Marvel Team-Up #4
Published and © by Marvel, September 1972
Title: “And Then – the X-Men!”
Synopsis: Infected by a toxin from Morbius’ blood, Spider-Man fights the X-Men – and then must be saved by the mutant heroes.
Writer: Gerry Conway
Penciler: Gil Kane
Inker: Steve Mitchell
Review: This Gerry Conway tale is pretty typical fare for its era. Readers are treated to some hero-vs.-hero fisticuffs before the real threat is identified and the day is saved. Characterization leans superficial and the conclusion is awkward and rushed. But, overall, its a fine – and fun – done-in-one tale. The real treat here is the art of Gil Kane. While the finishes are a bit inconsistent, Kane is a dynamic artist both in terms of anatomy and storytelling. There is a kinetic power to his work that’s a perfect fit for superhero comics (and he draws a killer Morbius!)
Second opinion: “Early issues are only noteworthy for some fine Gil Kane art, particularly in #4’s X-Men guest-shot.” – Frank Plowright, The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003
Cool factor: This issue was headed for a B but earned its plus for helping to keep the X-Men in the public eye during that franchise’s reprint era.
Not-so-cool factor: The story’s final page reads much different in the post-#MeToo era.
Notable: According to The Official Marvel Index to Marvel Team-Up #1, Frank Giacoia and John Romita did touch-ups on several pages.
Collector’s note: According to MyComicShop.com, there is a National Diamond variant of this issue.
Character quotable: “Now, if you’ll excuse me … I think I’m gonna … black out …” – Spider-Man, under the weather
Editor’s note: This review was written May 20, 2023.