Marvel Team-Up #72

Story 'Crack Of Whip!'

  Marvel Team-Up #72
Summary: Spider-Man & Iron Man (vs. Whiplash - Wraith app.)
Editor: Bob Hall
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Pencils: Jim Mooney
Inker: Jim Mooney
Cover Art: Bob Layton, John Byrne

Spider-Man discovers a fur robbery in progress and attempts to stop the thieves. These thieves are different, though - they have mercy guns with drugged bullets to handle any interference. Individually, they can't hit him; someone inside their getaway van manages to tag him with the "drugged" bullets from the roof-mounted turret. They then try to run him over, but Spider-Man maneuvers underneath and flips the van over while fighting off the effects of the drug.

It's at this point, Whiplash attacks Spider-Man, shredding his costume with his electrified whip. Despite the urging of the other thieves to kill him, Whiplash - as an "artist" - will only act "when inspired". The police arrive, forcing them to leave. Whiplash tells Spider-Man the "spirit of art" has been kind to him today and leaves. [This paragraph is courtesy of our old friend sarcasm]. Before he gets in the van, a groggy Spider-Man plants a spider- tracer on him and passes out.

Spider-Man wakes up in police lab where Captain Jean DeWolff has ensured he received proper medical attention and that his identity will remain secret. Iron Man has been called in due to the involvement of Whiplash. Iron Man informs them that if Whiplash is involved, then the Maggia are as well.

Following the spider-tracer to a mansion in the New Jersey Palisades, Spider- Man, Iron Man, and DeWolff enter the mansion. Their presence is quickly detected.

Iron Man confronts Whiplash while Spider-Man is attacked by the Maggia section leader, the Wraith - who is Jean's brother Brian. The Wraith has psychokinetic powers that he uses to cause hallucinations or mentally control anyone within his line of sight. These powers come at the cost of his sanity. When Jean appears, the Wraith turns his attention to his little sister, forcing her to put her gun to her head. When Spider-Man tries to stop him, he is hurled away - coincidentally - into Whiplash. Iron Man returns the favor and throws Whiplash at the Wraith, disrupting his control over Jean.

Jean is undestandably furious at her brother's actions. She rips off his mask and reminds him that he's not evil; his power has a corrupting influence on him. Whiplash sees this as a weakness and informs the trio he's leaving. In the ensuing struggle, Jean is hit by Whiplash's electro-lash. At this point Brian realizes what he's doing and turns on Whiplash causing him to belive he's surrounded by snakes.

Jean's injury is not serious and doesn't require medical attention [She's hit in the head with an electrified whip and she bounces right back? With no scar?]. She contacts the New Jersey police and has Whiplash taken into custody.

General Comments

From the moment they had the Maggia goons using "mercy guns" with "drugged" bullets I had a feeling that this was going to be terrible. I was right. Wham, bang, done. No character development, the action sequences are overly simple, and very little really happens.

Overall Rating

1/2 web. Typically you want each issue to be somewhat of a roller coaster ride. In this case, it was the kiddie version that was completely flat and went around in a circle.

Footnote

  • Whiplash was first introduced in Tales Of Suspense #97
  • The Maggia is an international mob that keeps supervillians on their payroll for special jobs.
  • Brian DeWolff/Wraith was last shown in Marvel Team-Up #49