Marvel Team-Up (Vol. 3) #8

Background

After acquiring a ring that grants the ability to alter the reality around the wearer, the Ringmaster goes to rob a bank.

Meanwhile, we find out the Titannus is acting like a sobbing girl and wants to use the Marvel heroes as pawns for some sort of war.

Spider-Man and Moon Knight open up a can on the Constrictor and then fly off to investigate Ringmaster's robbery. After a small fight, Ringmaster makes Spider-Man's web fluid into a "highly volatile explosive substance." We see a big boom.

Story Details

  Marvel Team-Up (Vol. 3) #8
Summary: Punisher/Blade
Arc: Part 2 of 'Master of the Ring' (1-2-3-4-5)
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Jeff Johnson

A weapon deal is going on between some small-time hustlers and some vampires. Blade watches from a nearby rooftop and is soon joined by the Punisher. They have their weapons drawn on each other. After about a page of a pissing contest, Blade becomes the bigger man and lowers his weapon. Another page later, Punisher lowers his pistol and then shoots Blade in the back after Blade says that he respects him. Instead of slicing up the Punisher, Blade still attempts to get him to listen to reason.

Titannus talks to his comatose girlfriend. He explains that these superheroes don't give up, and they'd be perfect to take on her father's army. He just has to get their attention.

Blade seems to really want to talk to the Punisher. He tells him about how he watched his biography on Court TV, he asks what Punisher's motivations are, and he even mentions that the Punisher doesn't like to talk. Blade explains his story briefly and gets an incredulous look from the skull-clad vigilante. The day walker gives a speech on how they're the same, yet different. Punisher doesn't care.

Titannus flies into Japan and exchanges a few words with Sunfire, who seems to have an army behind him. Titannus doesn't care.

The gun deal goes awry and the small-time hustlers get taken down. The way it is drawn, it looks like the Punisher dumped his pants (not literally though). Blade, satisfied that his adversaries won, leaps into battle. Though Punisher offers his help, Blade declines. "No, I got this." Then we get a splash of Blade kicking...butt.

General Comments

With all the things that the Punisher has seen and experienced, I find it hard to believe that he'd look so scared when witnessing a bunch of vampires disemboweling some petty thugs. I don't like it when the Punisher looks like a sissy. I don't.

I'm a big characterization whore, so I like it a lot when characters just talk about motivations and stuff but Blade was acting darn right feminine on that rooftop with Punisher. I was half expecting him to ask, "What are your feelings?"

This story was actually pretty cool, even though it did next to nothing to further the story of Titannus and didn't add to the "one ring to rule them all" story. It's cool to see a couple of badasses meet up and compare their back stories. I also feel like there's more depth to characters when they have televised biographies. Feel like they're more realistic.

I would have liked to see Blade and Punisher throw down, but it would have been pretty one-sided. Sort of like Superman taking on Aquaman. Like anybody taking on Aquaman. But it still would have been a pretty entertaining fight.

The art work is the same as it's been for the past seven issues: consistently decent, but nothing to write home about.

Overall Rating

Even though it was part two of this story arc, it did almost nothing to further the story along...well...or so we think, I guess. For now, it seems like it didn't do anything to further the story along. I might edit this if I was wrong.

Even though I kid about it, I liked the interaction between Blade and Punisher. I craved more action in this issue and got a lot of smack talk instead.

Three and a half webs for remaining entertaining but skimping out in the action department.