Strange Combat Tales #1-4 and Amazing High Adventure #1

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vanhornluke
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Strange Combat Tales #1-4 and Amazing High Adventure #1

Post by vanhornluke » Mon May 15, 2017 8:12 pm

This is an obscure series from the 90s. Most stories published under the "Epic" banner aren't 616, but the handbooks have referenced this series, so it's among the few Epic stories that are 616. I hope I've gotten the formatting correctly below.

STRANGE COMBAT TALES #1 (Oct 1993)
By Rob Stofega and Aubrey Singer

1st Story:

APPEARANCES:
British soldiers, Marsden, Zombies, Erik Charnier, Baroness Ursula Lichter, Colonel Denholm Sykes, Julian Drake, German soldiers, Belgian soldiers, French soldiers, British pilots, German pilots

SYNOPSIS:

Flashbacks:
Master occultist Julian Drake has a number of disciples, including the Baroness Ursula Lichter. His teaching technique includes drugs and sexual debauchery, but eventually Lichter decides to break out on her own. She poisons two of Drake’s disciples and frames him for the murder, testifying against him in court. Drake is convicted and sent to a secure asylum.

1917 (The “current day” portion):
Occultists Erik Charnier and Baroness Ursula Lichter agree to create an army of zombies for the German Imperial Army. In response, the British military frees Julian Drake from his asylum cell, offering him a full pardon if he will stop Charnier and Lichter. During his incarceration, Drake has realized that his mystical abilities did in fact corrupt him both morally and rationally, and so he has foresworn the use of his powers. Nevertheless, desiring revenge against Lichter, he agrees. He’s taken to the front lines in France and attempts to fight his way through no-man’s land to the German side, but the fighting is too intense and he’s captured. Charnier and Lichter taunt him over his helplessness, since he isn’t using his powers. Eventually they take him in a zeppelin to show off their zombie army cutting a swath through the Entente’s forces. Drake finally decides to use his powers and kills Charnier, cutting the zombies off from their energy source and returning them to lifeless corpses. Lichter invokes power from various entities, including the Lovecraftian being Zariatnatmek (spelled “mik” in Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward), which backfires and causes the zeppelin to explode, killing her. Drake is thrown free of the explosion and falls toward Earth (whether he survives is not revealed).

2nd Story:

APPEARANCES:
Colonel Jedediah Edge, Union soldiers, Laura Nicks, Gorlaks

SYNOPSIS:
Union Colonel Jedediah Edge pulls himself out of the water after having been submerged due to his boat being sunk by a Gorlak attack vessel.

NOTE:
To be continued! Gorlaks first named in issue #2. Also, the end of #2 reveals that this story is an in-universe fiction story printed in a pulp sci-fi magazine during World War 2. That would presumably make this an alternate Earth story (since in-universe fictions are often classified as taking place on alternate Earths), but no alternate Earth number has so far been supplied in the handbooks.

STRANGE COMBAT TALES #2 (Nov 1993)
By Rob Stofega and Aubrey Singer

1st Story:

APPEARANCES:
Union soldiers, Colonel Jedediah Edge, Gorlaks, Laura Nicks, Confederate soldiers, Colonel John Durham, slaves, alligators

SYNOPSIS:

Flashback (or is this a flashforward? Time travel is confusing):
Alien Gorlaks from the 22nd century invade Earth, but when humanity fights back, a large explosion causes one of the Gorlak ships and United Nations soldier Laura Nicks to travel back in time to 1862 during the Civil War.

Flashback:
During a Civil War battle in 1862, Laura Nicks suddenly appears. The Union troops are initially afraid of her, but she convinces their commander, Colonel Jedediah Edge, that the strange lights and rumors of monsters they’ve heard are true and that she can help destroy them.

“Current” portion in 1862:
Edge takes his troops, along with Laura, deep into Confederate territory in Tennessee, attempting to locate the Gorlak base. They are captured by Confederate troops led by Colonel John Durham, only to learn that the Confederates are hunting the aliens as well. Putting aside their differences, Union and Confederate troops, assisted by Nicks, eventually locate the base. While the troops stage a frontal attack as a diversion, Nicks sneaks into the Gorlak base on a suicide mission and detonates a bomb. Afterwards, Edge decides he can’t fight fellow human beings anymore and decides to take his men west out of the war, offering to let Durham and his men join him.

NOTE:
Again, this story is in-universe fiction.

2nd Story:

APPEARANCES:
Flying Tigers, Tony Argento, Wil Neale, dragon

SYNOPSIS:
1941: Tony Argento reads “Rockets Red Glare,” written by fellow American volunteer in China Wil Neale and published in the pulp magazine Weird Science Mysteries, and is upset with the ending of the story. Neale is too busy to defend his authorial choices, however, since a patrol calls in just as they encounter a giant purple dragon in the sky.

NOTE:
To be continued!

STRANGE COMBAT TALES #3 (Dec 1993)
By Rob Stofega and Aubrey Singer

1st Story:

APPEARANCES:
Japanese pilots, Flying Tigers, Wil Neale, Tex Dawson, Tony Argento, dragons, Major General “Ol’ Leatherface” Rennault, Ming Tang, Quoi Tang, ninjas, Chiang Kai-Shek, Chinese soldiers, White Lotus sect, Huiyuan, Japanese soldiers, demons, animated human skeletons

SYNOPSIS:
June, 1941: American volunteer pilots Tony Argento and Wil Neale become involved in a plot by the White Lotus sect in China to engineer a Japanese victory. They fear that if Chiang Kai-Shek’s nationalists prevail, they will be overthrown by the Communists and Chinese culture will be destroyed. With a Japanese victory, the Chinese people would be forced to turn back to their old culture and gods, which would unify them against the occupiers. Thus, the sect uses ancient magic, demons, and dragons to attack the nationalist forces and American volunteers assisting them. Thinking that only mythic beings can fight mythic beings, Neale has tigers painted on all of the Americans’ planes, thus providing the famous name for the Flying Tigers. Argento and Neale track the White Lotus leader, Ming Tang, to her hideout. Argento is killed by Neale succeeds in wiping out her supernatural forces. In despair over the coming fate of China, Ming kills herself. Six months later, Neale commands his own squadron of Flying Tigers and their fame has spread widely.

2nd Story:

APPEARANCES:
Arabian horses, Oriana Leone, Lt. Pete Lupo, NYPD, U.S. Marines, Robert, Henry, John, Guy Greene, Charles

SYNOPSIS:
1993: Oriana Leone is excited to be landing at JFK International Airport in New York City, since she has found the Spear of Longinus (aka the Spear of Destiny) buried with the mummified remains of five crusader knights. Because of the significance of the find, a major police and military presence is at the airport to protect the artifact and remains. Once the plane lands and stops moving, a cargo door opens only to reveal the knights charging the police, having returned to life and seized the spear.

NOTE:
To be continued! The knights are named in issue #4.

STRANGE COMBAT TALES #4 (Jan 1994)
By Rob Stofega and Aubrey Singer

APPEARANCES:
Robert, Henry, John, Guy Greene, Charles, Arabian horses, NYPD, U.S. Marines, Adriana Leone, Lt. Pete Lupo, Mingia, Doctor Menzies, Oliver Cromwell, tyrannosaur, Janus, Peter Barthelmy, New Yorkers, English soldiers, Muslim soldiers

SYNOPSIS:

Flashbacks:
During the crusades, Peter Barthelmy, a priest in the besieged city of Antioch, discovers the true Spear of Longinus (aka the Spear of Destiny). He and five knights take it into battle and kill thousands of Muslim soldiers. Barthelmy entrusts the protections of the spear to the knights, who gain immunity from age (and limited immunity from injury) as part of their charge. The knights eventually return to England, taking the spear with them. Centuries later, during the English civil war, Oliver Cromwell, secretly an evil occultist, seeks the spear to guarantee victory for his army. Many priests are murdered, but they refuse to reveal the location of the spear, and the knights remain in hiding.

“Current” portion:
1993: The knights protector of the Spear of Longinus attempt to flee JFK International Airport with the spear, but the NYPD forces them to drop it during their escape. Dr. Adriana Leone retrieves the spear and takes it to the Natural History Museum where it wil be examined by her boss, Doctor Menzies. After she leaves, Menzies consults with the living severed head of Oliver Cromwell, the most prized portion of his collection of arcane artifacts. Cromwell plans to use the spear to muster another army and begin conquering territory. Leone and NYPD lieutenant Pete Lupo suspect Menzies is going to steal the spear, so they return to the museum just as the knights return and fight for the spear. They successfully seize the spear and flee, although losing two of their number in the process. Leone and Lupo follow the knights, who inform them of their history and mission. Meanwhile, Cromwell finds Menzies useless and uses his mystical abilities to force Menzies to decapitate himself, then takes Menzies’s body as his own. He mystically broadcasts a challenge to the knights to bring the spear to Times Square or he will unleash a bloodbath on New York. The knights, Leone, and Lupo show up on time and a battle begins. In the process, two more knights are killed, but the remaining one finally calls upon the power of the spear to kill Cromwell and his goons. He charges Leone and Lupo with the spear’s protection to replace the dead knights, and the three of them walk away with the spear.

NOTE:
The Spear of Longinus has appeared in a few other Marvel stories which apparently place the spear in Germany during World War 2 (I haven’t read those stories, so I can’t comment on the specifics). This story never explicitly says that the spear wasn’t there at that time, so a future writer could probably add a retcon that says the spear was returned to England after the war so that it could be found with the mummified knights by Leone. I should also point out that since there are no mentions of any superhuman beings in New York, perhaps this story should be considered to have taken place in 616’s year 1993, rather than subject it to the sliding timescale. That would explain why the Avengers, Dr. Strange, etc., aren’t involved.


Placement suggestions:

ARGENTO, TONY
SCT 2 /2
SCT 3

BARTHELMY, PETER
SCT 4 (18:6-18:7)-FB

CHARLES
SCT 4 (18:3)-FB
SCT 4 (18:6-18:7)-FB
{SCT 3 /2}
SCT 4

CHARNIER, ERIK
SCT 1

CHIANG KAI-SHEK
SCT 3

CROMWELL, OLIVER
SCT 4 (20:7-21:1)-FB
{SCT 4}

DAWSON, TEX
SCT 2 /2 ~ SCT 3 (1:5-2)
SCT 3

DRAKE, JULIAN
SCT 1 (13:1-)-FB
SCT 1 (13:3)-FB
SCT 1 (13:4)-FB
{SCT 1}

GREENE, GUY
SCT 4 (18:3)-FB
SCT 4 (18:6-18:7)-FB
{SCT 3 /2}
SCT 4

HENRY
SCT 4 (18:3)-FB
SCT 4 (18:6-18:7)-FB
{SCT 3 /2}
SCT 4

HUIYUAN
SCT 3

JANUS
SCT 4 (21:3)-FB
{SCT 4}

JOHN
SCT 4 (18:3)-FB
SCT 4 (18:6-18:7)-FB
{SCT 3 /2}
SCT 4

LEONE, ADRIANA/ORIANA LEONE
SCT 3 /2
SCT 4

LICHTER, URSULA
SCT 1 (13:1)-FB
SCT 1 (7:2)-FB
[SCT 1]

LUPO, PETE
SCT 3 /2
SCT 4

MARSDEN
SCT 1

MENZIES
SCT 4

MINGIA
SCT 4

NEALE, WIL
SCT 3 (1)
{SCT 2 /2} ~ SCT 3 (2:4-2:5)
SCT 3

RENNAULT
SCT 3

ROBERT
SCT 4 (18:3)-FB
SCT 4 (18:6-18:7)-FB
{SCT 3 /2}
SCT 4

SYKES, DENHOLM
SCT 1

TANG, MING
SCT 3

TANG, QUOI
SCT 3


I wasn't sure what to do with the in-universe characters from Neale's story in #2-3. They're not 616, but the story might take place on an unnumbered alternate Earth. Since it's unnumbered, I'm not sure whether they can even be included at MCP, but here they are just in case:

DURHAM, JOHN
SCT 2

EDGE, JEDEDIAH
SCT 2 (5:2-13)-FB
SCT 2 (1-2)
{SCT 1 /2} ~ SCT 2 (3:1)
SCT 2

NICKS, LAURA
SCT 2 (15:4)-FB
SCT 2 (5:5-13)-FB
SCT 2 (1-2)
{SCT 1 /2} ~ SCT 2 (3:1)
SCT 2
Last edited by vanhornluke on Tue May 16, 2017 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

vanhornluke
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Re: Strange Combat Tales #1-4

Post by vanhornluke » Tue May 16, 2017 1:40 pm

I forgot that Oliver Cromwell also has an appearance in Amazing High Adventure #1, which means I need to update his chronology. I figured, why not just do the whole issue, rather than cover just one character from it? So here's a breakdown for each story in #1, along with an updated Cromwell chronology.

AMAZING HIGH ADVENTURE #1 (Aug 1984)

1st Story:
By Steve Englehart

APPEARANCES:
English soldiers, Irish soldiers, cavalry horses, Lord Oliver Cromwell, Harry Rossmoor, Irish civilians, Carogtuw, Kevin, Seamus, Dick, Lord Riordan

SYNOPSIS:
September 11, 1649: During the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell’s troops advance through Ireland. After massacring an entire Irish castle, including women and children, Cromwell is confronted by a pagan Irish priest, Carogtuw, who curses Cromwell and promises his defeat. Cromwell laughs him off, so the priest disappears. The next day, a major storm arises, allowing Irish troops to kill most of Cromwell’s troops. Cromwell and his surviving men are able to take shelter in the hills, and while the Irish wait out the storm to continue their attack, Cromwell orders his troops to cut off the heads of any dead soldiers they can find and mount them on pikes. The next day, after the storm has passed, the Irish advance again, only to be scared off by what appears to be a massive English army that must have somehow landed during the storm to reinforce Cromwell. The Irish flee in terror, but Carogtuw doesn’t believe anyone could have landed during the storm. He runs up to the English by himself and once close enough he can see that there are few living men, most of the “troops” being severed heads mounted on pikes. The English capture him, and Cromwell promises extended torture for the priest, including cutting off his arms and legs.

2nd Story:
By Ann Nocenti

APPEARANCES:
Spanish conquistadors, Aztecs, Zetu, Xochi, Itza, José, Díaz

SYNOPSIS:
A group of Spanish conquistadors, having broken away from Cortês, slaughter Aztecs while in search of gold. They come across an Aztec village that houses a temple to the Aztec gods. The Spaniards’ leader, Díaz, goes mad, disregarding the danger to his own men as he kills, collecting every piece of gold along the way. He eventually makes his way into the temple and demands their secrets. A priest, somehow able to understand Spanish, tells him that they manufacture their gold through an alchemical process. He demonstrates for Díaz how the process works, explaining that a magic potion is created and drunk, which then gives the drinker the power to transmute other elements into gold. Díaz drinks the potion and dies, while the priest explains that this was all a metaphor, for the real gold is found in the human heart as it is transformed. His body is then taken to the top of the temple and offered in sacrifice to the gods, only for the priests to be shocked when they cut out his heart and find that it is a lump of gold.

NOTE:
Cortês is mentioned, but he never appears, so I haven’t listed him, which I’m grateful for, since he has a few other appearances and I don’t feel like constructing a chronology for him right now. :-P

3rd Story:
By Mike Carlin

APPEARANCES:
Ambrose A. Abernathy, Prof. Edwin Grimmley, Ann, Albert, lion, train passengers and engineers

SYNOPSIS:
1876: Ambrose Abernathy, an eccentric scientist, claims to have invented a device that can animate the humors in the air, causing improbable adventures around the people who turn it on. His associates don’t believe him, even when his rival, Prof. Edwin Grimmley, attempts to steal the device. Various improbable events occur (e.g., surviving a fall from a high window, being attacked by a lion), but skeptics claim they are simply coincidences. Abernathy decides to present the device at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, but on the way there Grimmley tries to crash the train. Again, improbable events conspire to save the train, but after avoiding the crash Grimmley succeeds in stealing the device. Three days later Abernathy reads in the newspaper that Grimmley presented the device as his own invention at the exhibition, but he was laughed off the stage as a quack. Afterwards, a curio collector from San Francisco bought the device for two dollars as a joke. Abernathy’s associates take this as proof the device doesn’t work, but he believes Grimmley must not have known how to turn it on. Flashforward to 1906: someone figures out how to turn the device on at the same time as the great San Francisco earthquake. Coincidence?

NOTE:
I have to wonder if Abernathy’s device somehow taps into chaos magic, since I can’t help but be reminded of the Scarlet Witch. Ann says that Ambrose is her father, but we’re never told her full name, so that’s why I haven’t listed her as “Ann Abernathy.”

4th Story:
By Louise Simonson

APPEARANCES:
Manilak the Shaman, Inua, Dimitry Grigorovich

SYNOPSIS:
Manilak, an old Inuit shaman, waits to die, believing himself to be a failure, since harsh weather and a food shortage has led to hunger among his people, and the exposure of an infant they could not feed. He calls upon his polar bear totem, Inua, to take him to the afterlife. In the distance he sees Inua dragging the unconscious body of a young white man. Manilak charges Inua, claiming that he is taking the wrong person. Inua claims that he found the white man also awaiting death and orders them to decide among themselves who will die. He will return in the spring to hear their answer. The white man, Dimitry Grigorovich, explains that he was part of a failed coup against the czar, fled to Alaska, but was recognized and chased into the wilderness. Believing his life a total failure, he became suicidal. Manilak explains that Dimitry does not regret his actions, but only his inability to carry his plans to fruition. This means that he is not a worthless failure, but merely needs to become stronger and take control of his life. They spend the next few months living in an igloo while Dimitry learns to hunt and live off the land. Over this time, Manilak’s heart becomes weaker and weaker. Finally, spring comes and Manilak tells Dimitry to travel south to a new country where he can start fresh. Manilak cannot do so due to his heart, so he must wait for Inua. The bear appears and promises to take Manilak to the afterlife, but only if he fights for it. Manilak charges the bear and stabs him through the eye into his brain, killing him, but also suffering a mortal slash on his chest. Dead, Manalik thanks Inua for granting him a warrior’s death, and the two fade into the afterlife.

NOTE:
Dimitry says he was part of an effort to overthrow Czar Nicholas I, so that gives a time frame for this story, but we’re not told an exact year.



Placement suggestions:

ABERNATHY, AMBROSE A.
AHA 1 /3

ALBERT
AHA 1 /3

ANN
AHA 1 /3

CAROGTUW
AHA 1

CROMWELL, OLIVER
SCT 4 (20:7-21:1)-FB
{AHA 1}
SCT 4

DĺAZ
AHA 1 /2

DICK
AHA 1

GRIGOROVICH, DIMITRY
AHA 1 /4

GRIMMLEY, EDWIN
AHA 1 /3

JOSÉ
AHA 1 /2

INUA
AHA 1 /4

ITZA
AHA 1 /2

KEVIN
AHA 1

MANILAK
AHA 1 /4

RIORDAN
AHA 1

ROSSMOOR, HARRY
AHA 1

SEAMUS
AHA 1

XOCHI
AHA 1 /2

ZETU
AHA 1 /2

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Re: Strange Combat Tales #1-4 and Amazing High Adventure #1

Post by MarvelBoy2002 » Wed May 17, 2017 11:17 am

In which handbooks those comic books was referenced?

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Re: Strange Combat Tales #1-4 and Amazing High Adventure #1

Post by vanhornluke » Wed May 17, 2017 12:00 pm

MarvelBoy2002 wrote:In which handbooks those comic books was referenced?
Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic contains an appendix of mystical swords, talismans, and tomes. At the end of the appendix is this:
For an unabridged listing of magic items, see http://www.marvunapp.com/list/appmagic.htm
If you click on the link for "Talismans of Mystic Power," you'll see:
Spear of Destiny Strange Combat Tales #4 (1994) Spear which pierced the side of Jesus Christ at his crucifixion, wielded by Thanatos of Earth-9309.
So, the Spear is listed in the appendix to the appendix, which we are specifically directed to in the handbook. And no, it's not saying that Strange Combat Tales takes place in Earth-9309, but just that the Thanatos from that Earth has a Spear of Destiny, too.

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Re: Strange Combat Tales #1-4 and Amazing High Adventure #1

Post by MarvelBoy2002 » Wed May 17, 2017 1:45 pm

Thanks for information =)

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