Marvel Team-Up #39, 1975 – “Any Number Can Slay!”

During the 1970’s, Marvel was bursting at the seams with creative talent. The wide array of creator ideas, titles, and characters, pushed them far above DC in the opinion of many a comic book aficionado. They leaped forward due to the fact that their characters were much more unique, the settings were in the real world, and the creative teams were newer, younger, and had fresh ideas. Just one example of all that was Marvel Team-Up.

This title was basically a book for Spider-Man to gain even more presence in the Marvel Universe, and spotlight some more minor characters as well. Whether they were heroes or villains, the book always had a different perspective that helped the characters leap off of the pages and into the reader’s minds.

This team up with Spidey and the Human Torch is no different. We see the two heroes battle alone and then together, with the threat of a multitude of villains ranging from Montana, to the Big Man, to the Sandman! Story by Bill Mantlo, art by Sal Buscema and Mike Esposito (cover by John Romita Sr.), colors by Don Warfield, letters by Karen Mantlo, and edited by Marv Wolfman! Enjoy!

 

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Marvel’s Unsung Heroes! -Ross Andru!

Even though I don’t own a ton of this man’s work, his pencils have always left me looking for more! The late, great, Ross Andru, left an impression on the world of comics, whether you know his pencils from Spider-Man, or his work on DC’s war titles (GI Combat, Our Army at War, etc.), you have to admire his work ethic, and overall positive attitude he brought with him to the drawing table. Often teamed up with long time friend, Mike Esposito, Andru did some really good things for the industry, and deserves to be shown some love right now! So, here’s to you Ross Andru, thanks for the great memories!

 

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Marvel’s Unsung Heroes! -Sal Buscema!

When people hear the name ‘Buscema’, they just about always gravitate to John.  Sometimes just at first, and sometimes only, but I’m here to tell you that the other Buscema brother has chops too! Sal Buscema is a gifted artist that never seems to get his due. Well, he’s going to get it today, as I spotlight some of his work right here and now! It doesn’t matter if it was The Avengers, The Defenders, Rom, or even Spider-Man, Sal Buscema put his heart and soul into his work, and that cannot be denied! He and J. M. Dematteis crafted one of the most emotional death scenes in the history of comic books. So, here’s to you, Sal Buscema, as we go forth and spread the word of your awesome work!

 

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Marvel Team-Up #52, 1976. “Danger: Demon on a Rampage”

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One of Marvel’s best titles on any list,  in the 70’s, has to be Marvel Team-Up! From one issue to the next, you’d get two heroes (Spider-Man, plus one), battling against all sorts of crazy villains, creatures, or just shenanigans of some sort. This was a great formula, and although it sounds like it would be tough to keep going at a great pace, it wasn’t thanks to creators like Gerry Conway (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), and Al Milgrom (cover)! Enjoy!

Marvel Fanfare #3, 1982. “Into the Land of Death”

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There are lots of names that pop into my head when I think of this title, but the first arc (4 issues), definitely stands out in my head. Why? Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum, that’s why! Just look at this awesome cover, and the interior art is just as incredible. The story by Claremont is also one for the ages, but don’t take my word for it, get out there and either buy the single issues or the trade paperback! The X-Men, Spider-Man, Ka-Zar, and Sauron, all fighting it out in the Savage Land! Enjoy!

Marvel Tales #225, 1989. “The Death of Captain Stacy”

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This fabulous reprint title ran for nearly three-hundred issues, and contained some of Spidey’s best stories! In this reprint of Amazing Spider-Man #90 (1970), we see the untimely demise of Captain Stacy, but also, that he knew Peter was Spider-Man for some time. Quite an emotional issue, and really put a strain on the relationship between Peter and Gwen for some time. The issue boasts a revamped cover by Todd McFarlane, interior pencils by Gil Kane, inks by “Jazzy” Johnny Romita, and story by Stan “The Man” Lee! Enjoy!

Marvel Team-Up #1, 1972. “Have Yourself a Sandman Little Christmas”

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Well, here we are on Christmas Eve! I must post a story that coincides with the impending holiday, right? So, here you go! A milestone issue from 1972, that showcases Spider-Man and his buddy, the Human Torch, as they battle the sinister Sandman! Written by Roy “the boy” Thomas, pencils by the late Ross Andru, inks by Mike Esposito, and letters by Artie Simek! As is that wasn’t enough of a crew, you also get a phenomenal cover by Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia! Enjoy!