Tuesday, November 22, 2016

SHIELD - The Fixer And Mentallo Too!

The Fixer and Mentallo are two of my favorite Marvel baddies. This dastardly duo first get together following the downfall of Hydra and when we meet Mentallo, a former SHIELD technician who went astray and was removed from his position with the organization in the E.S.P. Division.

Mentallo wants to take revenge and to that end recruits the Fixer, breaking him out of jail. Mentallo's mind-reading abilities give him advantage, but Fixer's uncanny skill at making deadly equipment makes the pair something to reckon with.

The infiltrate SHIELD but are rebuffed and later kidnap Fury attacking him to a deadly atomic weapon. But eventually as it must they are defeated and sent off to jail once again. SHIELD's encounter with this deadly duo was a nice little triad of stories which served well to transition away from the heavy emphasis on Hydra.

Loved Kirby's designs in these issues especially the overall look of Fixer and Mentallo, two of Kirby's better designs. After casting about for an artistic direction Howard Purcell was brought in to tighten up Kirby's layouts for these few issues, though there's little doubt that Kirby's imagery is what makes these issues vivid.

One curiosity for me was the familiar look of the E.S.P. Division trio who are mostly seen in these stories hooked into the SHIELD equipment. They remind me mightily of New Gods characters Dave Lincoln, Claudia Shane and Victor Lanza who along with a fourth youngster named Harvey Lockman were saved from Darkseid by Orion in the debut issue of that series. 

When we first encounter that quartet, they are likewise hooked up to machines to explore their minds. 

More to come when the Satan Eggs fly.

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  1. If you're going to mention the resemblance of the ESP Division to Orion's human assistants, you might also note that the baddies appear to be wearing prototypes of Orion's Astro-Harness on the cover of issue #142!

    (By the way, I haven't commented here in a while, but please know I remain a faithful reader. You are continually sending me back to reread old favorites.)

    1. That's very true, the Astro-Harness is presaged here. And in a later installment we'll see the Evil Factory before it was dubbed that.

      I appreciate your support. Thanks.

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