Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciller: Greg LaRoque

The final issue of Marvel Team-Up is also one of the very first US Spider-comics that I ever bought.

In the 1980s I read this several times, partly because I discovered it being reprinted around the same time in Marvel UK's Spider-Man Weekly #620-622.

So of course I just had to buy it to do a comparison.

In fact, I kept on buying the British imprint until the end of that story.

In fact, then I kept on buying the title for several months. That first Marvel UK issue above was one of the purchases that got me into collecting the British titles. I couldn't fathom how a market could exist for an inferior reprint of a mag that was already easily available, (on occasion in the same newsagents) in full colour and at an overall cheaper price, but somehow Marvel UK were making the maths work – good for them.

The story pits Spider-Man and the X-Men against the power of the Juggernaut, and despite what I said above about having read this a few times as a teenager, nearly 25 years later I've found I've retained very little memory of it.

There is one page that has stuck with me though – page 14. Whilst donning his costume and swinging around town, Spidey waxes on, with a couple of footnote-boxes from the editor, about how everything else is going on in his life.

How he got his alien black costume during the Secret Wars, some of the cool stuff it could do, how he got rid of it when it turned out to be a sentient symbiote, how his boss prefers photos taken by Spidey's girlfriend the Black Cat, how Harry and Liz Osborn's baby is due soon, how he still needs Aunt May's forgiveness and of course about how Mary Jane has known his secret identity for years.

I don't know, but maybe, just maybe, that whole monologue through those six panels helped bring me up to speed and get me into collecting the other US titles.

Anyhew, Marvel UK wisely cut-out that entire page.


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