Super-Villain Team-Up #16-17
Issue(s): Super-Villain Team-Up #16, Super-Villain Team-Up #17
They're using their slaves to try and create another cosmic cube, with the help of Arnim Zola.
The Red Skull realizes that they're going to fail at creating the cube, and instead tricks Hitler, who he knows is going to betray him, since only one person can use the cube, into getting trapped in the cube's containment shell.
When SHIELD attacks, the Red Skull has his island covered by a gigantic adamantium shell.
SHIELD counters by destroying it with the Overkill Horn.
Gratuitous uses of adamantium like this lead to the concept of secondary adamantium being introduced in the first series of Marvel Handbook's Book of Weapons (this instance and the FAUST super computer are mentioned in that entry).
In a flashback, it is shown that after the Human Torch and Toro killed Adolf Hitler in his bunker, he transferred his mind to a clone body created by Arnim Zola.
Peter Gillis does a great job with characterization in this story with no super-heroes.
Gillis also sneaks in some Parliment-Funkadelic references. A founding member of AIM named George Clinton, brought to the Red Skull's island under duress to help with the new Cosmic Cube...
...and a shield agent named William Collins, leader of the Bootsy Squad.
George Clinton will be referenced again in Captain America annual #7 but i believe we won't hear from Bootsy again.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Issue #17 was published over a year after issue #16 but it is a direct continuation.
Continuity Insert? N - eh, sort of, thanks to the weird delays in publishing.
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): show
The body with the purple helmet and yellow torso is "Nazi X", a body containing a Hitler brain clone in some of Jack Kirby's last 1970s Captain America issues. He was only called Nazi X in the story title, not in the actual story itself.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 3, 2011 11:31 PM
The supposed reason why Marvel revived this title at all was to prevent DC from copyrighting the term "super-villain" off its own "Secret Society of Super-Villains" book. Originally #16 was to reprint the Dr. Doom/Red Skull battle from Astonishing Tales #4-5.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 26, 2012 5:14 PM
Those issues were reprinted in SVTU #15.
Is this when the Great Hyphen Agreement took place?
Posted by: fnord12 | August 26, 2012 5:49 PM
It may have been when it started, but probably didn't conclude until some years later. In the late 1978-mid 1979 period, DC was trying desperately to recover from having its line cut in half due to the DC Implosion. DC's owners at Warners weren't really eager to spend a lot of money on things like lawsuits(or experimentations in format or inter-company crossovers) until late 1980 after the New Teen Titans became a hit.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 26, 2012 10:43 PM
There was supposed to be a #18 in 1982, but it got changed to Super-Villain Classics with the Galactus origin.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 27, 2012 8:08 PM
"Gratuitous uses of adamantium like this are what led Kurt Busiek to create the concept of secondary adamantium."
-You say this again and again whenever adamantium gets tore up in an old story, and I wonder if you know something I don't - the concept of secondary adamantium goes all the way back to OTMU, though I think Busiek was the first to actually mention it in a story a decade-and-a-half later.
Busiek was writing PM&IF a the time of the first edition of the Handbook ande did write a lot of the PM&IF entries, so I guess it could have been his idea, but I would have guessed Gruenwald, absent any evidence to the contrary.
Posted by: BU | July 19, 2014 4:15 PM
Thanks, BU. I never knew that the concept was introduced that early. I remember when Busiek introduced it in an actual comic for the first time he had to spend some time on the racmu message boards justifying it, so i assumed he had come up with it. But thanks to your comment i found it in the Marvel Handbook, in the Adamantium entry in the back of the Book of Weapons issue. I've updated my entries in a few places on the site to reflect that.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 25, 2014 2:28 PM
[shrugs] The benefit of a misspent youth... I loves me some OTMU.
Posted by: BU | July 26, 2014 4:48 PM
I have to send this issue to George Clinton & Bootsy....they would love to know they are comic book heroes (although they did create their own comic book characters in Sir Nose, Rumpofsteelskin, Bootzilla, Starchild, etc, etc......) P-FUNK RULES!!!!!
Posted by: David Salvitti | September 22, 2015 6:31 PM
What does OTMU stand for? When I google it I only get the name of one of the Watchers, which I assume is an homage to whatever this is.
Posted by: Andrew | November 22, 2015 6:29 AM
It really should be OHOTMU: Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe.
Posted by: Thanos6 | November 22, 2015 7:13 AM
Much as I like Peter Gillis's work elsewhere, this story always struck me as a an example of "Nazisploitation," especially with the villains torturing the female Israeli commando and branding her with the SS symbol. The narrator invoking the concentration camps doesn't help either, not when it's sandwiched amid cutesy pop-culture references and G.I. Joe-Levels actions cents involving magic metals and hypersonic bullhorns.
Comic-book Nazis are honestly difficult to write without lapsing in to sheer bad taste; play them too cartoonishly, and they trivialize the war; invoke the real horrors of Nazism, and a standard superhero plot resolution seems equally trivializing.
The Indiana Jones films just about get away with it by effectively having God come down and smite the Nazis in the end, but ending this with the Red Skull sticking Hitler's brain into a cube and gloating over it all just doesn't play well for me.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | September 17, 2016 1:01 PM
There almost certainly wasn't a "publishing delay" issue; some lettercol somewhere (I know, I know) responded to a letter that praised Gillis's writing on a fill-in and asked that he be given a regular series by saying something like "Pete already has a regular series, he writes Super-Villain Team-Up! Sure, it only comes out once a year, but…" , which seems to imply that the scheduling is deliberate.
And so the copyright-blocking issue was probably the reason for this. Of course, younger me had absolutely no idea why this was happening, and it was pretty frustrating, as I'd always enjoyed SVTU. Oh, well.
Posted by: Dan Spector | June 14, 2017 2:23 PM
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