Marvel Team-Up (Vol. 3) #4

Background

Wolverine and Spider-Man had a battle with a chubby kid named Paul Patterson, a cocky kid who made a descent into evil with his golden energy beam mutant power. When Wolverine poked him with a claw, he disappeared...and reappeared in front of the Incredible Hulk.

Meanwhile, Dr. Doom has materialized in Latveria with one thing on his mind: "Richards." Reed Richards, that is. He promptly attacks the Baxter Building and makes a quick escape. With Dr. Strange helping out, it becomes the Fantastic Four + 1. They corner Doom near some abandoned warehouses and he reveals that he is Tony Stark. Bum-bum-BUM!

Story Details

  Marvel Team-Up (Vol. 3) #4
Summary: (Iron Man/Hulk/Fantastic Four/Dr. Strange) No SM
Arc: Part 4 of 'Golden Child' (1-2-3-4-5-6)
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Scott Kolins

Dr. Doom has just revealed himself as Tony Stark with a burned-up face, and Dr. Strange infers that Doom...er...Tony Stark is from an alternate Earth. When asked for a reason why he turned to evil in the other dimension, Stark rationalizes that telling his story would take more time than to kill all of them. After "turning off" the Fantastic Four's powers temporarily, Strange and Stark get into a battle of magic and technology. When Stark is almost bound by magical gift wrap, Stark pulls his trump card in the way of explosives planted all around the warehouses. BA-DOOM! "Fools. My Reed Richards would never have fallen for that," Stark says as he flies off away from the smoking debris.

Titannus watched the melee and found it "...promising..."

As it turns out, Dr. Strange teleported the FF out of harm's way just in the nick of time. Strange goes back to his sanctuary to see if there's any magic that can help, and Mister Fantastic, sans powers, puts in a call to Nick Fury.

Stark, that is, Evil Stark, goes to Stark Enterprises and orders parts to be delivered to a nondescript location. As he's looking for a power source, he finds an enormous blip that just goes away. Cut to...

Paul Patterson, still naked, is trying to zap the Hulk with his gold beams. Hulk wants to smash the boy, because in his own words, "Golden boy hurt Hulk!" Evil Stark swoops in and saves the chubby naked kid. When chubby boy thanks his savior, Evil Stark admits that he could care less about the boy and that he'll only be using him to get home.

At that moment Titannus is gleeful about how he didn't think there'd be any worthy allies on Earth, and how there are many worthy allies. Behind him, Sunfire is standing on the alien ship, and asks, "Exactly what are you doing here?"

General Comments

There is no team-up between Iron Man and Hulk. Hulk is hardly in the book. You'd think that with Hulk on the cover he'd have a longer battle than the Fantastic Four. Nope. They have seven pages of a battle and two pages of resolution while Hulk is only around for five pages.

The real Iron Man doesn't even make a small cameo in the book, even though he's pictured on the cover in his ketchup and mustard armour. Doom-Stark wears silver armour (and a green cape, for no apparent reason). The cover is misleading, and it angers me.

The story itself is okay. The aforementioned Fantastic Four fight is a good fight. Doom-Stark pulls out some pretty nasty tricks, and Strange pulls out some nifty tricks of his own. The Hulk fight is also good. Lots of weird laser beams and screaming on the Hulk's part. Evil Stark also mentions there's a Pym-Hulk in his world. Neat.

It's good to sees Titannus's character expanded on. We know his cryo-girlfriend needs a cure for something. We know he crash-landed on Earth, and we know he's looking for allies to aid his "mission".

Overall Rating

I don't agree with having to pull an evil Iron Man from an alternate dimension when there're plenty of villains to choose from in this dimension. I also don't agree with leaving Paul Patterson naked for so darn long. C'est la vie.

The battles were definitely this book's saving grace. Dr. Strange proved himself to me in combat, and partial questions were answered about Titannus. 3 webs.