Marvel Team-Up #115-116
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #115, Marvel Team-Up #116
Working his way into the operating room is an alien that has the power to twist people's minds.
He's after the homeless lady, who it turns out is also an alien. Spider-Man and Thor are able to drive "Meru the Mind-Bender" away initially, but not before Meru amps up Spidey's id.
Later, when Meru resurfaces, his powers activate the Donald Blake personality in Thor.
But by then Spider-Man has recovered, and his fighting spirit encourages Blake to fight against Meru as well.
That's when the homeless woman arrives to reveal that she's an alien...
...and then we get into an awful alien allegory about the Haifs (Haves) and the Haif-Nas (Have-Nots) and how they fought and fought but Meru and Dalia, from opposite sides, eventually fell in love until their world was destroyed and she blamed him for it.
They resume their fight here and they both turn to dust when a weapon detonates.
The next issue begins with Valkyrie rescuing a pair of young lovers from some muggers and wondering when she'll find that special someone...
....when her sword is possessed by the cremated remains of Meru and Dalia. Meru seems to be the dominant personality, so when Valkyrie encounters Spider-Man, she attempts to kill him.
You can tell Spider-Man is kind of sick of the Marvel Team-Up formula.
But this one isn't going to go quite like that. Thor sees Spider-Man fighting with the Valkyrie on TV, and you see, he's recently learned that he and Val were lovers in a past life (or whatever; go read Roy Thomas' Siegfried/Thor story again, cause i sure ain't). So despite having Teamed-Up with Thor one issue ago, he assumes the worst of Spider-Man and flies in hammer swinging.
Despite this, Spider-Man manages to get Valkyrie's sword Dragonfang out of her hand. And that's when things go from bad to goofy.
When Valkyrie tells Thor that her origin is complicated enough without adding in past lives, Thor is brought out of his moonie reverie long enough to smash Dragonfang.
Thor then tosses Meru and Dalia's remains into another dimension.
Regarding her completely busted magical sword, Thor tells her to not worry because one time Mjolnir got a little chipped but he was able to repair it.
This was... not a good story. Humor is fine, but it comes in suddenly and changes the tone of the story (which, granted, before that was Plain Vanilla). And prior to that you have a very unreasonable Thor and a pretty awful villain.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Amazing Spider-Man #227-228 and notably before Spider-Man's guest appearance in Defenders #107-109, which also means that this has to appear before the Valkyrie is kidnapped along with some other Defenders in Defenders #105. I'm fairly certain there's no scene of Valkyrie repairing her sword so i'm assuming it just magically reassembles itself (Spider-Man doesn't seem surprised to see it in Defenders #107). For Thor the MCP has him here between Thor #314-315, which neatly has Donald Blake in New York here before moving to Chicago; the operation at Mount Sinai must have been a special job he was called in for.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showJ. Jonah Jameson, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Meru the Mindbender, Spider-Man, Thor, Valkyrie, Wong
Someone that looked like Meru later appeared in Quasar 14-16.
Posted by: Michael | July 30, 2013 4:15 PM
That was Meru.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | July 30, 2013 4:47 PM
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