Marvel Team-Up #53-54
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #53, Marvel Team-Up #54
This is the first Byrne art with the new X-Men team. The group shot is pretty nice but it's not totally in the classic Byrne style yet, and an inset picture of Xavier looks pretty bad.
On the way back they are attacked by soldiers. Spider-Man decides he wants to figure out what they are guarding, but the X-Men are remarkably incurious.
Spider-Man finds a town that has been wiped out by a chemical spill, and a fight between the Hulk and the obscure Bill Mantlo created-character Woodgod.
Woodgod is a Pan-like creature that has a child-like diction and refers to guns as "the pain". He's frankly not a very interesting character.
Eventually Spidey helps Woodgod and the Hulk free themselves from the soldiers that take them captive.
The issue ends with Spider-Man being launched into space in a rocket intended for Woodgod.
Nice art by John Byrne overall, though.
There's a back-up story in the Marvel Tales reprint for Marvel Team-Up #53 that depicts another adventure the X-Men had on the way home. It's by Barry Dutter and Vince Evans. They fight a character named Sunstroke, who is part of a group of Desert Dwellers that will appear in an issue of West Coast Avengers many years from now.
The twist of the story is that while the X-Men talk about how they won the fight due to their teamwork, whereas Sunstroke fought alone, it turns out that Sunstroke's Desert Dweller allies were actually helping him as well.
It's really a throwaway story, but it does serve the purpose of having Jean get injured again, in what was likely an attempt to fix the continuity error of the original Team-Up stories (as discussed in the entry for Uncanny X-Men #101).
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place directly after Marvel Team-Up annual #1. The X-Men are still here during Uncany X-Men #101 (see the Chronology note for that issue for details). The MCP places this between Hulk #207-208. Spider-Man is launched into space at the end of this issue and shouldn't appear in any other books until after Marvel Team-Up #55.
Continuity Implant? P - (The back-up story for Marvel Tales #262 has a new X-Men story that takes place on their way home from dropping Spider-Man off in Woodgod's town).
Reprinted In: Marvel Tales #262, Marvel Tales #263
Inbound References (2): show
Banshee, Butte, Cactus, Colossus, Cyclops, Gila, Hulk, Nightcrawler, Phoenix Force, Professor X, Spider-Man, Storm, Sunstroke, Wolverine, Woodgod
I suspect Woodgod may have been inspired by the title character in John Barth's "Giles Goat-Boy".
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