Review: Marvel Team-Up #85

Marvel Team-Up #85
Cover by Al Milgrom

Marvel Team-Up #85
Published and © by Marvel, September 1979

Title: “The Woman Who Never Was!”
Synopsis: Can Spider-Man, Nick Fury, Black Widow and Shang-Chi keep Viper from crashing the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier into the Capitol Building?

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Sal Buscema
Inker: Steve Leialoha

Review: In a plot with a bit more resonance post-9/11, our heroes struggle to stop Viper’s plan to take out the U.S. government by crashing the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier into the Capitol Building. If that plan seemed far-fetched back in ’79, it certainly doesn’t now. Writer Chris Claremont ties up multiple plot threads with aplomb, from the action-packed showdown on the Helicarrier to a nice emotional moment between Black Widow (her memories now intact) and Spider-Man. Artists Sal Buscema and Steve Leialoha hold up their end of the deal, too. All in all, a delightful four-issue arc of MTU!

Grade: A

Second opinion: Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Notable: Cameo by President Jimmy Carter.

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 12p British variant and a Mark Jewelers variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “America will be leaderless, paralyzed – and into that vacuum will step my revolutionary brothers and sisters.” – Viper, super-villain … and terrorist!

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on March 19, 2010.

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