Monday, December 29, 2014

Arc of Triumph? Marvel Team-Up 33-35

Doug: How about this 3-parter, featuring our favorite Web-Slinger (and the Human Torch to finish it off) teaming up with individual members of the Defenders? Cross-marketing at it's finest! To be honest, if I did have these back in the day (I know I had the next issue, with the Monster of Frankenstein) I have very little memory of them. But I know some of our readers will fill us in! Oh, and by the way -- it never bothered me when Spidey got the day off and the Torch filled in.


Martinex1 said...

I also liked the Torch filling in. I read recently that in the early issues of Team Up, the Torch headlined every fourth issue or so. I did not know that Marvel intended him to be a regular. He even starred in the first few issues along with Spidey. I had always considered this a Spider Man book, but it was intended to mix it up a little. I liked issues 33 and 34 as I thought the Looter (eventually Meteor Man) was a decent Spider Man villain and I always liked Nighthawk (even though he was a Batman knockoff, I felt Kyle Richmond had enough of his own story and character to make him interesting; despite his wealth he had a lot of problems). But once this story got more mystical, it turned me off a bit. That magical aspect is definitely a Defenders thing and fits well there, but I thought it was a bit of a downer in this series. I liked the covers to these issues a lot. And I really liked the Team Up aspect in general. I liked seeing oddball characters like Nighthawk and Valkyrie headlining.

pfgavigan said...


I had to go to the Marvel data base to refresh my memory about these issues as I could barely remember them. Once I read the synopsis I realized why I could barely remember them.

In my opinion, which has no more nor less value than anyone else, these stories represent the very real decline of Marvel during the mid Seventies. Both Conway and Buscema were phoning it in.

Conway's story meanders across the three issues in a clumsy attempt to encompass the characters that he wants to use. In addition, he has a particular habit of standing in judgment of the actions of his characters, actions that he has them undertake, and finding them wanting.

Vince Colletta was given the unenviable task of embellishing Buscema's bare bones layouts. Buscema the younger would wind up doing the layout of four issues a month and his artwork suffered tremendously.

Yeah, I bought them. But I was putting books back on the old spinner rack more and more often at this time.

Yours in less than fond remembrance,


Logan M. said...

I enjoyed these issues but then again I was just a wee lad when they came out. It might be nostalgia that makes me still remember them fondly. If I remember correctly, the story even ties in the Gwen-clone events going on in Amazing at the time, even in only referring to them. I liked that when I was a kid because it made me feel like the Marvel Universe was a bit more real.

Also, I seem to remember the third part of the story barely tying in to the first two issues...different villian and such. I still have the issues and I'm still glad I do but again, maybe just because I remember enjoying the reading of them the first time...just like my Infantino-drawn issues of Nova and my Frank Robbins issues of Cap & Falcon...which I don't recommend for the art.

david_b said...

About a year after I stopped collecting.., they didn't excite me much.

I did like the alternating stories as well. While predominately a Spidey book, the virtue of Torchie sharing some level of co-stewardship (due by-in-large to their initial team-up issues) made it a hip idea back then..

Again, as others may lament the concept was perhaps far superior to the actual execution, it was still a novel Marvel Universe idea to me. For the few early Torch MTU issues I did collect, like the separate Hulk and Iceman team-ups, story-wise they were certainly enjoyable but underwhelming.

Anonymous said...

Boy Gil Kane sure was busy doing all those covers at that time!

- Mike 'not so busy' from Trinidad & Tobago.

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