Marvel Team-Up #138
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #138
Beyond that, it's certainly an interesting and unique idea to have a villain reform. Unfortunately, Defalco's writing is so corny.
The plot for this issue is Spidey going up against the Enforcers.
The Enforcers are a team that has always been on the hokey side, but they won me over in their early appearances due to their effective team-work. This issue, however, introduces two new members.
More non-powered folks, and it kind of muddles up the team dynamic, in my opinion. On the other hand, there's no footnote but it turns out these guys were created by Defalco and Steve Ditko in Machine Man #16. The Ditko connection makes me feel better about adding these guys to the team; they certainly match the theme of non-powered guys with natural abilities that let them survive a few rounds with Spidey.
Also, i don't remember Fancy Dan being quite that short...
Anyway, Spider-Man is currently without his Spider-Sense due to a concurrent storyline in Amazing, so the Enforcers are able to defeat him. But the Enforcers' current scheme was affecting the business of the man that Sandman was renting his room from, so he gets involved...
...and the New Enforcers are defeated.
Spidey tries to take Sandman in, but when the Sandman takes a grenade for Spider-Man, Spidey decides to leave him be (half-assuming that he's dead, half-assuming that he'll pull himself back together).
This issue also introduces the Arranger, a middle-management guy working for the Kingpin. He's the one who hired the Enforcers, added the new members, and threw the grenade at Spider-Man at the end. He'll go on to be a fairly significant supporting character in the Spidey books and elsewhere.
There's a panel in this issue that is presented sideways due to the way Spidey is standing on a building. Even the dialogue is sideways. It's an interesting choice but a little hard to read so i'm not surprised we didn't see more of it.
Mixed feeling about this, as i said above. I like the Sandman's redemption arc, and there's some good moments like when the Sandman sees the impact that his crimes actually have on ordinary working people (like his landlord), but on the other hand the writing just isn't that great.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: See the Chronological Placement Considerations for Amazing Spider-Man #249-251. This takes place during Amazing Spider-Man #250. Joe Robertson is still City Editor, not EIC, of the Bugle in this issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showArranger, Carlos Cassada, Fancy Dan, Hammer Harrison, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Michael Cassada, Montana, Ned Leeds, Ox III, Roberto Cassada, Rosa Cassada, Sandman, Snake Marston, Spider-Man
As I write this message in August 2016, fnord12 is about to start up 1993. It seems strange that the Enforcers get two new members, suggesting they're upgrading their team, and then the new lineup disappears for years,. You'd think with five members instead of three, they'd start to be more of a match for Spidey, but nope; hiatus.
Posted by: mikrolik | August 17, 2016 12:11 PM
Harrison and Marston seem sort of redundant, though; Harrison hits hard, but the Ox is there already; Marston tangles you up, but Montana does that with more range.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | August 18, 2016 5:03 PM
Also, the original three members have distinct personality traits: Dan's the little guy with a big ego, Montana's the laconic rural type, and oX is a big dumb brute. Marston and Harrison are just standard-issue thugs.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | August 18, 2016 5:06 PM
Maybe future stories could have fleshed out Harrison and Marston's personalities a little. Or maybe they could have showed how the two new members working in conjunction with the original three improved (or hampered) their effectiveness.
But sadly, no. The Enforcers are in a hibernation that lasts over a decade.
Posted by: mikrolik | August 18, 2016 5:43 PM
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