Brian C. Saunders:
Marvel Team-Up annual #2
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up annual #2
This issue is the last we'll see of Cissy Ironwood, Peter Parker's sometimes Marvel Team-Up girlfriend. Too bad, because she's pretty impressed with his lack of wimpiness.
In fact, looks like the relationship was going to go a lot further if it wasn't for the untimely arrival of the Soviet Super-Soldiers.
Maybe it's because of the wimp comment, but for once Peter actually decides to fight back a little even though he's out of costume.
I like this. Having a secret identity doesn't mean that you have to completely fold when faced with threats while in your civilian clothes. As long as Peter doesn't start climbing walls or shooting webs, to the average person he's just going to look like someone that knows how to fight.
But despite his efforts he is tossed aside, and Cissy and her father, a prominent scientist, are kidnapped.
In the aftermath, Peter was held for questioning by the police at the Ironwood household, and while he was there he saw some of Professor Ironwood's notes and saw that he was working on an anti-matter equation that could be weaponized. So he took the info to Mr. Fantastic, who is suffering from a flu.
I like that Reed is impressed with Peter figuring the equation out, but i don't know why Spidey doesn't want to take credit for it.
Peter had slipped a spider-tracer onto Cissy so that he finds her when he gets close enough. Mr. Fantastic figures out a way to track Darkstar's Darkforce energy and lends Spider-Man the pogo-plane and some nifty wing gliders.
I guess the Invisible Girl wanted to stay home to take care of Mr. Fantastic, and the rest of the FF weren't around. Spider-Man himself says that he's really "local talent" and isn't used to the "world saving" stuff. Darkforce will also wonder why the US government doesn't send "every super-hero they could lay their hands on" considering the stakes involved. But at least Colonel Alexei Vazhin of the KGB has also recruited the Hulk to help out.
It turns out that the Soviet heroes have been duped by a rogue agent, General Nikolai Kutzov. They are under the impression that the US is going to launch a nuclear attack and only Professor Ironwood's bomb can stop it.
With the Hulk on your side, you'd think even the Soviet super characters would be no problem, but Vanguard's powers pose a unique challenge for the Hulk.
Although it becomes increasingly more difficult for Vanguard.
Spider-Man, in the meantime, defeats Crimson Dynamo with a rock, and then, in another scene i like, tries to reason with Darkstar, since he knows that she used to be a Champion.
The Hulk's battle with Vanguard eventually results in a landslide, effectively ending the fight and letting Spider-Man get to General Kutzov. Who apparently has Kingpin level strength.
Not sure if that means he's really super-strong or just peak human-ish. Spidey is able to knock him out pretty quickly. But that doesn't end the problem, because Professor Ironwood's anti-matter device has already been activated.
I feel like Banner is being overly familiar here. I don't see him calling Spider-Man "Spidey".
To prevent the detonation, Spider-Man has to goad the Hulk into keeping the matter and anti-matter whatzits apart...
...and eventually throw them into space (where i guess it's ok for matter and anti-matter to touch; i have no idea if the science of any of this makes sense).
The Hulk did not appreciate being goaded (happens to the poor guy all the time), but luckily he turns back into Banner.
And now queue up the happy ending, right? Not quite. Colonel Vazhin shoots Cissy's dad.
Professor Ironwood is actually ok with that, because he knows that people would just keep coming to him for information on the bomb if he lived. He says that he was years ahead of any other scientist, so no one else will be able to replicate his experiment (although Reed Richards has his notes. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!). Cissy says nothing as her father dies, and this works out to be her last appearance.
A few nice moments in an otherwise standard but decently done story. I liked seeing Colonel Vazhin, a character that appears in a few of Claremont's X-Men issues without a lot of development. I think his glasses are a little weird; if the dude is the Soviet Nick Fury, let him own it, eyepatch and all.
Quality Rating: B-
Historical Significance Rating: 1
Chronological Placement Considerations: A note in Marvel Team-Up #90 indicates that this takes place after that issue, presumably because she's on a date with Peter and showing no indication that her father recently died. I'm placing this after Marvel Team-Up #90 and a few other Team-Up appearances, and therefore in the same break in the other Spider-Man titles as those Team-Up issues. For the Hulk, i've got this between Hulk #243-244, during which time he also has a large number of Defenders appearances. So this is also between Defenders #77 (Hulk fights a Shmoo) and #78 (Hulk returns to Dr. Strange's house). For Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, i have it in a large gap between Fantastic Four #214-215 (FF #205-214 being a large space epic).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showCissy Ironwood, Colonel Alexei Vazhin, Crimson Dynamo V, Darkstar, Hulk, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Spider-Man, Vanguard
Note that this issue is the first ACTUAL appearance of Colonel Vazhin- as opposed to the robot we saw in Uncanny X-Men 123.
Posted by: Michael | February 26, 2015 7:40 PM
First published appearance, because he does appear in the back-up in Classic X-Men #29, which, probably not coincidentally, reprints UX #123. He's not a robot there, right?
Posted by: fnord12 | February 26, 2015 7:54 PM
I was legitimately shocked by the ending when I first read this one. This stands out to me as one of the better Marvel Team-Up stories.
Posted by: TCP | February 28, 2015 1:26 PM
Actually, I don't blame Colonel Vazhin for going patchless. If he has to wear glasses, which I assume he does, why bother with a patch? He's just not given the same flair as Nick Fury gets. If you watch Airwolf, the character of Archangel wears the same type of glasses, but he gets all white costumes to pull it off. Vazhin gets a cowboy hat in this issue.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | June 17, 2016 5:37 PM
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