This is the 250th Comic Book Reviewed on Bronze Age Babies
Marvel Team-Up #70 (June 1978)
"Whom Gods Destroy!"
writer: Chris Claremont
artist: John Byrne
inker: Tony Dezuniga
Karen: Welcome to the second half of our tag-team review of a wonderful Marvel Team-Up extravaganza. I remember this time period as when MTU was absolutely required reading. The Claremont and Byrne team could do no wrong -X-Men, Iron Fist, and MTU were all outstanding. The cover of this issue says, "The Marvel Bullpen Proudly Presents This Month's Outstanding Achievement in Comics Art!" and that's not hyperbole. This is a fantastic-looking book -and I say this despite the fact that I don't think Tony Dezuniga was a great inker for Byrne. His inks are heavy, sometimes even muddy -I think he worked with a brush, not a pen -and I feel like a lot of detail gets lost. I would have loved to see this issue inked by Terry Austin. But even so, it's still full of dramatic, powerful images.
Karen: In the last issue which Doug so ably reviewed, we saw the Living Pharaoh become the humongous Living Monolith. We start the second half with the Monolith stomping around New York. Spidey mouths off to him and he sends the web-head literally flying. Luckily for Spidey, Thor is cruising by and catches him. Spidey relates his tale about the Monolith and Havok, and the thunder god decides to deal with this so-called god. Claremont does a great job getting Spidey and Thor's voices right.
Karen: Thor gives the Monolith a hammer to the face, but it just ticks him off and he back-hands the son of Odin into the next block, smacking him through a storefront. Thor realizes that this guy is no joke, comparing him to the Destroyer or Thanos! But still, a god's gotta do what a god's gotta do, so he heads back into the fray.
Karen: Byrne kicks it into high gear here, with Thor and the Monolith unleashing power on a truly magnificent scale.The coloring (by Phil Rache) also helps intensify the experience -you can feel the heat coming off the pages.
Karen: In the meantime, our pal Spidey is using his noggin to try to resolve the situation. He figures that if Havok is freed from the cylinder he's trapped in, the Monolith will lose his power source. He tells Thor this, and the thunder god sends Mjolnir streaking towards the imprisoned Havok, when the Monolith laughs and reveals that the cylinder is booby trapped, and if Havok dies, he'll retain the power forever. OK, I have to admit this part confused me, as I thought he drew his power from Havok, but this story is so exciting, I decided to just roll with it. Realizing the error of his deductions, Spidey tries to stop Thor's hammer by changing its path with a webline. He's successful in diverting it -but then gets dragged along behind! This was a fun comical touch. Some nice dialogue here from our two heroes:
Thor: Spider-Man, methinks thy knack for the arts of war doth rival that of my comrade Volstagg.
Spidey: I don't know why, but I get the feeling I've just been insulted.
Karen: At this point Thor's had just about enough and he sends the giant hurling into New York Harbor. The Monolith surfaces and grabs a tug boat -and miraculously, the entire crew manages to bail out in time -and he throws the boat at Thor, who smashes the ship quite spectacularly. The thunder god then lives up to his title as he whips up one heck of a storm. Byrne did a great job of depicting the power and fury of this tempest. I've tried as best I could to include this two-page spread, but unfortunately my scanner bed cuts off some of the action. But I think you can still see why it is praise-worthy.
Karen: Spidey sees Thor engaging the Monolith and decides to again try to free Havok. He easily takes out some of the Monolith's goofy-looking henchmen, and then goes about using his spider-sense to try to disarm the booby trap. This was a pretty innovative use of that power -I don't think I recall him doing anything like this before. Spidey pulls the right wire to disarm the trap and open the cylinder, pulling the ankh from around Havok's neck, and suddenly the mutant hero is free -and mad as heck! His power fires up. At about the same time back in the Harbor, the Monolith has taken Thor's best shots and is about to reciprocate (Byrne does a nice Kirby-Krackle effect here) when all of a sudden, he stops and shudders -and disappears! When Havok awoke, the Monolith reverted back to his human form -and Thor's vicious storm blew him away! Thor searches for the man but doesn't find him. He returns to check on Havok. As the heroes are recapping the situation, Havok realizes that he doesn't know what happened to Lorna Dane! Distraught, he says he has to get back to Muir Isle. The thunder god promises to get him there. It's worth noting that at this point in time, the Avengers had been grounded by the government, but Thor says Tony Stark will help them. With that, Thor and Havok fly off, and Spidey waves good-bye.
Karen: This was just pure unadulterated fun. Nothing too heavy or serious here; just a straight-forward adventure story. What makes it great is the awesome art and the pitch-perfect depiction of the characters. This is just a perfect example of what made comics so much fun back in the late bronze age.