Marvel Team-Up #147-148
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #147, Marvel Team-Up #148
In that issue, he was a tall dark badass with a disintegration power and a weird archaic religious affectation in his speaking manner. And in that story he was looking to recruit a large number of street goons to be trained by the Taskmaster. He even disintegrated a gang member who didn't want to be recruited.
In this issue he's already got a big facility and much more professional looking hired gunmen...
...and he's kidnapping scientists to create a mind control device. He demonstrates a lot more mind control ability than he seemed to have last issue (he did stop that gang member in his tracks, but you'd think if he wanted to deal with a difficult follower he could have just mind-zapped him like he does with the scientist). And it turns out that he's just some crazy monk who took over the minds of his brothers, and he uses them as body doubles.
I dunno. It all fits. There's no inherent contradiction. I guess the mystery was cooler than the reality, is all.
Spidey/Peter gets involved again for two unrelated reasons. First, he just happens to spot a UFO chase as one of the Abbot's brainwashed guards goes rogue and tries to escape.
The Human Torch helps out with the fallout from that.
Later, Peter is contacted directly by Abbot (in disguise)...
...because one of the scientists that the Abbot has brainwashed is Peter's old grad school partner Steve Hopkins, and Hopkins recommended Peter.
There's a weird little flashback from the escaped guard where he's just sort of randomly bitten by a poisonous snake, which clears his mind of the Abbot's brainwashing.
The Human Torch has a pretty bad showing in his issue. First he's taken out upon first arriving at the Black Abbot's base. Then he's brainwashed, and Spider-Man has to break the brainwashing by saying some horribly offensive things to him (see the references section).
Then he gets taken out again, this time by a guy with a fire extinguisher!
Luckily Spidey is able to save the day due to a design flaw in the Abbot's machine. Set the dial to "Danger", Spidey!
Later, Thor is lured into a trap. Thor was standing guard over the hospitalized Abbot body-double from issue #147 after a fake attempt on that Abbot's life was made near the construction site Thor was working on (see the Chronological Considerations section for more on that).
Spidey is clued in to the Abbot's location thanks to the efforts of a kid that sadly decided to emulate Nomad after the events of issue #146. It wasn't working out too well for him...
...but he is able to help Spider-Man, which is nice. On the downside, Spidey gives the kid some messages to use when calling in the Avengers and the Fantastic Four for back-up, and the kid mixes up the messages and can't get past Roberta and Jarvis.
Thor gets mind-zapped as well, but being a god he's able to resist it somewhat. He's paralyzed but conscious, and even without the use of his legs he can be a problem for any villain.
He even helps Spider-Man catch the fleeing Abbot and rescue his hostage (Nomad-boy)...
...but the Abbot gets away. It's the last we'll see of him pretty much forever.
I guess it's not that bad. Frankly this "Black Costello" line makes the whole arc worth it.
Issue #147 reprints six panels with the alien symbiote in its tube that we saw at the end of Amazing Spider-Man #258. Issue #148 has an alien symbiote sequence unique to this series, featuring the Human Torch and Alicia Masters (who, lest we forget, is actually the Skrull called Lyja Lazerfist).
One thing i'll say about these Marvel Team-Ups, and it's not a criticism directly on these issues, is that they don't necessarily do a great job promoting the guest characters. Both the Torch and Thor have pretty poor performances in these issues, and nothing here would make me want to run out and buy a Fantastic Four or Thor comic. Burkett did a really good job introducing Nomad and Spidey in issue #146; i don't feel like the same degree of attention was put into these stories.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Issue #148 doesn't have to take place directly after #147; issue #147 ends with Spidey and the Human Torch in the Abbot's base and #148 begins with Spidey visiting the Abbot in a hospital. The Human Torch's appearance is context free, other then a stray thought about Sue losing her baby and the fact that his apartment is still largely unfurnished (The MCP places it between Fantastic Four #273-274). Thor, on the other hand, is pretty much impossible. He's tied up in Casket of Ancient Winters related stories from now until about forever. We've already identified a gap that occurs during Thor #354, and that's where the MCP places this. There's no way that makes any sense - Thor is initially shown in his Sigurd Jarlson persona at a building site before transforming into Thor, and he basically quit that job during the Casket saga, whereas Spidey doesn't go back into his red & blues until after the Casket is already broken. I guess maybe Thor went back to the job one last time to clear things up in person with his boss? Like i said, it's ridiculous - Thor should be stricken with grief over the death of his father at this point.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBlack Abbot, Human Torch, Jarvis, Lyja the Lazerfist, Roberta, Spider-Man, Steve Hopkins, Thor, Venom Symbiote
Black Abbot was reportedly killed by the Scourge of the underworld in (I think) captain America #294
Posted by: Russell White | September 17, 2013 1:48 AM
And then the Black Abbott was brought back to life by the Hood during Remender's PUNISHER run. As far as it is known, he's still out there...somewhere...bidding his time, MWAHAHAHAHAHA!
Posted by: Andrew Burke | August 20, 2016 9:15 AM
yeah, the baby insult by Spidey is almost beyond the pale. hard to think Peter could go that dark, even in desperation.
Posted by: kveto | April 22, 2018 4:14 AM
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