Marvel Team-Up #101
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #101
Peter returns as Spider-Man and discovers that the woman is a robot.
I really like that bottom left drawing of Spider-Man. But there are an insane amount of words coming from Spidey in that top panel.
Kyle reveals that the robot was modeled after Mindy Williams, a former girlfriend that he thought he killed during an accident he caused while driving drunk. The robot invites Kyle (whose identity as Nighthawk is public knowledge) to return to the college in upstate New York where he and Mindy were dating. Spider-Man, sensing that Kyle's guilt over Mindy's "death" is similar to his own about Uncle Ben, decides to tag along. Don't ask me how Spider-Man web-swings to upstate New York.
When Spider-Man and Nighthawk arrive at the college, they are attacked by robots representing various factions of the 1960s - hippies, jocks, riot police - and then meet Mindy herself.
Mindy, it turns out wasn't actually killed; just paralyzed and paid off by Kyle's father to keep quiet. She used the money to make connections with AIM and purchase "the finest in Latverian robotics".
She now tries to kill Kyle in a recreation of the accident that crippled her. Spider-Man is able to get her to stop by accusing her of never having loved Kyle in the first place, just his money, because if she really had ever loved him she wouldn't do this to him. That works, but Mindy still isn't well. It's said that she is handed over to SHIELD, but this isn't the last we'll see of her.
The story ends with Nighthawk feeling like his experience with Spider-Man has helped him work through the guilt he's been carrying, but a back-up story drawn by Ditko says that he's relapsed into feeling guilty again.
However, by helping a crippled girl escape from a crumbling building, he again regains his positive attitude.
The return of Mindy Williams is a fairly significant plot point for J.M. DeMatteis' Defenders run, so this issue really serves the Defenders storyline more than Spider-Man, but making the connection regarding Kyle and Peter's guilt was a nice touch. That said, DeMatteis' writing is very verbose and heavily reliant on extraneous symbolism (the robots of the 60s?). Bingham's art is nice.
The back-up is pointless but it's certainly worth it for the curiosity of seeing Ditko drawing Nighthawk.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Amazing Spider-Man #209-210 and between Defenders #91-92 (this issue is referenced in Defenders #92, and it takes place while Nighthawk is dealing with his legal problems).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
SDS is Students for a Democratic Society, YAF is Young Americans for Freedom, left- and right-wing student groups, respectively. LSD is, well, not just a way of referring to "pounds, shillings, and pence."
Posted by: Walter Lawson | July 8, 2013 10:36 PM
The back-up's title is a play on the Elton John hit. As an adolescent I loved J.M.'s robots, counterculture references,and verbosity. It seemed very deep, with supporting characters touching upon pieces of the real world. By their time I found more of his Marvel work, I shared his Sixties, rock, and eventually, literary affinities. He was a big Gerber fan.
Posted by: Cecil | February 6, 2015 5:00 AM
This is JM's first Spider-Man story. My first of his Spider-Man stories is in MTU #111, his 2nd try-complete with Spider (story builder) God Omm. Here we have more of a Kyle Richmond tale, revisiting what is I'm sure a big favorite Defenders storyline for its later writers: The Headmen! Callbacks to the Origin of Kyle Richmond- and yet another story where some menace comes out in the trappings of a past decade! I see how he got tapped to write Captain America, in a way.
Posted by: Cecil Louis Disharoon | July 26, 2016 1:37 AM
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