Marvel Team-Up #41-44
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #41, Marvel Team-Up #42, Marvel Team-Up #43, Marvel Team-Up #44
I didn't read these issues in any sensible order. When i saw the Dr. Doom issue in the quarter bins at one point, i snatched it up immediately, not realizing that Dr. Doom appearing in a team-up at this time wasn't such a big deal since he was the co-star of Super-Villain Team-Up. Then i got issue #44 and decided i had enough of this story, which is pretty terrible. So it was only much later that i added issues #41-42.
This is a time travel story involving the Salem Witch Trials. It definitely does something different with the Team-Up format, in the sense that in the first part there isn't a team-up at all. The Scarlet Witch gets possessed and Spider-Man has to go rescue her.
The Scarlet Witch is drawn to the "long-abandoned" castle of Doctor Doom in "the mountains of Central Europe", which is where Dr. Doom's time machine seems to be (this is another case where the location of Doom's castle(s) and the stuff in them seems to be muddled).
Anyway, she is drawn to the castle and then when she realizes she's in trouble she casts a spell that brings Spider-Man to her.
Spider-Man fights Cotton Mather, of the Salem Witch trials.
Spidey loses, and Cotton Mather takes the Scarlet Witch back in time to 1692. Somehow, when he gets there, the Vision is already there.
The Scarlet Witch is freed and gets to do exactly one thing - granted a very cool thing of summoning a horde of locusts - ...
...before getting grazed by a bullet and knocked out again.
The heroes are all taken to a prison where they are attended to by John Proctor and his wife. Spider-Man and the Vision escape, leaving behind an unconscious Scarlet Witch. They discover that Cotton Mather is actually working for a Dark Rider, clearly no holy figure, and then Mather thinks he's summoned the "Avenging Angel of the Lord", but really it's Dr. Doom showing up.
Doom's characterization is poor.
Soon there's a battle between Doom and the Dark Rider.
The Scarlet Witch shows up just to continue to be useless.
This is all mixed in with a straight retelling of the Salem witch trials.
As the battle goes poorly for the "heroes" (and Doom), Moondragon senses something wrong in the present.
Soooo, this happens.
And she joins in the battle.
Eventually the Dark Rider is defeated. Doom teleports away, and everyone else except Spider-Man goes home using Doom's time platform. Spider-Man sticks around to try to stop the Salem witch trials from proceeding, but fails to change history.
None of this is very good, and the depictions of the Scarlet Witch and Dr. Doom are especially poor. The dry Salem witch trial portions gave me flashbacks to having to read The Crucible in high school, except i'd rather read that with its allegorical commentary on McCarthyism than this. Certainly the reader complaints that this series was lacking in characterization weren't satisfied with this, but it is at least a continuing story where the guest star doesn't just rotate out in a contrived way (although they certainly rotate in that way). And for Spider-Man it doesn't end here; this is an opportunity to send him to a couple of alternate futures for some unusual Team-Up partners next.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: Spider-Man ends this story in the past, waiting for the Vision to send back the time machine for him. Dr. Doom fits in nicely here in the gap between Super-Villain Team-Up #4 and #5. The Avengers' appearance are pretty context free as long as it's while Moondragon is on the team.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
This story actually began in Marvel Team-Up #41.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 11, 2011 1:33 AM
Moondragon's cleavage seems to have been whited out on her splash page.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 19, 2015 11:18 AM
New maths: Spider-man + time travel = bad idea always
Posted by: kveto | December 29, 2016 5:41 PM
I think fnord is hard on this story. Sure, there's a lot wrong with it, but you have to admire the scope of it, if nothing else. In my mind this is the start of a long stretch where Marvel Team-Up gets really good, making the most of the format, taking Spider-Man out of his comfort zone by teaming him up with oddballs like Deathlok and Woodgod, and somehow maintaining continuity while constantly rotating the guest stars. With Claremont coming up, this book will stay good for many years.
Posted by: Andrew | December 29, 2016 7:26 PM
Just out of curiousity, who were the "official" team-ups supposed to be in each issue?
Posted by: Jon Dubya | January 26, 2017 3:35 PM
41: Scarlet Witch
Posted by: Andrew | January 26, 2017 3:41 PM
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