Marvel Team-Up #36
Published and © by Marvel, August 1975
Title: “Once Upon a Time, in a Castle …”
Synopsis: Spider-Man is zapped while breaking up a bank robbery and wakes to find himself imprisoned next to the Frankenstein Monster.
Writer: Gerry Conway
Penciler: Sal Buscema
Inker: Vince Colletta
Review: Spider-Man teams with the Frankenstein Monster? That could be a little different. But what sounds like the potential for some monster madness turns out to be a pretty average Marvel Team-Up outing for the era. Gerry Conway’s direct-address narrative is a little jarring to today’s readers, but was pretty typical during the early Bronze Age. Also typical is Sal Buscema’s art; the prolific, younger Buscema darn near became the Marvel house style during the mid-’70s. Vince Colletta’s unsympathetic inks aren’t particularly flattering – but, of course, that’s quite typical, too. While not a horrible comic, this one is surprisingly forgettable.
Second opinion: “The pairing of Spider-Man with the Frankenstein Monster and Marvel Team-Up #36 is a little – weird?” – Martin Lock, Fantasy Unlimited #28, July 1975
Cool factor: Spider-Man knows how to hang for Halloween.
Not-so-cool factor: How exactly did Spider-Man get from New York to the Balkans? How did S.H.I.E.L.D. get involved? And why does this cover have next-to-nothing to do with this issue’s story? So. Many. Questions.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 9p British variant of this issue.
Character quotable: “Many inmates of mental institutions do not deserve incarceration. Yet frequently, a harsh and imbecilic world punishes those who would be different.” – Baron Ludwig von Shtupf, the Monster Maker
Editor’s note: This review was written June 20, 2022.