Marvel Team-Up #144
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #144
This was also possibly the first time i'd seen Spider-Man's new costume, and it was pretty cool.
Basically we have the return of the White Dragon, who is taking over Chinatown's gangs.
Peter Parker's old friend Phillip Chang is supposedly the one guy who can beat the Dragon, but he's sworn off fighting. Luckily Spider-Man and Moon Knight are around, and the Dragon is discredited when it's revealed that he's an agent of the Kingpin.
It's a simple story and i liked it a lot at the time. Reading it now, i'm a little disappointed in the treatment of Phillip Chang. In his very first appearance it was shown that he knew a little kung-fu, but since then he's just been a regular guy - a science major and a friend of Peters. Now all of the sudden he's like this super-fantastic martial artist with a tragic past.
There's also that thing you see a lot in comics with Asian characters, where they go on a bit about honor and outsiders and stuff.
It's really not too bad and the main offender is actually working for the White Dragon and just throwing that stuff out as excuses to get rid of Moon Knight. I'm just a bit sensitive to it.
Oh well. I still thought this was pretty good. Spider-Man actually has a bit of a blind spot in this issue. Coming from the "with great power comes great responsibility" philosophy, he can't comprehend Phillip's decision not to fight. Moon Knight, who's trying to redeem himself after his previous life as a mercenary, is much more sympathetic. You know, that's really great characterization.
I also love that there's a guy in the Dragon's gang who's got a hook for a hand. No comments on it. Just a dude with a hook hand.
There's a reference to Spider-Man being exhausted, which we've been seeing in the regular Spidey books as well. We'll eventually learn that Spider-Man's costume has been taking him out for nighttime web-slinging while he's sleeping.
I also really like the art in this issue. I'm not usually a big fan of Greg LaRocque; i especially didn't like his Power Man & Iron Fist issues. Is this pure nostalgia or is there really something to this issue?
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place after Spider-Man's battle with the Red Ghost and his Super-Apes in Amazing Spider-Man #255.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBetrand Crawley, Betty Brant, Frenchie, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Moon Knight, Phillip Chang, Spider-Man, Venom Symbiote, White Dragon
im in the same boat. a lot of nostalgia for this issue. but i liked the contrast in philosophies between the two heroes. also that Phillip was able to maintain his principles. but i agree its hard to be balanced with these nostalgic issues
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | August 15, 2011 4:36 PM
Don't sell yourself short. Anyone who recognizes the awesomeness of Secret Wars clearly knows a good comic when they see one.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 15, 2011 9:20 PM
The very best issue of Marvel Team-Up's latter run, though the terrific final issue's a close second. I was just at the age where I really appreciated Spider-Man meeting and introducing me to a myriad of Marvel characters. It left me deep in thought...I read it so very many times! White Dragon looked cool...I happened to have been given ASM #184 for Christmas two years before so I was intrigued to see those characters picked up. I'd only seen Moon Knight in an earlier ASM that I read at the store (I rarely bothered my parents to buy these for me until I could finally afford them), the creepy coffin cover on #222. This appearance really does spell out all that makes him cool! The next issue, from the villain's viewpoint, ain't half bad, either.
Posted by: Cecil Disharoon | July 4, 2014 12:18 AM
I also wrote Marvel my very first fan letter for this one, including my craptastic drawing of Moon Knight's giant head, I think on the envelope, telling them "thanks for a great ish!" :-D
Posted by: Cecil Disharoon | July 4, 2014 12:19 AM
So funny that this was your first issue of Tea m Up. This was my first Spider Man comic. My older brother bought this for me along with X-Men #184 to impress some girl that he liked. Which was also my first XMen comic....hahaha
Posted by: Mquinn1976 | October 2, 2017 7:09 PM
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