Marvel Team-Up #65-66
Issue(s): Marvel Team-Up #65, Marvel Team-Up #66
British exchange student Brian Braddock gets paired up with Peter Parker, of all people.
As Captain Britain and Spider-Man, they have their misunderstanding fight...
...and subsequently get kidnapped...
...by a crazy "assassin" named Arcade...
...who seems less interested in killing than running people through his wacky Adam West death traps (actually the traps are far beyond what the Batman show's budget could come up with, but they're along the same line).
Arcade is very impressed with Spider-Man, who manages to become the first person to survive his time in Murderworld. It's not said if Spidey and Captain Britain were his first super-powered victims.
While these issues are as contrived as any issue of Marvel Team-Up, and while Arcade ought to be unacceptably cheesy, Claremont and Byrne wind up making it a very enjoyable read, with Arcade's Murderworld actually becoming something of an institution in the Marvel Universe.
This arc also introduces Courtney Ross, Brian's girlfriend. She'll later turn out to be quite a different sort of character.
And speaking of characters who change dramatically, according to the MCP, the character below is Sabrina Morrel. A number of people were identified as possibly being Captain Britain. Braddock, in the US, is targeted by Arcade. The others remain in Europe and Morrel ensures that they don't get assassinated, off panel.
Besides the panel above from issue #65, the only mention of her is at the end of the arc, when Jean DeWolff says that a "lone wolf" got to the "top hierarchy" of the commission that put a hit on Captain Britain and "did a Punisher-type number".
Having now read the original Claremont Captain Britain issues, i agree with Walter (in the comments) that this was probably actually supposed to be Kate Fraser, although the killing of the Maggia bosses seems to be out of sync with the no-killing direction Claremont was going in. But as S notes in the comments, the idea that it's Morrell goes back to the original Indexes, and the MCP went with that as well. So i'm still listing Morrell as a character appearing, but take it with a grain of salt.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Amazing Spider-Man #171-172. According to Excalibur #53, Captain Britain remains behind in the US and spends more time with Spider-Man, but see that issue for some complications regarding that. When Captain Britain does return to England, his plane is attacked by the wizard Necromon, and he gets amnesia, so his next appearance is in the Incredible Hulk Weekly series, and he shouldn't appear elsewhere in between.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Tales #201 (Issue #66 is an original)
Inbound References (8): show
Murderworld was a reference to the films "Westworld" and "Futureworld".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 28, 2011 1:47 AM
Since Morrel won't be introduced for three years and wouldn't be active primarily in the UK, I don't think the mystery woman is her. MCP must have its reasons, but there may be a more plausible alternative..
One would be Kate Fraser, a British police inspector from Claremont's Tomb of Dracula and Captain Britain stories. In the latter she was quite mysterious, very reluctant to kill but seemingly experienced in killing. She was psychic in her Drac appearances, I believe. Fraser's aversion to killing is an argument against this identification, and her hair color was usually blond (not that that means much: comic colorists were always getting women's hair color wrong), but she was British based and would have reason to be investigating the Maggia. And she was being developed by Claremont for some never-fulfilled CB story.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 14, 2013 1:24 AM
Well whatever the rationale for thinking that's Morrel is, it must be an old theory - Olshevsky's Index from 1986 lists the mystery woman character as "possibly Sabrina Morrel, but this is uncofirmed".
Posted by: S | September 29, 2013 12:35 AM
Arcade's assistants' names are gun puns, as in "lock" the cartridge into the gun and load the ammunition into the gun's "chamber".
Posted by: Andrew | September 11, 2016 8:42 AM
Arcade feels like a villain created for Spidey Super Stories or Hostess fruit pies ads.
Posted by: kveto | December 20, 2016 5:09 PM
Arcade's wardrobe looks to be inspired by John Evan, keyboardist from Jethro Tull's classic lineup. Onstage, Evan wore a white suit with a pink and yellow tie, and was known for his wild gesticulations and occasional readings from the local newspaper of whatever town they were playing. During band intros, Ian Anderson referred to him as "everyone's favorite ice cream salesman". He is also known for composing and playing the piano intro to "Locomotive Breath", as well as writing some of the humorous newspaper inserts on the "Thick as a Brick" album.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | June 6, 2017 10:17 PM
I'm surprised Arcade has yet to make the leap to one of Marvel's live action properties. Murderworld seems like some a natural fit for the Marvel Cinematic Universe that it's bound to show up eventually.
Posted by: Gary Himes | February 26, 2018 11:03 PM
Comments are now closed.
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