I mean, if anything, team-up books SHOULD be standalone and not linked to the latest X-crossover.
I also feel that they are the perfect books to feature heroes and villains that aren’t getting exposure elsewhere. Elongated Man May not be popular enough to get his own ongoing comic, but he’s a perfect fit for a team-up book. The Batman books may have no plans for Firefly or Catman in the near future, but put them in a team-up book - and those of us who like them can see them.
Last Edit: Sept 21, 2020 6:42:00 GMT -5 by Deleted
Post by codystarbuck on Sept 21, 2020 11:10:10 GMT -5
Team-up books are fun and, occasionally, had significant stories (Project Pegasus, for example); but, even then, sales tended to rise and fall based on the guest star. So, an underutilized character might not make even a ripple in sales, depending on the story and artist. MTU had a couple of issues with Paladin, a character I always liked and wanted to see in a series; but, he never graduated beyond a minor guest star. Marvel Two-in-One didn't launch American Eagle into even a mini-series.
That was part of Shooter's rationale for ending the series and replacing them with new Spidey and Thing series, adding guest stars as the story required (or declining sales warranted). Thus, MTU was replaced with Web of Spider-Man and MTIO with The Thing.
I always enjoyed them and had many issues of MTU, MTIO, Brave & the Bold and DC Comics Presents. However, over the years, I have found my tastes were a bit different than the majority.
I have to confess, the team-up books I bought would depend on the guest stars.
I mean, who can resist a Rainbow Raider and Doctor Double X vs. Batman and Flash story? What sane person would? I also picked up a back issue a few years ago where Batman and Hawkman took on Fadeaway Man. Who could resist that?
I like Spidey, the Thing, Batman and Superman. So their team-up books had an attraction based on their presence alone. But I only had so much pocket money to spend. I remember seeing a DC Comics Presents issue where Superman and the Phantom Zone villains were the team-up. Hmm, not the biggest attraction for me. Superman is my favourite superhero, but the Phantom Zone villains weren’t a hook, not if I could spend my pocket money on Action Comics or Superman.
Also, I suppose if a team-up book was launched today, it’d feature a six-issue arc with the same two heroes for those six issues - and that wouldn’t appeal to me.
I always preferred MTU to the regular Spidey books, as the tone was lighter and more playful and you weren't hit with the constant whining that passed for soap opera. Spider-Man had some great stories; but, for much of the 70s, he came across as a big crybaby, who could whip up some electronic gizmo, with no money, and defeat a villain, but couldn't earn enough to pay his rent. It just never worked for me.
Hear hear!! I couldn't agree more. With MTU, I get to enjoy Spidey without most of the over-the-top bad luck soap opera stuff that turned me away from the regular Spidey books.
Thoughts: Pretty contrived but it gets by on personality and just enough comedy to make it work. I always preferred MTIO, since Ben made for a more fun character and the comedy was usually better written than MTU. Also, Ben is just a big lovable hunk a' rock.
I agree again. I like MTU a lot, but overall I preferred MTIO and I also, while Spidey's an excellent character (when there's not too much baggage), I definitely prefer the Thing.
Oh, and I love team-up books! One of the many great things about the Bronze Age.
Last Edit: Sept 21, 2020 12:04:09 GMT -5 by dbutler69
Post by codystarbuck on Sept 26, 2020 16:10:32 GMT -5
Marvel Team-Up #3
Gil Kane cover, from the period where the covers tended to look alike (to me), with the solid color border and the illustration in the center. I really never liked the look of these. Kane churned out covers in this era, as he went through a divorce and had alimony to pay. He wasn't proud of a lot of the work he did then, in interviews in The Comics Journal.
This is the last with the Torch as a regular partner. From next issue on, it will be a changing roster of guest stars.
Creative Team: Gerry Conway-script, Ross Andru-pencils, Frank Giacoia-inks, Artie Simek-letters. Colors and editor not credited. This was released in April of 1972 and, I think, Roy was E-I-C, at that point; but, I can't confirm what month of 1972 he took over from Stan. Every reference I have readily available just lists 1972. Given that last issue's credits said "Stan Lee-editor" and thisone just has "Stan Lee Presents," I'm gonna say this was when Roy took over.
Synopsis: Two African-American brothers (as in siblings, though they are brothas, too) argue down by the river (Matt Foley is living in a van, just a little ways down river)...
Given this is a white writer, in a comic published by a white-run company, for a predominantly white audience, it is no surprise that sympathy rests on the brother who is accused of shining the white man's shoes, while the more militant is involved with criminals. Iceberg Slim this ain't! In their argument, they don't notice someone floating in the river; but, Jefferson does eventually notice Morbius, "The (Code-Approved) Living Vampire." He dives in and pulls him out, thinking he is a drowning victim and them Morbius regains consciousness and pounces on him, to feed. Of course, the black guy dies first!
Meanwhile, the web-slinger is doing his things, when he becomes all fuzzy and misses a shot and starts to fall, until he catches himself. he feels like someone pulled a circuit or something. He tries to steady himself but passes out and tumbles onto a nearby rooftop.
Meanwhile, meanwhile, Torch is at the Baxter Building, watching Archie Bunker pontificate, with Ben. They are arguing, as Torch wants to change the channel, when they are interrupted by a call from the lobby. Ben lets the pretty lady come up and she faints as she exits the elevator, asking for Reed. Reed and Sue turn up and Sue ushers Ben out. Johnny, who had, er, stormed off, returns. The woman is Martine, fiance of Michael Morbius and she recounts his previous appearance. Torch recalls Spidey telling him about facing Morbius, the Vampire and goes hunting for the web head.
Morbius is now aided by Jefferson Bolt, who is the newest member of the Blackula fan club. Morbius gets all Shakespearian and flies off. Spidey stumble home and unmasks, and thinks about consulting Prof Jorgenson, who Martine mentioned. Ain't that a coinky-dink?
The two goofs meet up at the University and interrupt Prof Horgenson, who looks like Stan, with mutton-chops.
They consult, but Spidey says Morbius is dead. They are interrupted by a scream, as Morbius attacks a wino. Jacob Bolt just happens to be taking the professor's class, too. They find Morbius, after taking a drink of 80 proof blood and attack. Spidey goes ballistic and is about to kill Morbius, when Jacob tries to stop him. Jefferson turns up and leads a group of men in attacking Whitey (Spidey and Torch, when Morbius goes for Jacob, and Jefferson tries to interfere.
He gets swatted aside and Morbius escapes. Jacob finds his brother dead, after he lands against a rock. He wonders what happened, as we are told to buy next issue.
Thoughts: Fairly routine story, with Morbius turning up alive and Spidey having issues. Torch doesn't add a whole lot to thins, in this chapter. You could remove his panels and this would read like an issue of ASM, and a pretty average one, at that (compared to their previous meeting).
Andru's art ends up looking a bit Frank Robbins-ish, in parts. Don't know if that is because of Giacoia or what, as I don't recall things looking quite like this with Esposito. Then again, I haven't read extended run with his work, just sampled here and there (more Metal Men than Spidey, too).
I'd have probably put this back on the stand, if I had perused it in the day. Nothing inherently wrong with it, but nothing that grabs me, either.
Conway's dialogue between Jacob and Jefferson is pretty stereotyped. A couple of viewings of Shaft isn't going to make you sound authentic.
Post by tarkintino on Sept 26, 2020 16:45:46 GMT -5
I've always thought the panels of Spider-Man even being bothered by the fists of regular people sort of absurd. Conway may have wanted some conflict, but he had to have remembered that Spider-Man takes on people who could shrug off anti-aircraft missiles, so the blows of random men should not have him even dropping to one knee.
Post by codystarbuck on Sept 26, 2020 17:45:03 GMT -5
Marvel Two-in-one #3
Thing & Daredevils
and Black Widow, who doesn't get billing, because she's a girl and has cooties!
Creative Team: Steve Gerber-writer, Sal Buscema-pencils, Joe Sinnott-inks, Dave Hunt-letters, Petra Goldberg-colors, Roy Thomas-editor
Synopsis: Reed studies Wundarr, while Ben works out...
Let's see Arnold do that!
Reed says he is fine, just simple, as he has been in isolation. He theorizes that cosmic rays may have altered him and he is storing energy; but, it suddenly gets released and blows out a chunk of the wall, nearly hitting a nearby Daredevil, who is swinging by.
DD loses grip on his billy club and starts to fall, but grabs a nearby (lucky again) crane, at a building site. He swings around and bounces off a flagpole, like you do (unless you are The Tick, or anyone else). He lands on the pavement safely, if not gracefully and a policeman says something blew out of the ad scientist's lab, up in the Baxter Building. DD goes inside to investigate.. He can't activate the elevator and goes looking for the stairs, when Ben turns up to make sure no one was hurt. He takes DD up and Reed is busy trying to keep Wundarr frome xploding again; so, they go to retrieve his billy club. Reed gets it for them, apologizes and says he has a new suit for Wundarr that will stop the explosions; but Ben has to dress him. Whatta revoltin' development!
DD leaves and meets up with Commissioner O'Hara and his niece, Shanna. She says her father was murdered by the Mandrill, but his will stated his wealthw as to be turned over to one Hensly Fargus, who Shanna believes is the Mandrill. The Black Spectre, an armed group is somehow involved.
DD moves on and changes to Matt Murdock, to meet Foggy Nelson's previously unknown sister, Candace, for an avant garde play.
"Cap" is interrupted by "Adolf Hitler" who shoots him dead, says he is America and made her what she is today, then puts the Luger to his head and blows his brains out. Panic ensues. Matt and Candace are separated and Matt switches gear. He spots a Black Spectre goon and gives chase and gets karate chopped by a familiar hand...
DD recovers and "sees" (radar senses) Black Widow escaping to a craft seen hovering around Black Spectre incidents. He goes back to the Baxter Building to borrow the Fantasticar, to give chase. Redd is busy unveiling Wundarr's new duds (part of the agreement to keep DC from suing)...
DD helps himself to the car and gets caught by Ben, who isn't easily shaken off. DD quickly explains and Ben takes him up in the car and they chase the ship. They think it is a blimp until they land and hear a metallic clang. Ben steps off and finds the hull electrified and then clobbers it.
They break on through (to the other side....) and run into Nekra, Princess of Darkness, and the Black Spectre grunts. And, Black Widow. Chaos ensues, Ben tears open a bulkhead and finds a jungle room and some hooded dude, sicking grunts on him...
DD follows, tries to fight a mob, gets bashed in the head while Black Widow sheds tears. Meanwhile, Ben rips the hood off the leader and get mind whammied. They are dumped in the Fantasticar and sent hurtling towards the ground. DD wakes up and tries to remember Ben's control movements. He is able to stabilize but the Black Spectre ship is gone. We are told the story continues in DD #110.
Thoughts: I hated it when Marvel did that. Comic distribution in my area was spotty and I didn't have regular access. So, we are left hanging across the board. Black Widow is mind controlled, Nekra is ordering Black Spectre goons and their boss is a mystery. And, what the hell was the deal with the play? My guess is Gerber went to some performance art thing that was a pile of cliched nonsense, devoid of nuance; 'cause, that's what this was.
I was gonna say that an airship being used for terrorist actions seems a lot like Black Sunday; but, Thomas Harris hadn't even written the novel yet (the following year), let alone the movie come out (1977).
Gerber keeps using dirigible and blimp intermixed, and it is technically correct, though dirigible is more generally used for rigid airships, ie "zeppelins", which have a rigid keel and a metal skeleton, using gas cells as a lifting body. Blimps have no keel and use a single aerodynamic envelope to contain their lifting gases. Technically, a dirigible is any steerable airship, as opposed to a balloon, which can only travel in the wind. This metal ship seems more of a rigid airship, though the US Nazy did experiment with a blimp, with an aluminum shell, the ZMC-2
Like to know how a bare chest is integral to Reed's control suit, for Wundarr; but, maybe Sue sewed it. She is a bit flirty.
DD 109 featured the earlier incidents with Black Spectre, including causing a race riot at the Statue of Liberty and a Nazi swastika capping the Washington Monument. DD battles them and Black Widow is mind whammied by Nekra. Beetle was also involved, as Black Spectre interferes in on of his jobs.
In DD #110, Ben drops off Horn Head and goes his own way. DD fights more Black Spectre goons, unmasks one and finds that it is a female, with a weird, ape-like face marking. Nekra brings Black Widow before the boss, who flies off in an advanced plane. DD returns home to find the boos, who is revealed as the Mandrill, who relates that he is a human mutant, born of researches at Los Alamos. Nekra is an African-American woman, born an albino with vampiric qualities. They find each other and protect one another. Mandrill has power over women and Nekra projects hate and rage. They are trying to conquer the US, after Shanna stopped them in Africa. it ends in a battle at the White House, with DD, Black Widow and Shanna defeating the Mandrill and Nekra and Mandrill abandoning her to the authorities. She is taken into SHIELD custody. The airship is blown up, in a panel based on the Hindenburg explosion.
At least that had Gene Colan on the art, as the story is rather a mess, which is something I sometimes find with Gerber, on straight superhero stories. He's better when he can be weird and goofy, like Defenders and Howard the Duck.
The fact that this doesn't even conclude with Ben is a major misstep, in my book. Kind of proves Shooter's point about the team-up books and his rationale for killing them, in favor of new solo titles for Spidey and Ben.
Post by tartanphantom on Sept 27, 2020 0:41:36 GMT -5
Good God, codystarbuck , I nominate you for the "Iron Man" of review threads. The number of threads you manage to maintain and the amount of analysis you provide is staggering.
Some day I'd like to see a three-way no-holds-barred review thread "cage match" between you, shaxper and chadwilliam . All three of you have some really great review/synopsis/analysis threads. Keep up the great work.
Marvel Team-Up #3 This was released in April of 1972 and, I think, Roy was E-I-C, at that point; but, I can't confirm what month of 1972 he took over from Stan. Every reference I have readily available just lists 1972. Given that last issue's credits said "Stan Lee-editor" and thisone just has "Stan Lee Presents," I'm gonna say this was when Roy took over.
This might be correct, but GCD and Mike's Amazing World both have Lee as the editor of MTU #3, and Thomas as editor of #4 onwards.