Characters Appearing: Cowboy, Georgiana Hebb, Honcho, Iron Man, Marauder, R.U. Reddy, Wolf, Wrench
Team America #9
Issue(s): Team America #9
So that night,
And so the team wakes up to find that the Marauder has left his bike for them.
This scene where Team America discovers the Marauder's bike provides some great insight into the status of Georgiana and Wrench's relationship.
As you can see, Georgiana and Wrench are sleeping in the same bed (this is all inside Wrench's RV). But when they get the happy news, Georgiana runs to Cowboy for a hug. And not just a quick celebratory hug. A long, lingering hug. Long enough for Wolf to leave the doorway of the RV and get into the little hand-jive routine with Reddy.
We'll be getting to the nature of the Marauder soon enough, but if you don't mind the spoiler, the basic idea is that he's a projection unconsciously created by Team America when they are in trouble. What happens is they actually transform a bystander into the Marauder. But this issue makes me wonder where the motorcycle comes from (and the clothes too, i guess).
Anyway, with the motorcycle, Team America is able to enter races and start winning again, and living the high life. Honcho even gets a date with Janet Van Dyne.
They soon attract the attention of "Mudge", the guy that runs Stark International' racing division. But then they put all their money into a new car, and that car blows up during a time trail (possibly because Wrench was distracted by the fact that Georgiana is cheating on him, or maybe thanks to sabotage by Mudge). Mudge approaches Team America with an offer to hire, and after some deliberations (seemingly settled when Georgiana tries to act like she gets a vote)...
But they find they don't fit in very well at Stark...
...and then that they were really only recruited because Mudge wanted to get his hands on the Marauder's bike.
That night, the Marauder sneaks into Stark International to get his bike back. That might have led to an Iron Man/Marauder conflict, but things are actually handled without the usual Misunderstanding Fight.
And as much as this issue could have used a battle between Iron Man and the Marauder to wake me up, it's nice to see some conflict resolution without gratuitous fighting. Ironically it's the guy who can't talk who manages to do better than every other hero that ever met another in suspicious (or not!) circumstances.
Tony Stark cuts Wrench a check for his ovoid brake idea, and the rest are compensated for their travel and expenses. And Stark says Mudge has been "disciplined".
This was a better than average issue. Team America having some money troubles at least creates a kind of conflict to over come (it's not specifically said that their failure in Egypt is the reason for their troubles, but since they are depicted as winning every other race they enter, it has to be why) and showing how Team America fail to fit in on a corporate racing team is a nice contrast too. Add to that the drama-free Iron Man/Marauder meeting, and you have a better than average issue. This is all relatively speaking, of course. I'd like to say that M.D. Bright's artwork is also a factor, but i'll be having nightmares of the shirtless Wolf and Reddy dancing around shaking their fists for a long time.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Iron Man #161-162, and that's where i've placed it. But what's important is that it take place before Iron Man #164-167, which ends with Tony Stark off the wagon again. What's never mentioned is that his having to appear in this book was a big reason behind that. This placement also occurs before Tony Stark dates the Wasp without telling her that he's Iron Man. Placing this around the time where we know Janet is dating again is good, and i think before she's taken advantage of by Tony works better than after, although either way probably works fine.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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