Marvel Team-Up #59-62
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #59, Marvel Team-Up #60, Marvel Team-Up #61, Marvel Team-Up #62
After confirming that neither Iceman or the Human Torch were around, Spider-Man realizes it could be the villain Equinox, and that turns out to be the case.
Equinox is actually something of a sick child who was caught in his father's lab explosion. He seemingly kills Yellowjacket...
...and Spider-Man and the Wasp end up battling him with Equinox's mother in tow at the Baxter Building (the FF are not home, but the Wasp uses her Avengers clearance to get in).
The Wasp exhibits extra strength and powerful stingers in the battle.
It turns out that Yellowjacket has been increasing his own power levels, and he's also been secretly experimenting on Janet as well (!). When Yellowjacket seemingly dies, it triggers adrenaline levels in the Wasp that activate her power increase. This is a fairly significant development for the Wasp, whose power levels barely qualified as a nuisance previously, and i'm surprised to see that it would occur in Marvel Team-Up and not the Avengers, although i'm not surprised to see that it was done by Claremont, who in general does a commendable job creating strong female characters and updating the 'mistakes' of characters from the 60s. The one unfortunate thing about this story from that perspective is that Yellowjacket does basically come back to 'save the day' in the end.
Pym has been working in the lab, but both he and Janet seem to be on a leave of absence from the Avengers, confirming that this takes place after his break-down in Avengers #162, although he has recovered way too quickly, in my opinion, possibly why he's now tinkering with his wife's genetic make-up without her permission.
While at the Baxter Building, Spider-Man accidentally opens up a compartment that was storing a device that kept the Super-Skrull prisoner. After Yellowjacket and the Wasp leave, the Super-Skrull attacks, knocking Spidey clear out of the building.
He is rescued by the Human Torch, who had just been returning home. Spidey thought he was attacked by the FF, so there is a brief period of confusion, but it doesn't go into the full blown Misunderstanding Fight, which was a relief (between Equinox and the Super-Skrull, i was sure there was going to be something along those lines, but Claremont avoids the cliches).
Spidey and the Torch team-up but are no match for the Super-Skrull. It is nice to see him depicted so powerfully.
The Skrull is after the same Cavourite Crystal inside the clay statue that the Silver Samurai tried to steal previously, although the connection is not explicitly made.
The Torch is critically wounded in the battle with the Super-Skrull, but luckily Ms. Marvel enters the fray.
The fight is actually won, however, when Ms. Marvel is able to figure out how to cut the Skrull off from the power-enhancing beam sent from the Skrull homeworld. Even jammed, it's said that most of his "artificial" powers have over the years turned into "real" ones, so he's still more than formidable. So Ms. Marvel waits until the excess energy from the beam charges up the warp matrix capabilities in the Cavourite Crystal, and then kicks the beam back on and causes the Skrull to warp away.
Overall, this was a really fun romp through the Marvel Universe, enhanced by Claremont's great writing skills and excellent art by John Byrne, who is back on MTU starting with this run after leaving for a bit with Mantlo after issue #55.
Ms. Marvel is interesting in this arc, displaying a Kree hatred for Skrulls that she doesn't really have any control over and, as Ricardo notes in the Comments, showing technical knowledge that should be beyond Carol Danvers' level. We also see her explicit feminist side in the sense that when Spider-Man first catches her after a hit from the Super-Skrull, thinking she's Captain Marvel, he says, You're a girl!", and she responds, "The term is 'woman', friend. But you've got the right idea.".
Police Captain Jean DeWolff, who first appeared under Bill Mantlo's Marvel Team-Up #48, is starting to get much more prominent play here. In general, the Team-Up book is feeling more like its own series and not just a supplemental Spider-Man novelty book.
Claremont dedicates issue #59 to Roy Thomas because it is the four year anniversary of Thomas giving Claremont his first writing assignment (on Daredevil #102).
Marvel Tales #194 has four pages out of order!
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Marvel Chronology places this between Avengers #163-164, between ASM #171-172 but after ASM #181, between FF #186 and 191 (i.e, during the FF break-up), and Ms. Marvel 10-11. The letters page for Avengers #165 confirms that this takes place after Avengers #162, and Iron Man says Pym is still recovering in #163. The Human Torch and Ms. Marvel appearances are context free (the Torch says the rest of the FF are out of town, but that doesn't seem to actually refer to anything specific), and can appear just about anywhere, so i'm moving this run up a bit to fit my Avengers placement. The Wasp says none of the Avengers are currently home and the lab is being rebuilt - possibly after the fight with Typhon in Avengers #163.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Issue #60 is reprinted in Marvel Tales #194; the rest are originals
Inbound References (11): show
The FF security laser bears a weird resemblance to the Kree laser that kills Jean Grey in X-Men #137.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 16, 2011 10:10 PM
The title to #59 refers to that 1969 Avengers issue with Dr. Strange in his blue mask.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 28, 2011 12:17 AM
What was up with the Matrix/ Cavourite Crystal inadvertently freeing the Shadow King when it was initially stolen by Team America from A.I.M.s Black Mesa facility, yet when they handed it directly to Charles it likewise re-established his psionic link with the New Mutants?
With the Shadow King connection, it is interesting that upon retrieving the Cavourite Crystal from the Super-Skrull in Marvel Team-Up 62, Ms. Marvel begins to feel “hungry” as a result of holding it in her hand.
The facets of the crystal further reveal to Carol a different aspect of her personality, kind of like what the Siege Perilous did for Dazzler in UXM 246. So was Claremont intending to suggest that after the death of his host body, Amahl Farouk, in UXM 117, the Shadow King’s essence was projected into a host in an alternate dimension?
It was also shown from the above Marvel Team-Up issue and Ms. Marvel 8 to be able to open up warp-space doorways, but to where was never revealed!?
Grotesk intended to use it to destroy the Earth while the Super Skrull claimed with it he could rule the stars. How and to what ends?
Was it perhaps part of the Madripoor Set?
How was it able to free the Shadow King from the astral plane to possess Karma, though?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 13, 2012 12:31 AM
I'm pretty sure the title of #59 is just another riff on Robert Frost's poem, "Fire and Ice", as the title to Avengers #61 was. I don't see any connection between the two issues, aside from the Frost reference.
Posted by: Dan Spector | February 3, 2013 1:36 PM
One small thing that bothers me is that Ms Marvel would have the scientific expertise needed to design and build the grid, since it was implied that it was her idea, not Spider-Man's. I believe she has air force training, but do we know if she has ever received any scientific training? I like to imagine that she had the general idea of making the grid and then Spider-Man explained (off-panel) what she would specifically need to do. These issues were enjoyable overall, Byrne's art in particular.
Posted by: Ricardo Lopez | June 21, 2014 3:35 PM
Looking at this for a while I kept thinking, I must have read this. I remember seeing the Super-Skrull actually portrayed as immensely powerful and battling Ms. Marvel. I had to go look up to realize that they put in the John Byrne FF Omnibus, even though it's two years before he took over FF. Still, good issues, especially for the art.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 26, 2015 11:41 AM
This was my first exposure to the Super-Skrull, and even now I think of him as a villain that even the most powerful of heroes should consider themselves lucky to walk away from a battle with.
Posted by: Thanos6 | May 3, 2015 9:17 AM
Why would anyone in their right mind want to prevent the Super-Skrull's departure?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | June 2, 2015 6:48 AM
Does anyone remember Carol Danvers having a romantic encounter during this storyline? In MS. MARVEL #16 Carol recalls this incident, noting that "before we'd even left the harbour I'd gotten romanced by an RAF astronaut trainee and punched out by the Super-Skrull". But I don't see anything about this astronaut trainee in my copy of MTU #62.
Do I have a copy that's missing a page or something? Or was Claremont referencing something that was intended to be in the story and was cut? It seems an oddly specific reference for it to be something that was just an off-panel encounter.
Posted by: Dermie | January 12, 2016 10:52 AM
You're not missing a page. I assume it's meant to be something that happened to Carol prior to the events of the issue. She was supposed to be on a vacation cruise when the missile hit. I agree that it's oddly specific.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 12, 2016 11:48 AM
Fair enough. Thanks Fnord.
Posted by: Dermie | January 12, 2016 5:29 PM
During her brief introductory appearance in #61, Carol is shown with a man identified only as Daniel and thinks to herself, "The wing commander's sticking to me like a leech," which prevents her from switching to Ms. Marvel. Also, Ricardo, her Kree scientific knowledge is implied to be considerable. In MS. MARVEL #5, she temporarily knocks out the Vision with a "field generator" jury-rigged from power cables under a bridge.
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | January 16, 2016 12:22 PM
@Nathan Adler: Maybe to keep him from coming back with an army of Skrulls and/or Super-Skrulls?
Posted by: D09 | June 3, 2016 8:13 PM
Was this the first time the Wasp was shown to have bioelectric stings?
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | January 3, 2018 3:57 AM
I was going to say, of course not, she's always had organic stings, they just got stronger in this issue, but looking back I'm not so sure. In early issues of the Avengers she clearly had mechanical stingers, because she sometimes forgot to pack them. If she was previously shown to clearly have organic stingers before, I can't find it.
Posted by: Andrew | January 3, 2018 9:45 PM
Her original stingers were compressed air weapons that Hank gave her in Tales to Astonish #57.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | January 3, 2018 11:07 PM
Also, it's not clear from this issue that Jan still doesn't need the mechanical stingers. It isn't until Avengers 167 that we see Jan use a sting when her arms are bare.
Posted by: Michael | January 3, 2018 11:31 PM
Luke and Michael, you're right. fnord doesn't have that frame scanned, but in Avengers 167 Jan's thought bubble lays it out very clearly: "It's a good thing Hank modified my Wasp-serum so that I don't need those clunky mechanical stingers any more!"
Curiously, the OHMU, published several years later, says "The Wasp wears identical weapons on either wrist... a modification over the original compressed needle air jet blasters... they operate on a principle known as bio-electric power which uses a series of neuronic-frequency step-up transformers to amplify the normally occurring nervous system energy field into a high-frequency 'stinging' beam." So clearly there was still some confusion on that matter within the Marvel offices.
Posted by: Andrew | January 4, 2018 6:22 AM
I've added a scan in Avengers #167 in the References. Thanks guys.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 4, 2018 11:35 AM
As I keep reading of Hank and Janet taking in strange serums or Hank *secretly* treating Janet to give her new powers, I can only think: the Pyms are *weird*.
Posted by: Piotr W | January 4, 2018 4:51 PM
@ Piotr W -
If you think they're weird here, you probably want to skip Ultimates.
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 4, 2018 8:07 PM
You might especially want to avoid the Ultimate versions of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | January 5, 2018 11:14 AM
I know that Hank chased Janet with a bug-killing spray in The Ultimates... Ugh. But I tend to avoid anything written by Millar, so I wouldn't be reading that series anyway.
In any case, even the mainstream Janet and Hank are far from a normal relationship. Even discounting Hank's violent episode, they experiment on themselves (sometimes secretly, as this issue shows), you also need to remember that Janet had Hank marry her in the middle of his first nervous breakdown... Seriously, these people should count among Marvel's most dysfunctional heroes, right aside the Hulk and Daredevil.
Posted by: Piotr W | January 5, 2018 11:18 AM
Ultimates didn't go in for subtlety.
My quibble with it was Captain America's 'This "A" doesn't stand for "France"' line. Someone who'd fought in WWII alongside the Free French and had probably been aided by the resistance on missions is somewhat less likely to make a slighting reference to the French than, say, a Fox News commentator.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | January 5, 2018 11:30 AM
Yeah, I know. As I said - Millar *rolls eyes*
Posted by: Piotr W | January 5, 2018 2:11 PM
Comments are now closed.
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