Sunday, 10 May 2009

Marvel Team Up: Spider-Man & Iron Fist

Marvel Team-Up, to me, was always the runner-up to DC's far superior The Brave & The Bold. Both books were basically the same in intent, putting one of the company's big guns together with a different guest star each issue.
Brave & Bold, of course, had Batman, and it had, for most of it's run, a regular team. What made it even better was that team was Bob Haney & Jim Aparo.
Team-Up, by comparison, rarely seemed to have the same artist or writer from issue to issue.
At least for the first couple of years.
The book also followed a very specific formula. Unlike B & B, where literally anything could happen, each issue of Team-Up went basically like this: Spidey, due to some misunderstanding, beats up his guest star. This gives the kids who care about such things the answer to the question: " Could Spidey win against The Hulk? " ( or whoever ). The Wall-Crawler and his new pal would usually fight each other to a stalemate ( thereby actually not answering that question at all ) Then the heroes would realize they were being taken for mugs by that month's villain, get captured by said bad guy, and bust out & win the day in the last 3 pages.

Later on, of course, Marvel got as tired of this as we all were, and managed to get a few writer's to stay on the book, including Bill Mantlo, (who did that time travel one set in the Salem witch-trials, where Spidey also met Killraven & Deathlok) although Bill was teamed with Sal Buscema & Mike Esposito, two great artists whose work, when put together, inexplicably looked rushed and unfinished.
And then Chris Claremont & John Byrne took over, and Marvel Team-Up genuinely became worth buying again.
But for most of it's run, this book was a filler, something you bought after the stuff you really needed. If the guest star was any good. Like here, where the guest star's very good. This one, also, follows that formula rigidly, but the villain's cool, and anyway, it's Iron Fist. The guy with the most ludicrous costume ever. How can you not love it?


  1. That's one of my faves, too, Pete! I even wrote a fan letter to Marvel (never published) about that issue, 'cause I dug it so much. Good one!!

  2. That old "aging backwards" theme is popular isn't it? A theme tackled by such diverse writers as F. Scott Fitzgerald, JG Ballard, Martin Amis, Alan Moore and even Stan Lee (Amazing Spider-Man no. 75, Fact Fans!).

  3. Multi-million dollar movies that rip off 25 cent comic books. Gotta love 'em...

  4. I owned this comic as a kid. Always highly amused by the 'TOGETHER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME!' flash on the cover. Marvel didn't have enough dough to hire proofreaders in those days I guess.