Originally posted February 23, 2009
It is good to be back after a long weekend without Internet. However, I did read a lot of comics while I was incommunicado.
I plan on catching up tomorrow especially with Merzah’s Powerman and Iron Fist thread. But first I read one of the comics I was lucky enough to win from PFJ at the Spidey Board and I wanted to share my thoughts.
Marvel Team-Up Annual 5
Just as the cover promises: Twice as many pages! Twice as many thrills.
This really was a fantastic Annual. The art by Jim Mooney was excellent and the story by Mark Gruenwald was up to his usual level of greatness.
There’s just something about the odd couple pairing of Dr. Strange and Spider-Man that’s always a lot of fun. I especially like the scene where they’re going into the car rental place and Dr. Strange changes their clothes in an instant.
Later when Spider-Man and Dr. Strange are driving, Strange goes to the astral plane and studies all about Set for some unknown amount of time, but returns to his body seconds later. I never knew Strange had this power. That’s the power I always wanted if I was a superhero!
There are just a few minor things. I wanted to talk about:
-The 3 pages of exposition about the history of the serpent crown really needed editor’s notes letting the reader know what comics these events happened in. Maybe today I could find the info somewhere on the web, but in 1982 when this came out, readers who wanted to catch up were screwed.
-The second minor thing is that in the gorgeous two page spread with the Dimensional Canons and hundreds of Set’s slaves, the cosmic cube is right in the gutter of the page and so it’s kind of hard to see it. This wouldn’t be a big deal, but Spider-Man mentions seeing it later, so the reader feels like a dumb-ass for missing the clue.
- The third thing is that I felt like Quasar was given short-shrift. Spider-Man takes him out with a trip-line, but I was waiting for an all out fight that never happened. There was a perfect opportunity on page 34, but instead Quasar is still unconscious. What a let down!
- The fourth and final thing is that the ending felt a little rushed. There was only one page for resolution after the climax of the story. But I know there are only so many pages and there was no fat to trim here.
Does anyone know if the final joke about Spider-Man’s costume was a subtle preview for his black costume? The Secret Wars was still 2 years off though. Were they planning far ahead in those days?