Marvel Team-Up #132-133
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #132, Marvel Team-Up #133
This time he's got super powers, including a face stripped of features, super-strength...
...and a gun that strips away everything from a person that makes him better than anyone else.
Reed gets zapped by the gun, causing him to lose his intelligence.
Luckily Spider-Man shows up to help out.
This "Every-Man" character just seems so weird and silly that it knocks what would otherwise be a mediocre comic to a poor comic.
"Every-Man" was powered up by a mysterious someone (that we'll soon learn is Dr. Faustus)...
...so for the next issue, a much angrier than usual Mr. Fantastic tracks him down.
Issue #133 is (cleverly) deceptive. The cover promises a Spider-Man/Fantastic Four team-up. But that's not the case at all. Apart from a brief continuation of Spider-Man's appearance from #132, he doesn't appear at all after Mr. Fantastic sends him away and leaves for Faustus' base. The Spider-Man that shows up when Mr. Fantastic arrives at the base is actually an imposter...
...and all of the remaining FF members that he encounters there (and also Franklin and Dr. Doom) are really robots.
Mr. Fantastic (says he) figured it all out when he looked into the robot Invisible Girl's eyes. Faustus may be a master of men's minds, "but it's clear that you're painfully ignorant -- in matters of the heart!".
This should have been a pretty great issue thanks to the twists. I liked that DeMatteis found some fresh ways to manipulate Reed in lieu of having the Thing accusing Reed of turning him into a monster.
And i'll get to all the clues that Spider-Man was a fake in a second. But before that, the one thing that really ruins this issue for me is the revelation that Doctor Faustus himself is a crazy person. He spends this whole issue trying and failing to convince a delusion of his dead mother that he's a capable human being.
Faustus is a unique villain in that he doesn't have super powers but he's an expert at manipulating heroes through psychology. That's diminished if he's a crazy person himself. He should be calm, sane, and sinisterly in control as he expertly plays mind games with his victims. Not doing this:
We also get a little background on Faustus. His family had to flee Austria thanks to the Nazis...
...and he grew up idolizing Jung and Freud.
Anyway, here are the Spidey clues:
An oddly clumsy Spider-Man.
After the fake Human Torch causes some minor brush fires, Mr. Fantastic tells Spidey to put them out with his webbing. Spidey uses dirt instead (and i thought he was just preserving his web fluid!).
Some oddly drawn webbing.
And some shucking and shooping while Spidey is climbing walls.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Mr. Fantastic's costume is dark blue, placing this after the FF's Negative Zone adventure, and most likely after Reed is done being held prisoner by the victims of Galactus. So, after Fantastic Four #262. Spider-Man makes reference to the events of Amazing Spider-Man #243, so it needs to take place after that issue. The MCP places this between Amazing Spider-Man #243-244 and Fantastic Four #262-263.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
This issue later caused continuity problems because Gruenwald forgot about it. In Captain America 236, Faustus's legs are injured. In Captain America 326, which takes place after this story, Faustus is in a wheelchair and wants revenge on Cap because his legs were crippled in his last encounter with Cap. The problem, of course, is that in this story, Faustus is walking around without a cane or wheelchair.
Posted by: Michael | August 7, 2013 7:56 PM
I'm guessing Anna was deliberately drawn like Vanessa Fisk to fake out readers in that first panel.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 9, 2013 4:47 PM
Maybe he had a temporary breakdown over his previous failures, and ironically this misadventure may have been the inspiration for his next scheme?
Posted by: D09 | May 29, 2016 12:40 AM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|