Marvel Team-Up #16-17
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #16, Marvel Team-Up #17
These issues are significant (relatively speaking) for introducing the very minor villain Basilisk...
...who i think is pretty cool and coulda been a contender, but never really went anywhere.
The guy was a thief who stole a gem that turned out to be the Alpha Stone, a powerful Kree artifact that fell to Earth along with its twin, the Omega Stone.
My interpretation of the stone is that it's got wish-fulfillment type powers, similar to a cosmic cube, but the thief didn't really have the capacity to use it properly. The poor fellow's name is Basil Elks...
...and i guess some (really creative) bullies in prison used to call him Basilisk, so when he transforms he's got eye powers that freeze people, similar to a basilisk of legend...
...which, rather than being just a terrible plot contrivance, i'm going to say is him subconsciously influencing how the gem works its powers.
Pretty soon, in fact, the eye powers are letting him do all sorts of additional things.
He can even fly, first very awkwardly by using beams from his eyes...
...and then much more efficiently, seemingly not related to his eye beams at all.
The stone even increases his intelligence, or at least improves his vocabulary so that he can engage in standard villain-speak.
Appropriately, the Team-Up guest for his first appearance is Captain Marvel. I think the Kree angle should have been played up more in his future appearances. The idea is that he's got (let's say) a limited version of a cosmic cube, but he's too dumb and unimaginative to use it properly, and isn't even aware of the true potential of his powers. This could lead to stories where things always seem to work out for him despite what should be insurmountable odds, or some more powerful cosmic villain discovering the true nature of his powers and manipulating him, etc..
Anyway, enough fan fiction. In the action story here, Spider-Man and Captain Marvel fight the Basilisk to prevent him from getting the Omega Stone, which landed in a construction site.
If Basilisk gets the other gem it's said that his powers will increase dramatically (like, the gems will merge into a full Cosmic Cube? Ok, ok; i said i would stop). Mar-vell gets the stone first, and it suddenly expands around him and then disappears.
Spidey lets Basilisk escape and goes to Mr. Fantastic for help.
This is after the FF broke up over what Reed calls a "difference of opinion over -- er -- a personal matter", which is, of course, Reed putting Franklin into a coma to prevent his mutant powers from activating.
Medusa is actually still around, but she's sleeping, and you do NOT wake up a member of the Inhuman Royal Family just because some maniac is in danger of joining together two powerful Kree gems that could threaten the world.
Mr. Fantastic traces Captain Marvel to the heart of the Mole Man's lair, and Basilisk makes his way there as well. The Mole Man is using the gem to power a big gun that he's going to tear through the surface world.
The Mole Man first assumes Basilisk is with the good guys, and then when he hears that Basilisk is there to take the gem for himself, he focuses his attack on him, which leaves the heroes free to try to rescue Mar-vell. But Marv escapes on his own by transforming back to Rick; he'd apparently been working on that all along but moving while trapped inside the gem was very slow (can we attribute that to the gem's influence too? Like, Marv and Rick always fight about whose turn it is to be trapped in the Negative Zone. So maybe Marv didn't want to transform back, which is why the gem slowed him down.).
Then all the bad guys seemingly die a fiery death in an overflow of magma.
One of the cool things about these early Marvel Team-Up stories is how Spidey gets to experience various aspects of the Marvel Universe for the first time. Here he is reacting to the Moloids.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after FF #141, before Daredevil #107, and between Amazing Spider-Man #128-129
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
The title to #16 refers to Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwock".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 30, 2013 3:44 PM
This (along with Starlin's Captain Marvel) was just about the point I started buying Marvel across the board. I didn't know anything about any of the characters, but I didn't care. I saw no need to reference the Cosmic Cube; in my short reading time, I'd already seen the Cube, the Gem of Cyttorak, and the Alpha and Omega stones -- I assumed there were all sorts of stones and crystals that gave you powers (which I thought was a cool -- and easy -- way to get powers).
I think these MTUs took place immediately after Captain Marvel #30, since Mar-Vell has just received his "cosmic awareness" (and the sparkles in his "contrail").
Posted by: Mike W. | March 15, 2016 9:44 PM
Basilisk was pretty cool and could've been a much bigger villain. But it's that rotten name Basil Elks.
Posted by: AF | March 15, 2016 10:16 PM
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