Review: Marvel Team-Up #45

Marvel Team-Up #45 cover
Cover by Gil Kane

Marvel Team-Up #45
Published and © by Marvel, May 1976

Title: “Future-Shock!”
Synopsis: On his way back from the past, Spider-Man somehow gets sidetracked to 2019 – and the Martian-controlled world of Killraven!

Writer: Bill Mantlo
Penciler: Sal Buscema
Inker: Mike Esposito

Review: Bill Mantlo’s time-traveling epic continues, taking Spidey from the Salem witch hunts of 1692 and throwing him into the future of 2019 for a team-up with Killraven. Unlike the complex four-parter that preceded it, this issue is a done-in-one that just scratches the surface of Killraven’s world. It would have been fun to spend more time in this rich, dystopian future, but even this brief visit is fun. Mantlo remains an underrated comics craftsman, both in terms of plot and prose. (One quibble this time out: Why isn’t Spider-Man bothered by Killraven hacking other humans to death with his sword?)

Grade: B

Second opinion: “An early example of using the series as a promotional tool. … 3 out of 4 stars.” – Comics Buyer’s Guide #1656, August 2009 … “The book is OK as far as it takes us … which isn’t very far. … 2 1/2 out of 4 stars.” – Marvel Art Review, 1976

Cool factor: Killraven was one of the most underrated features of the Bronze Age (see reviews).
Not-so-cool factor: Again, Spider-Man just stands by while Killraven slices and dices; that’s really out of character for Spidey.

Notable: The “Mail It to Team-Up” letters page includes an LoC from future Eclipse publisher Dean Mullaney, singing the praises of MTU #41.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 30¢ variant and a 9p British variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant. … Beware, this issue contains Marvel Value Stamp (Series B) #75.

Character quotable: “I mourn a lost past, you a shattered future, neither of us really knowing  if one relates to the other.” – Killraven, warrior and  philosopher

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Nov. 13, 2009.

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