Review: Marvel Team-Up #46

Marvel Team-Up #46 cover
Cover by Rich Buckler and Mike Esposito

Marvel Team-Up #46
Published and © by Marvel, June 1976

Title: “… Am I Now or Have I Ever Been?”
Synopsis: Still trying to return to his present, Spider-Man ends up in another dystopian future – Deathlok’s 1990 New York!

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

Review: Marvel Team-Up’s half-year-long time-travel storyline wraps up with another done-in-one tale.  While the Salem issues of this storyline (see reviews of MTU #41, #42, #43 and #44) were well conceived and executed, both this issue and MTU #45 have the feel of tacked-on afterthoughts. Still, it’s always nice to visit the future of Deathlok, one of Marvel’s more richly rendered dystopian futures. Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema do a serviceable job, but this issue makes it clear just how important Rich Buckler was to the overall “feel” of his cyborg creation. Sadly, Buckler just provides the cover here.

Grade: B-

Second opinion: “Mantlo shows how easy it is to construct a tight, believable, realistic fantasy …  3 1/2 out of 4 stars.” – Marvel Art Review, 1976

Cool factor: Deathlok. This reviewer loves Bronze Age Deathlok.
Not-so-cool factor: Mutant cannibals with glowing cubes that allow them to focus the radioactive power of their nuclear plasma. (Even the Bronze Age should have some limits!)

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 30¢ variant and a 10p British variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant. 

Character quotable: “… there’s a decay-factor inherent in a cyborg-form! They smell me!” – Deathlok, demolisher and unpleasant travel companion

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Nov. 16, 2009.

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