Monday, May 11, 2015

And Then There Was One!

The villainous Super-Skrull has been in the doghouse with his superiors in the Skrull empire ever since he failed in his mission to destroy the Fantastic Four. Nor can he help being reminded of that failure every day, since at the heart of his makeup is the power to duplicate the FF's abilities--which means that every time he attacks a foe with flame, or strength, or elasticity, or invisibility, he'll remember that all of the resources that went into his raison d'ĂȘtre were wasted, and his first mission ended in defeat.

But in the pages of Marvel Team-Up, in a story which featured writer Chris Claremont and artist John Byrne in a team-up of their own shortly before they began their epic run together in Uncanny X-Men, the Super-Skrull would find himself facing one of the Fantastic Four again, as well as the amazing Spider-Man and a third foe yet to make their appearance. I don't know--does it seem to you like he's mellowed with time?

The Super-Skrull is on the hunt for a device which would power a starship and thereby allow him to return to his home planet. Ordinarily, a villain who wants to leave your planet would be a cause for celebration and a toss of confetti--but, to answer Spidey's question, the Super-Skrull isn't in any mood to "talk this over," and hostilities between the three erupt almost immediately.

Part of the Super-Skrull's problem is something of a design flaw, one that Reed Richards discovered in that first battle which led to the Skrull's defeat: the fact that the source of his power is tied to an asteroid transmitting a constant beam of energy to him, a setup all but forgotten by the Skrull's superiors but which remains in operation:

It's anyone's guess why it doesn't occur to Johnny to deal with their foe by employing the same tactic that Reed did. Of course, Reed isn't around right now to make this happen, and the Skrull hasn't exactly provided his foes with the time to act on their own.

But that doesn't mean these two are without resources in terms of rendering this foe helpless. While the Torch engages the Super-Skrull, Spider-Man concocts a plan with the police (led by Capt. Jean DeWolff) to *ahem* take the heat off the Torch while he and Johnny assemble a makeshift trap for the alien. It may not have the sophistication of being able to block a power beam from space--but in the heat of battle, it becomes a plan worth pursuing. Provided they get the chance to bring it to fruition:

Of course, you and I know that Spider-Man isn't one to think of his own well-being while lives are on the line--and so he prepares to carry out his plan. But, will it work?

Well, let's just say the plan worked. The end result is something else altogether.

With the Torch out of the fight, that leaves Spider-Man virtually alone to face the might of the Super-Skrull, created to be more powerful than all the members of the Fantastic Four combined. This story's ending declares that its conclusion will feature "the surprise ending of the year." The way things look right now, the surprise will be if Spider-Man survives the next few moments.

The Super-Skrull invades the QE2, as Ms. Marvel makes her first appearance in Marvel Team-Up!

Marvel Team-Up #61

Script: Chris Claremont
Pencils: John Byrne
Inks: Dave Hunt
Letterer: John Costanza

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always dug the Super-Skrull! Him and that weird little satellite beaming "power rays" at him. (Well, that's what Reed Richards calls 'em. Who am I dispute him on matters scientific?)
He's one of those, pug-ugly, scary villains like the Absorbing Man, Dormammu and the Growing Man, that really pose a serious threat.

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