Wednesday, February 27, 2013

365 Comics...58: Marvel Team-Up #97 (1980)

I didn't grow up a Marvel kid. I've likely spent more time in the Marvel U in the past decade than in the previous 2 combined.  There were Marvel characters I liked but mostly it was aesthetically rather than having anything to do with their actual adventures and personality.  Those characters were: The Thing, Jack of Hearts, Nightcrawler, Rom, and Spider-Woman.  As I've grown older and dove deeper I've developed other favourites through actual prolonged exposure to them, but that original group I've steadfastly had a fascination for.

Spider-Woman I've always preferred to Spider-Man with no logical reasoning beyond I think her costume is cooler.  If you were to ask me what Spider-Woman's alter ego was though, I couldn't tell you.

Marvel Team-Up #97 is a recent $1 pickup if only because my 3 year old is obsessed with the Hulk and I'm still drawn to Spider-Woman.  It's a story by Steven Grant and Carmine Infantino, one a writer at the beginning of a long career, the other an artist at the tail-end of his.  Infantino is a favourite of mine, partially out of nostalgia and partially in genuine appreciation for his distinctive style of compressed or elongated figures, his lantern jawed men and cats-eyed women.  Grant's script is typically (for the era not for Grant) over-written with explanatory dialogue and thought balloons.

"Hulk feels... like he is changing... into Bruce Banner! That ray... must have stimulated the pleasure centers of the Hulk's brain...Relaxed him... But... the Hulk was practically invulnerable ... and I'm totally defenceless..."

Hulk for his part is still talking like Captain Caveman, a particularly silly trait he finally grew out of in the '90's.  Infantino's rendering of him is not great, he looks ... I don't even know how to describe him.   Like a cross between Shrek and Tracy Chapman (look it up young people) perhaps.  Spider-Woman however looks amazing.  Nobody draws big hair like Carmine.

The story is like most random team ups from the 70's/80's... a very random sequence of events that lead into a team up.  This one features a quasi Doctor Moreau and a host of creatures for the Hulk to fight while Spider-Woman makes a phone call. Actually after further review, Hulk and Spider-Woman never appear in the same panel together. It's like Joan Van Ark and Lou Ferrigno's schedules just never algned.

Meanwhile Captain Marvel saves Earth from an invasion with Hostess fruit pies (R.I.P.)

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