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.
MARVEL TEAM-UP Vol 1 #1 (March 1972)
Title: Have Yourself a Sandman Little Christmas
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.
MARVEL 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.
The 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