Marvel Team-Up #127
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #127
Aunt May is having a holiday party for her boarders, but Mr. Chekov is down because he invited his granddaughter but she hasn't shown up. Suddenly Peter gets a large buzz from his spider-sense, and he goes outside to find the Watcher. The Watcher doesn't say anything, but he hands Spider-Man a glowing ball that has a picture of Mr. Chekov's granddaughter's face.
Spider-Man heads off to Brooklyn for a needle-in-the-haystack search for the young woman. At one point he nearly gives up, but gets a pep talk from Captain America.
And later he finds the granddaughter, who got involved with some cocaine stolen from the mob, and she has to be taken to the hospital. But her grandfather (and all of Aunt May's boarders) show up to be with her.
It's just a sentimental Christmas story (albeit one where a young woman is put in a hospital because she stole cocaine from the mob) so we probably shouldn't take it too seriously. But the Watcher's motivation in getting involved here is unusual enough to look at.
Saying that producing a Christmas miracle for the Chekovs is as important as helping the Earth against Galactus or the Over-Mind is a difficult sell.
We can see in the epilogue that he's suffering from some kind of seasonal depression. It happens to a lot of people around the holidays.
I'd argue that he's really off the reservation in terms of the Watcher's code. That Trial back in the 70s obviously meant nothing to him. And that if he really wanted to help humans, this was a really arbitrary way of doing it. But he's obviously going through something right now, so let him have this.
Another weird thing about this issue is that when Spider-Man first meets the Watcher, he doesn't recognize him.
Spider-Man met and talked to the Watcher in Marvel Team-Up #7, so it looks like somebody got mind-wiped! You'd also think that when Spider-Man explained the situation to Captain America, it would have had to include information about the Watcher, but maybe it's best that it didn't. Because if Cap heard that the Watcher was involving Spider-Man in some quest, he might have assumed that there was some Earth shattering threat going on and therefore interrupted all the other Avengers' Christmas dinner.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Amazing Spider-Man #239-240. Peter references being a grad student so definitely before #242-243. Captain America also appears next issue, and the events of that issue are referenced in Captain America #281-283, so this has to take place before that. And just a periodic reminder that i don't give any special placement considerations for Christmases.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showArthur Chekov, Aunt May, Captain America, Harriet Rose Palermo, Joe Face, Martha (Aunt May's Boarder), Nate Lubenski, Sophie (Aunt May's Boarder), Spider-Man, Uatu the Watcher, Victor Palermo
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