|cover to MTU #146. 1984|
I didn't really appreciate Marvel Team-Up during its original run. Then again, I was just starting to read and collect comic books at the time. I did collect Web of Spider-man, Amazing Spider-man and Spectacular Spider-man back in the 80s when I was reading Spider-man fairly regularly but I thought Marvel Team up was not one of the core books and one I could skip.
Flash forward 30 or so years and I pick up issues of Marvel Team up every time I can. For anybody not familiar with Marvel Team-Up, the comic features Spider-Man teaming up with a different Marvel universe hero every issue. I am not sure why the book isn't called "Spidey Team up" or something like that, but be that as it may, it's usually an entertaining read.
This book comes from the Jim Shooter era of Marvel when he was editing the Marvel books, (roughly 1979-87) an era I remember fondly and I may romanticize due to it coinciding with my formative years of comic book reading.
Just look at that cover! Who could resist picking this book up and finding out who is doing this to Spidey and what the Taskmaster is up to in the story. Unlike most comic book covers, this scene actually occurs withing the book's covers. Cary Burkett's story is pretty good this ish, despite the fact that there is a glaring plot hole. I won't give away the plot but basically taskmaster and a weird but powerful villain named the Black Abbott are recruiting neighborhood gangs for purposes and schemes which are not clearly stated in the story.
Holistically, the entire story is well told bookmarked by the moral transformation of a minor character. There's plenty of action too as Spidey and Nomad (who was Captain American and originally created by Gil Kane, though the identity of Nomad by the time this ish came out was adopted by Cap's partner Bucky) team up to take down the Taskmaster and his client and foil their plans.
Spidey at this point was wearing his post Secret Wars and pre-Venom symbiote black costume and it is always fun to see the symbiote crawling in and out of Peter Parker's body. Artist Greg Larocque does a great job of depicting this and the rest of this comic so I have no complaints about his artwork.
My gripe is with the plot hole and it's a big one, one segment of the battle has Taskmaster hurling a sonic arrow at Spider-man. As fans of the webcrawler know and as detailed in Web of Spider-man #1 and other books, the sonic attack should have affected the symbiote and Spidey would have been left naked in the middle of the battle! However, this does not happen so it's possible that Brukett was not aware of this drawback from the suit at the time this comic came out. The editors in the Spidey offices failed to catch this.
The rest of the story is OK. I would probably give it 3 out of 5 stars for its entertainment value and that gorgeous cover.
- Marvel Team Up information (Comic Vine)
- Marvel Comics Chronology
- A Brief History of Nomad