Marvel Team-Up #34-35
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #34, Marvel Team-Up #35
She's right, too. Nighthawk's problem was that he thought that the Looter/Meteor-Man should be given psychiatric help instead of getting put back in prison. But you still have to stop the guy first, whatever you're going to do with him.
In any event, meanwhile, Spider-Man gets attacked by the Looter again.
Spidey had totally forgotten about him, and the point of the Looter's attack was to tell Spidey to not mess with him, so it was a self-defeating action. Later, the Valkyrie shows up to help out, and after spouting some cliched feminist phrases...
...and some more fighting...
...she goes for his weak spot: his balloon.
Spidey says that he's come around to Nighthawk's way of thinking on dealing with the guy, but it seems moot to me. It's not like Spider-Man is in a position to recommend sentencing.
The issue ends with Jeremiah, the religious cultist, lurking goonily in the foreground.
The next issue begins with Dr. Strange wondering what has happened to the Valkyrie; it seems that she and Spider-Man have been missing. Strange decides that he therefore has to contact the Human Torch...
...who, "as far as I know, is the wall-crawler's only true friend".
The reason we are seeing a lot of the Torch as the main star in Team-Up at this time is that Marvel was also putting out Giant-Size Spider-Man, which was this series' sister book, so when that book came out, Marvel put their second most popular character (i assume, or third, after the Thing, who had his own team-up book?) here to avoid Spidey appearing in three books in the same month (it is so hard for me to even imagine that as a concern!). The problem is that twice now the schedule has worked out so that the Torch is teaming up with mystical heroes (Son of Satan and Dr. Strange) and mystical threats, which is an odd choice because it leaves the Torch with little to do.
The Torch agrees to help, and goes to check out the apartment the Looter was staying at. He finds an empty room guarded by a small boy who turns out to be under the control of Jeremiah.
Jeremiah zaps the Torch...
...and imprisons him next to the Valkyrie.
Someone needs to tell Jeremiah that not everyone looks good in spandex.
Meanwhile, Dr. Strange finds some demons attacking the Valkyrie on the astral plane...
...so he shows up to save the day. As you can see from his commentary and the big cross on his shirt...
...Jeremiah thinks he's an agent of God, but Dr. Strange tells him that he's really a mutant that is drawing power from his worshipers.
When Jeremiah doesn't believe him, Strange zaps him to a demon dimension, which seems a cruel fate for a guy that was generally misguided.
Not entirely comfortable with the Valkyrie playing a pure kidnappee role in issue #35, but that's kind of the nature of the Team-Up format, and she does get to at least complain about it in the end.
Only the Valkyrie is discovered with Jeremiah at the end of this story. It's not said what happened to Spider-Man, if he was indeed really missing. I should note that the Marvel Index takes the view that several weeks take place between the end of #34 and the beginning of #35, and that the reason Spider-Man isn't around is because he's in Florida for Giant-Size Spider-Man #5. The Index's reasoning on the time period is due to issues related to the calendar and the weather, things i don't pay the slightest attention to, but you can imagine that several weeks pass during the course of this story, if you like. But it's worth remembering that the reason Dr. Strange brings in the Torch instead of, say, his fellow Defenders, is because the Torch is Spidey's friend, which means the Torch got roped into a mission that had nothing to do with him.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is basically a continuation from Marvel Team-Up #33, except that Spider-Man appears here at the end of the Amazing Spider-Man #144-146 arc, whereas the previous issue took place during it. Nighthawk appears here directly from the end of last issue. The Human Torch appears here between Fantastic Four #157-158, after Marvel Two-In-One #9. I've got this concurrent with Giant-Size Spider-Man #5 based on the Index's placement; see above for more.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I find it astounding that Jeremiah was never ever brought back, being a mutant and all. You could see him as a prototype for Stryker in the first X-Men Graphic Novel.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 4, 2013 4:24 PM
It's probably because of how ridiculous he looks. He could always get a new costume, but any memory of his first appearance would instantly wreck his cred.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | May 4, 2013 4:34 PM
Please forgive my silliness here, but when I'd read comics as a child that featured Valkyrie, I wondered if she was blind in her right eye, hence the hairstyle. And if Marvel ever started another self-lampooning book like NOT BRAND ECCH, a story of Val and Jennifer Kale going bra shopping together might be in order.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | June 18, 2017 7:29 PM
Jeremiah looks like Dr Druid.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | January 3, 2018 5:47 PM
I've never thought the recurring use of The Torch in MTU was because he was Marvel's second most popular character- nothing in fanzines or letters of that era would seem to support that. More likely is that Marvel (or Roy Thomas) was hoping to cultivate him to that spot, no doubt remembering what a figurehead the original Human Torch was for Marvel/Timely during the 1940s'. These seem more like an attempt to make another marketable sales-draw character more than a reactive response to fan demand.
Posted by: Wis | January 23, 2018 8:19 PM
Per fnord's rules about stories being placed according to when they end, shouldn't this and the preceding MTU issue come before the Gwen Stacy arc in AMAZING? Spider-Man is looking for the Scorpion in one issue, then BETWEEN PANELS in that issue, runs into the Defenders and Meteor Man here, then goes back to the same issue of AMAZING. Since that story ends after this one does, this one would presumably be placed first.
Posted by: JP! | February 5, 2018 9:00 PM
My rule about placing things when they end is when an issue spans a long period of time. When issues occur entirely between panels of another issues, i generally place the "in between" issues directly after the "main" story.
And in this case the above is only applicable to Marvel Team-Up #33; as indicated in the Considerations, the issues in this entry take place after ASM #146.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 5, 2018 9:27 PM
I actually like the continuity between these stories. They manage to rotate Nighthawk for Valkyrie then Dr Strange and the Torch as well as the villains in such a natural, non-contrived way that it feels like all part of the same storyline.
Plus, the Looter is one of my favourite Ditko villains who never caught on. And I like the idea of exploring mental illness with a villain, even if it is only touched upon. great issues.
Posted by: kveto | February 6, 2018 4:20 AM
Fnord,fair enough. I just happened to be reading the applicable issues of AMAZING when at the same time I happened upon this entry and the "You're reading a Marvel comic, so he had a team-up between these two panels..." caption there was on my mind.
Posted by: JP! | February 6, 2018 12:03 PM
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