself fortunate he went so easy on him, for there was a moment there when he lost his temper, and was going to…. Sunfire’s voice trails off before he reveals what he was going to do, and the planet is safe, for now.

Characters Involved: 

First Story:

Captain Britain, Meggan, Nightcrawler, Phoenix III, Shadowcat (all Excalibur)



Billy Bird, Gums Gummy, the Ham, Rooster Cockburn, Southpaw, Tailgunner (all the Loonies)


Fourth story:


The Corrupter

Corrupter’s henchmen

Dr. Kishi Oramosha / Deadline

Erin (foreign-exchange student)


People at banquet


Story Notes: 

The other features in the issue are:

2nd story: Black Panther “Panther‘s Quest“ – part 20 of 25

3rd story: Coldblood “Rise and Shine“ – part 7 of 10

First Story:

This story takes place between Excalibur (1st series) #8 and #9.

The Loonies are a parody of the well-known Warner Brothers cartoon franchise “The Looney Tunes”. The characters parodied this issue are Bugs Bunny (Guns Gummy), Foghorn Leghorn (Rooster Cockburn), Billy Bird (Daffy Duck), Yosemite Sam (Southpaw), Porky Pig (The Ham) and Roadrunner (Tailgunner).

Newcomer Rochester is a parody of Sylvester the Cat.

At the end of Marvel Comics Presents (Fourth story) the physical forms of Captain Britain, Meggan and Shadowcat had all been altered, yet this issue they have returned to normal. It would be safe to assume that some time had passed from the Loonies taking down Excalibur and getting them in the carrot confinement containers. Not that time particularly matters in this story.

‘Nobody needs a Joker’ and ‘I don’t reckon the boss would like to hear you say that!’ are throw away remarks to the DC Comic’s character known as the Joker, who was also paid homage to in the previous issue.

Fourth story:

This story takes place after Uncanny X-Men #181.

This story has no speech balloons, any thoughts or words are said in caption form.

While there was always few Japanese super heroes in the past, in recent years the number has increased with Japan’s national super team Big Hero Six (Sunfire, Silver Samurai and newcomers Honey Lemon, Hiro, Baymax, and Gogo Tomago) as well as Sunfire’s half-sister, Sunpyre.

Sunfire’s brief tenure with the X-Men began in Giant Sized X-Men #1 and lasted until X-Men (1st series) #94, a total of two issues. However he would remain an ally with them from time to time, and for a while affiliated himself with Alpha Flight. [Alpha Flight (2nd series)] Sunfire then joined his national super hero team of Big Hero Six, before later joining X-Corporation.

Indeed, France doesn’t have a lot of heroes. Le Peregrine (little known hero from the original Contest of Champions who has made very few appearances since then) is probably the only true French super hero. Alpha Flight’s Northstar and Aurora are French-Canadian, Generation X and X-Corporation starlet Monet makes out that she is French (Paris is her favorite city) and newcomer Fantomex is apparently not French, despite his accent.

Issue Information: 
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