Tag Archives: Spider-Man


This weekend’s light-hearted, escapist superhero post here at Balladeer’s Blog will take a look at some of the very early stories in Marvel Team-Up.

mtu 1MARVEL TEAM-UP Vol 1 #1 (March 1972)

Title: Have Yourself a Sandman Little Christmas

Villain: Sandman

Synopsis: On Christmas Eve, Spider-Man and his old friend the Human Torch find themselves caught up in a battle with their mutual enemy Sandman. At that time the villain was still wearing the special costume his fellow Frightful Four member the Wizard made for him, which gave him the power to mix other chemicals with his sand body, thus increasing his power. Misty Knight makes her (retconned) first appearance.

NOTE: I wrote a VERY lengthy review of this story for the Christmas season of 2016 HERE.

mtu 2MARVEL TEAM-UP Vol 1 #2 (May 1972)

Title: And Spidey Makes Four

Villains: The Frightful Four

Synopsis: The Human Torch (Johnny Storm) is still very depressed over the end of his romance with the member of the Inhumans called Crystal.

NOTE: Crystal had been the Torch’s love interest for years and had even replaced Invisible Woman in the Fantastic Four during Sue Storm-Richards’ first pregnancy. Crystal would later marry the Avenger Quicksilver at a ceremony attacked by Ultron HERE.

frightful fourThe escaped Sandman reunites with his teammates in the Frightful Four (as you could guess, the supervillain version of the Fantastic Four) – the Wizard and the Trapster. Originally, the Inhumans member Medusa had been their 4th member back when she was a misunderstood villain.

With Medusa having gone straight and quit, the team needs a 4th member (the woman Thundra would not join until December 1972) so Sandman, Wizard and Trapster capture and enthrall Spider-Man. The Human Torch is the only Fantastic Four member on hand at the Baxter Building, and the hypnotized Spider-Man gets Johnny to let him into the building and the villains force their way in with him. Continue reading


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Readers reminded me that I did not post an easy-reference post containing the links to each chapter of my reviews of 1970s Spider-Man classics, so here it is, belatedly!

spidey 114ONE: While searching for the missing Aunt May, Spider-Man gets caught up in the ongoing gang war between Dr Octopus and Hammerhead to see who will succeed the arrested Kingpin as crime boss of New York. Click HERE.

TWO: Spider-Man investigates what Dr Octopus is keeping from Aunt May, battles the Hulk in Canada and fails to save Gwen Stacy from the returned Green Goblin. Click HERE.

THREE: J Jonah Jameson hires Luke Cage, Power Man, to bring in Spider-Man for Norman Osborn’s death. Meanwhile, Jameson’s astronaut son John is transformed into a were-creature by a rock he brought back from the moon. Click HERE. Continue reading


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Here’s the sixteenth and final part of Balladeer’s Blog’s look at Spider-Man 1970s Classics. For Part One click HERE.

sm 149SPIDER-MAN Vol 1 #149 (October 1975)

Title: Even if I Live, I Die

Villain: The Jackal

NOTE: Of these two final installments of the lengthy Jackal/ Gwen Stacy saga, this first one wraps up the main storyline and the second one (below) provides a necessary epilogue to tuck away a major loose end.

Synopsis: We pick up right where we left off, on the rooftop where Spider-Man just defeated Tarantula, the Jackal’s latest cat’s paw against our hero. With the Gwen Stacy clone and the ear-plugged & blind-folded Ned Leeds nearby, Spider-Man is lapsing into unconsciousness from the slash he received on the back of his head from the drugged talons of the Jackal.

splas 149At last revealing why he has always been undetectable by Spider-Man’s spider sense, the villain removed his mask to reveal that he is really Professor Miles Warren, Peter Parker’s fatherly mentor and academic advisor for years at Empire State University. (Professor Warren had been a supporting character in Spider-Man stories since 1965.)

Peter finally succumbs to unconsciousness, and when he comes to, he is in the basement of an abandoned tenement building in lower Manhattan. He is bound to a table by specially-constructed straps and is alone with the Jackal, who is sitting on a nearby stool. Continue reading


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Here’s Part Fifteen of Spider-Man 1970s Classics. For Part One click HERE.

sm 147SPIDER-MAN Vol 1 #147 (August 1975)

Title: The Tarantula is a Very Deadly Beast

Villains: The Jackal and the Tarantula

Synopsis: We pick up a few days after the end of our previous installment. Spider-Man swings his way to the Daily Bugle building, where he switches to Peter Parker and walks into the offices. After standard hostile byplay with J Jonah Jameson, Peter is called over to the desk of crime reporter Ned Leeds.

Ned is still investigating the Gwen Stacy clone and who might have made it. (Peter has not told anyone that he fears the Jackal made the clone since that villain has apparently figured out Spider-Man’s secret identity.)

splash page 147Leeds gives Peter copies of the long line of medical tests that the new Gwen has undergone in the past few days. Somehow the cloning process was accelerated, meaning she was created mere months ago, even though she is an adult as much as the real Gwen was when she was killed.

Meanwhile, the enigmatic villain the Jackal strikes again, busting Spider-Man’s old foe the Tarantula out of prison to use him as his latest operative against our hero as his plans approach fruition. Continue reading


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Here’s Part Fourteen of Spider-Man 1970s Classics. For Part One click HERE.

sm 145SPIDER-MAN Vol 1 #145 (June 1975)

Title: Gwen Stacy is Alive and Well?

Villains: The Jackal and the Scorpion

Synopsis: We pick up right where we left off in last issue’s cliffhanger: a woman who looks exactly like the late Gwen Stacy has shown up, causing Peter Parker’s Aunt May to have a heart attack and wind up in intensive care at the hospital.

145 splash pagePeter himself is in a state of shock, while the “new” Gwen, whose memories are months out of date, cries and pleads with him to help her understand what is going on. When Gwen tries to embrace him, Peter loses it, recoiling from her and screaming at her that she must be an impersonater.

He angrily tells her he’s not buying the con job and storms downstairs and out of his apartment building in Chelsea, telling Mary Jane’s Aunt Anna that this new Gwen has to be a fake. He says whoever’s behind it has a sick sense of humor and goes off to the hospital where Aunt May is.

Once out of sight of Anna Watson, he switches to Spider-Man and swings over to the hospital. Changing back into Peter Parker, he inquires about his aunt and then sits in the ICU waiting room to sweat out developments while his mind tries to deal with Aunt May possibly dying AND what may be up with this Gwen Stacy situation. Continue reading


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Here’s Part Thirteen of Spider-Man 1970s Classics. For Part One click HERE.

spider man giant 4GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN Vol 1 #4 (April 1975)

Title: To Sow the Seeds of Death’s Day

Villain: Moses Magnum (First Appearance)

Synopsis: We pick up an unknown amount of time after the previous story. J Jonah Jameson is still in Paris, using his lawyers to fight being brought back for questioning regarding the new Mysterio, whom he hired to kill Spider-Man last time around.

Peter Parker, in his Spider-Man costume, is web-slinging around New York City one night when he hears a woman scream “EEEE!”. (Or it could be Ned Beatty, I guess.) Following the sound to its source he sees four masked men kidnapping a nightie clad woman from her apartment.

deaths dayOur hero defeats three of the four and a bullet fired from a rooftop by the Punisher kills the fourth. The Punisher flees the scene while Spider-Man takes care of the still-frightened woman. An ambulance and some cop cars show up on the scene. The police insist Spider-Man must come in to answer questions regarding the deaths of Captain John Stacy and Norman Osborn, both of whom he is mistakenly suspected of killing.

Spider-Man gets away from the cops and swings off to the Punisher’s van, which he enters without the Punisher catching on. He rides along to the Punisher’s latest secret hideout and surprises his old enemy/ ally when he opens up the back door of the van. Continue reading


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Here’s Part Twelve of Spider-Man 1970s Classics. For Part One click HERE.

mtu 30MARVEL TEAM-UP Vol 1 #30 (February 1975)

Title: All That Glitters is Not Gold

Villain: Midas (NOT the same Midas as Iron Man’s foe)

Synopsis: This story picks up an unknown amount of time after the previous installment. Peter Parker is well settled in to his new apartment in Chelsea. When he sees his new neighbor, aspiring black model Gloria Grant (introduced last time around) being attacked by two men as she approaches the building, he takes action as Spider-Man.

After he subdues Gloria’s attackers, she pleads with him to carry them to her apartment rather than turning them over to the cops because one of them is her cousin, Ramon. (First appearance for Ramon, who, like Gloria, will be a supporting character in Spider-Man stories for decades to come.)

falcon and redwingOur hero complies, and is glad that he did when Ramon abruptly comes to and attacks again, letting Spider-Man and Gloria see that he is under some kind of trance. Spidey webs him to the furniture and he slowly comes out of his trance.

He tells Spider-Man and Gloria that he and his friend (who helped him attack Gloria just now) were at a club called the Hot Spot Disco (lol) when they were dragged before a man in golden armor calling himself Midas. He used drugs on them and Ramon doesn’t remember anything after that until coming to just now. Continue reading


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Here’s Part Eleven of Spider-Man 1970s Classics. For Part One click HERE.

gs spider man 2GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN Vol 1 #2 (October 1974)

Title: Masterstroke 

Villain: Fu Manchu

NOTE: For anyone unfamiliar with the way Marvel licensed the rights to Fu Manchu and other Sax Rohmer characters and with the differences between the novels and Marvel’s use of Shang-Chi as the son of Fu Manchu I covered the first twelve issues HERE

Synopsis: Still rooming with Flash Thompson after the destruction of his and Harry Osborn’s old apartment, Spider-Man is swinging around New York City one night. He comes across a robbery at the Guggenheim Museum and attacks the robbers.

That gang of criminals are secretly operatives of Fu Manchu and use their martial arts skills and weaponry against Spider-Man. He overcomes them all and when he interrogates one of them about who they work for, the thief does as ordered by Fu Manchu and instead claims he works for Shang-Chi. (Part of Fu Manchu’s plan is to pit his son Shang-Chi against Spider-Man.) Continue reading


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Here’s Part Ten of Spider-Man 1970s Classics. For Part One click HERE

spider man 138SPIDER-MAN Vol 1 #138 (November 1974)

Title: Madness Means the Mindworm

Villain: Mindworm (First Appearance)

Synopsis: The morning after Harry Osborn was taken away by the authorities in the previous issue, Spider-Man sits, mask off, amid the wreckage of what had been his and Harry’s apartment. NOTE: The apartment was demolished by the bomb Harry set hoping to kill Peter a few issues back. 

He switches to Peter Parker before Mr Templeton, the landlord, enters for an inspection of the damage. He angrily mentions all the destruction to the floors above and below Peter’s apartment as well, tears up the lease and orders Peter to vacate the premises by the next day.  

peter in apartmentThe following morning, Peter gathers what few belongings he was able to salvage from the destruction and stops by the adjoining building’s rooftop to retrieve the spare Spider-Man costume, web fluid cartridges and web shooters that he tossed there days ago to prevent them being found in his apartment after the bomb went off. 

To Peter’s shock, they are all gone. Alarmed, he suspects that maybe Harry found them and made off with them during his brief period as the new Green Goblin. He adds replacing those stolen items to his list of things to do.

NOTE: Our hero is not yet aware that the Jackal, who had been keeping Peter and Harry’s apartment under video surveillance, saw Peter toss out the bundle of Spider-gear on the day of the explosion and has taken the items for his ongoing vendetta against Spider-Man.  

An hour later, at a pay phone, Peter has nearly exhausted all the names in his contact book but no one has room for another roommate at present. The only name left in the book is Flash Thompson, his old enemy since high school.

With nothing to lose he tries Flash anyway, only to be surprised that Flash heard about how Harry blew up their apartment and volunteers to let Peter stay with him until he finds a new place. Peter is pleasantly surprised. He hails a cab, loads his things and rides it to the Far Rockaway apartment building in which Flash Thompson lives.   Continue reading


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Here’s Part Nine of Spider-Man 1970s Classics. For Part One click HERE.

spider man 136SPIDER-MAN Vol 1 #136 (September 1974)

Title: The Green Goblin Lives Again

Villain: Green Goblin II

Synopsis: This issue picks up an unspecified amount of time after the previous one. It is late afternoon and Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson are walking along after having spent the earlier part of the day, in their own words – “riding horses in Central Park, taking a boat to the Statue of Liberty, and catching a Kung Fu flick on Forty-Second Street.”

spider 136 splash pageNOTE: Not only would that have been a Kung Fu flick from the still-flowing initial wave of Bruce Lee-inspired Martial Arts Mania here in the U.S. but it would also have been when Forty-Second Street theaters showed everything from grindhouse movies on up.

Peter and MJ have not fully started their romance yet, since Peter is still recovering from Gwen Stacy’s death, but Mary Jane is making it clear she wants it to go that way in her usual flirty way. As the couple approach the apartment that Peter shares with Harry Osborn, MJ expresses concern that things may get awkward if Harry is inside, since she and Harry used to date. Continue reading


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