Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we take a look at Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s run on Marvel Team-Up!
John Byrne had already done a few issues of Marvel Team-Up by the time Chris Claremont joined the book as writer with issue #59, but together the pair (who had already worked together on Iron Fist) put together a very impressive year-long run, from #59 through #70 (1977-78).
They opened up with a strong two-parter with Spidey teaming up with the Wasp and Yellowjacket (against a fairly dorky villain, but the character work with the Wasp was well worth the read, even with the dorky villain).
John Byrne drew a very attractive Wasp (this whole little scene is handled beautifully by Byrne)…
The next story is a fun, action-packed adventure with Spidey going up against the Super-Skrull…
Chris Claremont did not waste much time before bringing in the lead character of the other comic book title he picked up when he began writing Marvel Team-Up, Ms. Marvel!
Speaking of bringing in other characters he had written (Claremont is one of the all-time leaders in Nepotistic Continuity), Claremont and Byrne return to their Iron Fist days with the next two-parter!
First, Iron Fist versus Steel Serpent…
and then, the next issue, the Daughters of the Dragon join the fight!
Man, Claremont and Byrne really got the most out of Marvel Team-Up – they knew that they were not going to be able to do a lot of advancement of Spider-Man’s plots, so instead they turned up the action (while advancing the characterizations of the guest stars) – and boy is the action awesome!
They followed with a two-parter adapted from Marvel UK, featuring (shockingly) another Claremont creation, Captain Britain…
This story introduced Arcade and his games of death. Here, Spidey and Captain Britain are stuck in a pinball machine of murder!
Next we take a break from two-parters for two one-off issues!
An interesting one with Tigra and Kraven the Hunter…
and then a particularly strong issue with the Man-Thing and the villainous D’Spayre, who makes his debut in this issue (D’Spayre works really well when it comes to bringing out Peter’s sense of responsibility – and how he strives to do what’s right no matter how he might be, well, despairing).
Finally, the run ends with a story involving the Living Monolith.
First, Havok gets involved…
and for their last issue, Thor joins the fray, and they clearly have a blast working Thor into the story.
Here is a clever little bit involving Thor’s hammer…
You know this run was well-received, because by the end of it, they were beginning to talk ABOUT the run on the cover of the comic itself! “The Marvel Bullpen proudly presents this month’s outstanding achievement in comic art!” shouts the cover blurb for this last issue of their run.
Their run WAS pretty darn outstanding!
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