Comics : Marvel Team-Up #11

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Totalistic Team-Ups

This review was first published on: 2002.

Background...

With this issue we conclude the three-issue story arc of the Tomorrow War. To fill yourself in on what's happened up to this point check out our re-caps of issues 9 & 10.

In Detail...

"Doomsday Gambit!"
Marvel Team-Up #11
Jul 1973 : SMURF 118.850 : SM Title
Summary: Spider-Man & Inhumans (Tomorrow War part 3)
Editor:  Roy Thomas
Plot:  Gerry Conway
Writer:  Len Wein
Pencils:  Jim Mooney
Inker:  Mike Esposito
Cover Art:  John Romita, Sr.
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 Reprinted In: Essential Marvel Team-Up #1
 Reprinted In: Marvel Treasury Edition #27
Articles: Jarvis, Kang the Conqueror

Or story opens with Spider-Man hanging from a helicopter swinging through the Himalayas. This means we have an enormous plot hole right here on the splash page; see, we left Spidey last issue standing in the Greek countryside with (presumably) no money, no id, no passport and no change of underwear. And I don't think Spidey speaks Greek, Chinese or any of the languages in between the two countries. Yet he's managed to make it into Communist China and find a white, English-speaking helicopter pilot willing to fly him into the mountains to find the Inhumans. I know I went over this pretty well last issue, but if only they'd just used a freaking Fantasticar they could have saved all these headaches.

Well, anyway, one page later Spidey has indeed found the hidden Great Refuge of the Inhumans (they might want to hide it better next time). Spidey begins to wonder how he'll get into the shielded city but as it turns out he needn't bother? a pair of Inhumans on rocket sleds have come flying out to greet him! One of the fliers plows into him, knocking him unconscious but catching him before he can fall to his death.

Spidey awakens to find himself in the throne room of the Inhumans and surrounded by the Royal Family (although Medusa is missing because she's running with the Fantastic Four at this time). After exchanging a few wise cracks, Spidey brings the Inhumans up to speed on what's happened up to this point (the events shown in MTU 9 & 10). After filling them in on the combined schemes of Kang and Zarrko, Spidey asks if the Inhumans can use the disarmed time bomb he has to get him back to the 23rd century to stop them.

Black Bolt agrees, and their next stop is the prison cell of Maximus the Mad, Black Bolt's brother and would be usurper of the Inhuman throne. In addition to being mad Maximus is also a genius, probably not on a par with Richards and Von Doom but pretty close. Maximus agrees to modify the bomb as they ask, just to have the satisfaction of showing them all he can do it (told you he was mad). While waiting for Maximus to do his job, Karnak takes Spidey, and us, on a guided tour of the Great Refuge. He shows us the Orb of Agon, source of the shield that protects them; and the massive Omega, slave of the Alpha Primitives. Spidey is getting antsy though, remembering that even now the Avengers are held captive in Kang's citadel, and he's eager to get on with things.

Fortunately, Maximus is now finished with his modifications. Spidey and the Inhumans gather around while Maximus activates, and all our heroes fade from view.

At this point, if you haven't read the re-cap from Marvel Team-Up 9 you really should.

Our heroes rematerialize outside Kang's 23rd century fortress, at a time just moments after Spider-Man and Iron Man breached the gate (in MTU 9). They see the treacherous Zarrko heading in and follow. Reaching the first intersection, Spidey gets the bright idea to take a turn other than the one he took last time with Iron Man, thereby avoiding Security Force Three (see MTU 9). Of course, by going the other way he just makes sure they all run into Security Force Four, and the battle is joined! Black Bolt immediately takes flight, and being much more maneuverable then the Security Sleds he

Now, remember back in Marvel Team-Up 9 when Kang turned and reacted with shock and dismay at some unrevealed intruders? Now, two issues later, those intruders are finally revealed to be none other than Spider-Man and the Inhumans! Pretty clever, huh? Well, Kang has come too far to be thwarted now and turns his paralysis beam on our heroes, but is knocked off his feet by a stomp from Gorgon. Showing himself to be an incredibly sore loser, Kang decides he's going to just up and kill the Avengers (still held in stasis cells) as punishment for Spidey's interference. Although Spidey is able to web up one hand, Kang reaches for his pistol with the other and prompts desperate action from Black Bolt, who utters a word. As a caption tells us, "what the word is isn't important, only it's effect!" That effect is to knock Kang for a loop and utterly destroy his whole control room! Freed from their stasis chambers the Avengers start to come around, and that finishes things up.

Or does it? Spidey notices Zarrko attempting to flee the scene, and webs him up in what looks like a very uncomfortable fetal position. The heroes are then disappointed when they discover that they haven't been fighting Kang at all, but an animated suit of armor he sent to stand in for him.

Well, even if Kang got away they did manage to get Zarrko, and the time bomb that Maximus modified is able to return everyone to their proper time and place. Spidey swings away from Avengers Mansion with the gratitude of the Avengers and leaves us with a happy ending to the Tomorrow War!

Next Issue: Mayhem in San Francisco as Spidey meets the Werewolf!

In General...

This was a much more enjoyable read than part two was. Except for that nonsense with the helicopter in the first two pages it managed to maintain it's internal logic and consistency. Plus it was just plain fun? Spidey and the Inhumans kick some serious butt, and the little nods to the events in issue 9 made for some cool "Ah-Ha!" moments.

Elsewhere in Spidey's World: In Amazing Spider-Man 122 we're seeing "The Green Goblins Last Stand!" as Spidey seeks revenge for the murder of his first love, Gwen Stacy. It ends with the Goblin causing his own death. Although one of the most appalling retcons in comic history would resurrect him 25 years later, at the time his death was a powerful end to a powerful and unprecedented story.

And meanwhile, in the real world: The Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities begins it's hearings, and Richard Nixon's days as President are numbered.

Overall Rating...

I'm going to forgive the plot hole on page one as an extension of last issue's silliness. Once we do that we're left with a fun conclusion to an ambitious story, and one I'm giving 3 webs to.