Characters Appearing: Jeremiah, Looter, Nighthawk, Spider-Man
Marvel Team-Up #33
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #33
So basically, quit it with the simplistic formulaic one-and-done stories where two heroes meet up randomly, fight a bad guy, and then go their separate ways. That is of course the danger of any team-up book, but the earliest issues in this series did a better than average job of it, and letter writers also point to Steve Gerber's concurrent Marvel Two-In-One issues. They also note the irony of having Conway on both this book and Amazing and yet without any connection between them.
It warms my heart that two of the three complaints were really about strengthening the shared universe concept that is the core strength (and my favorite part) of Marvel comics, but the first one is obviously important too. The next three issues of this series seem to be a direct response to the letters, and they generally do a decent job with items #2 and 3, but i don't think they do very well with #1.
The nominal villain of this issue and the next is the Looter, but we'll find that there's a greater threat lurking in the background.
I feel like the Looter is a character very specific to Steve Ditko, and if you're going to bring him back you ought to team him up with the Moocher and the Government Regulator and maybe have Tony Stark and Nighthawk team-up to form the Producers to fight them.
But actually the villain is the Looter no more. What are you, an imbecile? He's clearly the Meteor-Man now.
The story is that Nighthawk returns home to his mansion to find him stealing a bit of meteor he had on display (it's from the same meteor that gave Looter his powers).
The villain escapes thanks to his nifty balloon...
...and Nighthawk does a little research and decides that Spider-Man is the person to talk to about this. Spider-Man responds the only way he can in a Team-up book.
But when everything settles down, they agree to look for the Looter.
Nighthawk starts by going to the prison where the Looter had, until recently, been held. It turns out he was a model prisoner until a new cellmate goaded him into escaping.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man learns that the Looter's old lab has been turned into a church for a religious cult.
Then Spidey has an encounter with the Looter, but he escapes. So when Nighthawk shows up to say that he thinks maybe the Looter needs psychiatric help, not imprisonment, Spidey is in no mood to hear it, resulting in this:
So yeah, not exactly the characterization i think people were hoping for. You can see what they were going for, and while Spidey's opinion here doesn't seem to be in character, it could be the result of the stress he's going through in his own series. But nothing is really developed.
Meanwhile, the head of the church at the Looter's former lab targets Spider-Man for his scheme.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Per footnotes in this story, this takes place during Amazing Spider-Man #145. The MCP has Nighthawk appearing here during Giant-Size Defenders #4; i've got it placed after that issue but before the next Defenders arc beginning in Defenders #22. Nighthawk next appears in Marvel Team-Up #34 and then the Valkyrie also appears between GSDEF #4 and Defenders #22.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I never could figure out how the Meteor Man steered the balloon.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 4, 2013 4:20 PM
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