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Fanfare continues with inventory stories, but this one is of interest because it was originally meant to be the fourth part of the Questprobe series, originally meant to be twelve issues, that was cancelled when Scott Adam's Adventure International company went under.
The Hulk and Fantastic Four issues of this series had to make some minor adjustments to ensure that the characters appearing in the game were appropriately "classic" (the Hulk story ignored Hulk's Banner-brain status, and the FF issue had the Chief Examiner pick up the Thing from the Secret Wars Battleplanet instead of using She-Hulk), but this one doesn't seem to make any concessions and indeed it's Magneto who winds up going through the portal into the Questprobe game. I understand that the unfinished game is available for download on the internet, but i couldn't even get the finished games working on my computer, so i don't know if you actually played as Magneto, which would have been pretty interesting.
Creator-wise, this is by far the best team to work on a Questprobe story. Claremont writing the X-Men, and art by June Brigman and Terry Austin inks? No doubt about Milgrom's decision to publish this in Fanfare (Bob Budianksy was the original editor of this issue when it was part of the Questprobe series. Al Milgrom is of course the Editor of Marvel Fanfare.).
The story offers a few twists on the standard Questprobe formula, and continues to develop the plot. We start with the X-Men relaxing on Magneto's island in the Bermuda Triangle while he packs up some equipment. It's a bit difficult to relax due to all the creepy statues...
...but they do their best until the statues start coming to life.
The statues touch is petrifying, and most of the X-Men, and Lee Forrester, are turned to stone, leaving just Magneto and Rogue. The Chief Examiner shows up as well, trying to get Magneto into his portal.
Rogue bumps into the portal and, in a cool move, she absorbs the powers of all the heroes that have passed through it previously: Hulk, Spider-Man, and the Human Torch (i guess the Thing's strength is mixed in with Hulk's).
Magneto's fight with the Examiner also has the unexpected effect of freeing the evil Bio-Gem that was secretly controlling the Examiner. The Examiner's body becomes inert and Magneto is possessed by the Gem.
On the Astral Plane, Magneto works with the Examiner's creator, Durgan, to restore Durgan's control.
When things are set right, Magneto willing enters the portal...
...and then the Examiner heads off to continue his quest, refusing further help from the X-Men.
Magneto wonders if Durgan's unorthodoxy - his people have eschewed all violence even as their race is threatened by the Black Fleet, and Durgan is taking on the fight by himself - will cause him to lose all that he and his people hold ideal. It's an interesting consideration in light of Magneto's own confession that his fight for mutant rights was actually the primary cause of anti-mutant sentiment.
The MCP doesn't list the Chief Examiner as appearing in this issue; not sure if it's a miss or if the later Quasar stories that pick up on the dangling threads here reveal something.
We learn a little bit more about Magneto's island. Storm says:
Horrible creatures inhabited the citadel and committed such unspeakable atrocities that the very stones radiate a primal malevolence which neither time nor effort can ever exorcise.
And then Kitty:
Those ancients were weird, all right, but they were no dummies, I've been examining the statues -- they're not stone. It's some form of crystalline circuity matrix. They're devices!
It's really just setting up the statues to attack, but it's another clue to this unresolved mystery.
Quality Rating: B-
Historical Significance Rating: 1
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this after Uncanny X-Men #201. The X-Men are back on Magneto's island, for a vacation but also presumably to pick up some of Magneto's stuff to bring it back to the X-Mansion.
When Rogue has the powers of the Hulk, she compares it to when she absorbed She-Hulk's powers in Uncanny X-Men annual #7 (incorrectly footnoted as annual #9; thanks, Michael!).
That's the only footnote in the issue, but let me link to Questprobe #1, Questprobe #2, and Questprobe #3.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Why did I include this?
Comic books hold the secret to the true history of our universe - more coming