Review: Marvel Team-Up Annual #3

Marvel Team-Up Annual #3 cover
Cover by Frank Miller and Joe Rubinstein

Marvel Team-Up Annual #3
Published and © by Marvel, 1980

Title: “Mayhem in Middle America!”
Synopsis: Power Man, Iron Fist and Machine Man scramble to recover a computer “super-circuit” that has been stolen by the Hulk.

Writer: Roger Stern
Penciler: Herb Trimpe
Inker: Mike Esposito, Bruce Patterson, Frank Springer, Al Milgrom, Dave Humphrys and Joe Rubinstein

Review: This annual isn’t nearly as strong as it should be. The main reason is that its heroes, at this point in their careers, lack compelling character motivations. Power Man and Iron Fist are super-powered rent-a-cops. Machine Man is working as a claims adjuster. And the Hulk wanders from place to place being tricked by one human after another. Writer Roger Stern puts these characters through their paces, but it’s just hard to care. And the story doesn’t get much help from penciler Herb Trimpe, an acquired taste this reviewer has never quite acquired.

Grade: B-

Cool factor: The fun Frank Miller cover.
Not-so-cool factor: The inside … not so fun.

Character quotable: “My gamma-ray tracer worked just like I hoped! I’ve found my big, green pigeon!” – Nightshade, B-list blaxploitation villainess

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Feb. 25, 2009.

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