TITLE: Spider-Man Team-Up Featuring X-Men vol. 1, issue #1
YEAR: December 1995
COMPANY: Marvel Comics
Story by Mark Waid and Tom Peyer
Pencils: Ken Lashley
Inker: Vince Russell and Al Milgrom
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Colors: Tom Smith
Edits: Tom Brevoort
Chief: Bob Budiansky
Special Thanks to Scott Lobdell
And today’s random pull from my comic book is “Spider-Man Team-Up” issue #1.
During the mid-90s, I became displeased with the decisions to bring back Peter Parker’s parents, the controversy surrounding Peter (Spider-Man) Parker and Ben (Scarlet Spider) Reilly and if anything, it gave me more incentive to focus on other comic book titles.
But I did decide to give a “Spider-Man” title a chance and that was “Spider-Man Team Up”. An update of the popular “Marvel Team-Up” featuring Spider-Man and this time mean to be a quarterly release. While I grew up with “Marvel Team-Up”, the third Spider-Man comic book that would last for 150 issues between March 1972 through February 1995 and was replaced by “Web of Spider-Man”.
“Spider-Man Team Up” would last for two years, a second volume of “Marvel Team-Up” would be released from 1997-1998 and last eleven issues until a third volume, “Marvel Team-Up” was revived in 2005 and would last 25 issues.
Marvel Comics was no doubt hurting around this time, as with many comic book publishers. The Spider-Man clone series had its fans but alienated long-time fans who could never see a replacement of Peter Parker.
For the first issue of “Spider-Man Team-Up” on paper it should be an awesome issue. Spider-Man and X-Men in the same issue and the story is written by DC Comics “The Flash” writer and fan favorite, Mark Waid and Tom Peyer.
While Ken Lashley’s pencils and inks by Vince Russell and legend Al Milgrom are noticeable, unfortunately this first issue is forgettable.
As Peter Parker faces a crisis of thinking he’s a clone, at the Hellfire Club, Benedict Kine has challenged the club’s current White King, Shinobi Shaw. With the Daily Bugle’s J. Jonah Jameson writing about the Hellfire Club, upset with the leadership, Kine invokes “The Rite of Challenge”.
The White Knights and the Ebony Knights compete on who can get Jonah J. Jameson and his life or death will determine the outcome of the duel and who will become the next leader of the Hellfire Club.
As Peter Parker is trying to get paid for his work at the Daily Bugle, the attack takes place. Prompting Spider-Man to protect J. Jonah Jameson and as for the X-Men, Jean Grey detects the psionic level and she and her fellow X-Men leave the movie theater during a viewing of the terrible film, “Dogs” (courtesy of Hank who makes them think they are all going out to watch a live taping of “The Letterman Show”) to check out what problems are brewing nearby.
And sure enough, Spider-Man and the X-Men are teaming up to go against both the White Knights and Ebony Knights.
Personally, I felt the story to be OK. But for a first issue, I thought it was a story that did not help in enticing me to continue with the series. Sure, a Spider-Man and X-Men on the cover may grab attention but storywise, “Spider-Man Team Up” issue #1 was not that good, nor was it that bad. It was just average, yet underwhelming. And I stuck to my gut decision and decided that I would not pick up any more issues of “Spider-Man Team-Up”, let alone any more Spider-Man related issues during the mid-to-late ’90s.
Which was a shame because I was purchasing nearly all Spider-Man issues prior to the clones storyline.