Marvel Team-Up #79
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #79
Mary Jane follows Peter and a reporter from the Daily Bugle to the scene of the incident...
...and gets possessed by Red Sonja's sword and transforms into the barbarian warrior.
They manage to defeat Gath, in part because once Gath is out of the museum exhibit that mimics his time period, he is overwhelmed by modern society. Sonja is also affected by the bright lights and big city as well, but not as much as Kulan Gath.
Red Sonja does not speak or understand English in this story, resulting in some interesting and funny dialogue.
Spider-Man tries to get Dr. Strange at one point, but isn't able to escape.
Any time Mary Jane gets thought bubbles, i check and see if there's anything that contradicts the idea that she's known all along that he is Spider-Man. There's definitely a slight problem in this issue. When Peter disappears to investigate the strange happenings at the museum, MJ thinks "Oh, Peter--- no! It could be dangerous. And you're just not cut out to be a hero."
A few panels later, however, she sees Spider-Man fighting a bunch of monsters and immediately starts looking for a way to help, which you could say she wouldn't do if Spidey were just some random super-person and not someone she loved.
In an epilogue, Peter nearly becomes possessed by the amulet himself. To avoid its temptation, he throws it into the river.
In the opening panel, Peter mentions the fact that he "lost track of time at Cissy's". This is the first mention of Cissy Ironwood, a minor love interest for Peter that appears exclusively in Marvel Team-Up.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Amazing Spider-Man #207-208, which is way later than the publication date. This is based on the Marvel Index going into contortions trying to place this at a Winter Solstice. I find this an exercise not worth engaging in, especially since it causes the Index to come up with really contrived reasons why Peter Parker would be at a Daily Bugle holiday party and receiving a bonus from JJ at a time when he wasn't supposed to be working there. One thing i do agree with the index about is that Marvel Team-Up #82 takes place almost directly after this story, thanks to a newspaper article referring to the events here (and it's winter in that story, but summer in Marvel Team-Up #80-81. While i normally ignore the weather, having it be winter here, then summer, and then winter again is a bit much for me). So i've placed these issues out-of-sequence relative to Marvel Team-Up #80-81. Based on my decision here, this needs to take place prior to Peter getting fired in Amazing Spider-Man #193. Also takes place after Ms. Marvel #22.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showGlory Grant, J. Jonah Jameson, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Kulan Gath, Marla Madison Jameson, Mary Jane Watson, Red Sonja, Spider-Man
Kulan-Gath first appeared in the Conan-Elric issues of Conan the Barbarian, but there was no mention of the N'Garai there.
John Byrne seems to be drawing Red Sonja in the Frank Thorne manner as much as possible, including bugeyes and huge boobs.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 17, 2011 11:37 PM
Marvel no longer owns the rights to Kulan Gath. Gath was last used in the Dynamite comic publisher's Red Sonja series.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | December 27, 2013 8:21 PM
I had to go look at Uncanny X-Men #189-191 and make certain there was no actual inbound reference, because I remember being very confused reading those issues as to when Kulan-Gath had appeared before and when Spider-Man had faced him and was glad to read in your listing there that it doesn't actually directly reference these issues. Good to know my memory wasn't failing me.
That first panel of Red Sonja is some seriously awesome cheesecake.
Posted by: Erik Beck | April 15, 2015 6:55 AM
It's Red Sonja, she's practically cheesecake defined.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | April 26, 2015 9:50 PM
I know you don't track him, but Earth-616 Clark Kent appears in this issue as well
Posted by: cullen | March 3, 2016 11:23 PM
"John Byrne seems to be drawing Red Sonja in the Frank Thorne manner as much as possible..."
You say that as if it were a bad thing. ;-)
Posted by: Oliver_C | June 12, 2016 3:30 AM
Not having read these for years, I'd forgotten entirely about Cissy, who doesn't seem to have made many appearances, and thus was thoroughly confused (as I'm sure many contemporary readers were) by the splash-page reference. The whole thing seems seriously strange: not only that Peter would be a girl-in-every-port guy who had a girlfriend exclusive to MTU, but also that he would get involved with somebody else when he was already torn between Betty and M.J.
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | September 19, 2016 1:57 PM
note the conan refs:
Posted by: ROBERT INGRAO | June 1, 2017 8:34 AM
this issue is prob one of the best for Byrne & Austin art
Posted by: ROBERT INGRAO | June 1, 2017 8:35 AM
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