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#ThrowbackThursday – Classic Comic Review

Marvel Preview #4 Part 2

Marvel_Preview_Vol_1_4The Sword in the Star!: Slave 1: Alas, the Seeds of Man!

Writer: Bill Mantlo
Pencils: Ed Hannigan
Inks: Craig Russell, Rick Bryant
Cover Artist: Gray Morrow

Following the story of Star-Lord, readers are immediately taken to a more chaotic approach to storytelling, Mantlo’s first few pages of TSitS are filled with expositional dialogue; overwhelming the reader with too much in such little time.

However, we see that’s because a story is trying to evolve in the middle of a battle. Seeming as if the world is set in a medieval time, readers learn Prince Wayfinder’s father is shown mortally wounded in battle. Through the dialogue up to his death, it is realized that the king and his army were attacked by an alien race with large ships from the sky.

As the next wave of aliens begin, the king dies leaving Price Wayfinder to go with a wizard named Delphos, to his hidden hideout. There, Delphos tells Wayfinder how their world is doomed and that they must escape the planet right away. As they hop onto a ship manned by Delphos’ robot, Alkinoos (which surprisingly looks a lot like the Marvel’s High Evolutionary), Delphos is killed and the two escape to the stars to find a way to save their planet.

Comparing the two stories, the art by Hannigan and co. is much different than the previous story. Not only does it seem shorter, but the story is told with much lighter inks and more close ups on faces. Because of constant warfare and the strain of emotions, everyone looks worried and scared. The artwork reminds me of Steve Ditko’s work in his horror stories.

Unfortunately, it seems as if a lot of dialogue runs the show; leaving the reader overwhelmed with blocky text thrown across many pages. It becomes a bit of a deterrent to the readers after following such an action-packed story like Star-Lord’s. It would have been nice to see more of Hannigan’s work fleshed out rather than dealing with exposition.


As teased in part one, Prince Wayfinder does have a tie to the Guardians of the Galaxy. While not discussed in the first story, Wayfinder will shortly find the Sword in the Star which helps him find the Microverse.

While we never heard about Wayfinder again after that story, Bill Mantlo continues the Microverse idea three years later and creates the Micronauts. In doing so, he creates one of the Guardians of the Galaxy: Bug makes his first appearance in the first Micronauts issue!

Small world, isn’t it?

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