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2014: Marvel Team-Up #21 (v1)

" The Spider and the Sorcerer! "
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Marvel Team-Up #21 (v1)
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Editor-in-Chief: Roy Thomas
Cover Artists: Gil Kane, Frank Giacoia
Writers: Len Wein
Pencilers: Sal Buscema
Inkers: Frank Giacoia, David Hunt
Colourists: Nelson Yomtov, Glynis Wein (Oliver)
Letterers: David Hunt
Editors: Roy Thomas
Cover Date: May 1974
Release Date: February 1974
Story Arc: -
Pages: 18
Cover Price: $0.25
Times Read: 217                 Times Rated: 125
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #20 Go to Issue #22

Master of Kung Fu #18
Master of Kung Fu #19
Marvel Team-Up #21 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #132 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #133 (v1)
2012: Master of K...
2013: Master of K...
2015: Amazing Spi...
#132 (v1)
2016: Amazing Spi...
#133 (v1)
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Issue Blurb
Xandu has returned, seeking to regain the mystic power he once controlled and more. But will the duo that took him down the first time be up to the task again?
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Character Appearances
Main Characters
Spider-Man last appeared in Marvel Team-Up #20 (v1). Spider-Man next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #132 (v1).
  Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange last appeared in Defenders #14 (v1). Doctor Strange next appears in Doctor Strange #1 (v2).
Supporting Characters
Xandu last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2. Xandu next appears in Marvel Fanfare #6a (v1).
  Melinda Morrison
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Melinda Morrison in the mainstream continuity. Melinda Morrison next appears in Marvel Fanfare #6a (v1).
Equipment, Items & Vehicles
Web-Shooters last appeared in Marvel Team-Up #20 (v1). Web-Shooters next appears in Amazing Spider-Man #132 (v1).
Wand of Watoomb
Wand of Watoomb last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2.
Cloak of Levitation
Cloak of Levitation last appeared in Defenders #14 (v1). Cloak of Levitation next appears in Doctor Strange #1 (v2).
Eye of Agamotto
Eye of Agamotto last appeared in Defenders #14 (v1). Eye of Agamotto next appears in Doctor Strange #1 (v2).
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Issue Notes
  There are no notes for this issue.

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Issue Review
   March 31, 2016
Strong case-of-the-week type story for Doctor Strange and Spider-Man with a clever twist and a tragic ending. Normally I don't like 'Hero vs. Hero' battles, but the one at the start of this issue is clever and totally works. 7/10
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Issue Synopsis
Out on his night-patrol, Spider-Man comes across four thugs attacking a lone man. Spider-Man drives off the thugs, but is then hypnotised by their intended victim, who turns out to be Xandu the magician. Xandu commands Spider-Man to retrieve a gem called the Crystal of Kadavus, which is hidden in the Sanctum Santorum of Doctor Strange. The magician uses his power to transport Spider-Man to Strangeís home.

Doctor Strange is sitting alone, meditating on the teachings of the Ancient One, when he is disturbed by the sound of Spider-Man knocking over a metal vase. Strange greets Spider-Man warmly, but, in his hypnotised state, Spider-Man sees the greeting as an attack. There is a brief battle as Strange seeks to subdue the webslinger, but the mage is rendered unconscious when Spider-Man pulls a stone ornament down on top of him.

Spider-Man retrieves the crystal and returns it to Xandu, who uses it to regenerate the Wand of Watoomb, the most powerful weapon in all of necromantic lore. The magician reveals that he intends to use the power of the wand to restore life to his lover, Melinda, who has lain for years in a death-like sleep as a result of a mystic accident.

Xandu prepares to unleash a bolt of power that will destroy Spider-Man, but Doctor Strange arrives just in time to stop this happening. Xandu uses the wand to transport himself, Spider-Man and Doctor Strange to a mystic realm, where he is all-powerful. A battle ensues between Xandu and Strange, in which Xandu appears to have the upper hand. Spider-Man, now free of evil magicianís hypnotic influence, joins in the battle, but, even working together, he and Strange are not powerful enough to defeat Xandu while he is wielding the Wand of Watoomb. Xandu uses his powers to turn Spider-Man and Strange into puppets, controlled by strings. Doctor Strange attempts a final, desperate spell. Spider-Man realises that his hands are pointing towards Xanduís face and fires his webbing, but discovers, to his surprise, that his webbing has actually been converted into bolts of mystic energy. Doctor Strange joins the attack, webbing flying from his hands Ė the magicianís final spell had been to swap his powers with Spider-Manís. Taken off-guard by the exchange of powers, Xandu is defeated, and Doctor Strange disposes of the Wand of Watoomb.

Xandu is devastated by the loss of the wand, as this means that he is not now able to restore Melinda. However, Doctor Strange offers to try to restore the woman. Unfortunately, Strange discovers that Melinda is not in a death-like sleep; she is actually dead, and nothing can be done for her. Doctor Strange and Spider-Man leave Xandu to grieve over his loverís corpse.
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  Redsvetz Says:    
  2012-09-03 12:23:19  
  The old "switcheroo" eh? I'd say Stan had an uncredited hand in this story--the silly resolution has his grubby fingerprints all over it.  

  Calthor Says:    
  2012-12-11 03:26:47  
  Switching 'magic' with 'webbing' seems deliriously stupid, but eh, I guess it can all happen when Dr. Strange and a weird dimension world are involved.  

  leisch Says:    
  2014-02-25 07:45:34  
  A couple of twists kept the story interesting.  

  Neskit Says:    
  2014-08-15 18:41:18  
  I liked how the viewpoint changed for hypnospidey.  

  TheAmazingGatorMan Says:    
  2015-05-14 11:34:22  
  Usually when they promise I won't be disappointed, I usually am. This case is no different.  

  duncanm Says:    
  2015-09-24 00:00:06  
  Dr. Strange in "evil vision" is actually pretty entertaining.
I didn't mind the power switch, lets face it, we're dealing with mind control, ancient objects of power, and magical nether-dimensions. Switching powers isn't that weird. What I loved was Spidey's "Holy &#^$" reaction to his magic.
So after the whole battle and everything, and now obviously having a broken brain, they just leave Xandu on his own?

  Vancelot Says:    
  2016-01-29 01:05:47  
  Power switching was pretty lame, but the ending was good.  

  MattDog37 Says:    
  2016-07-09 09:51:37  
  Xandu looks about 40 years younger on the cover than he does in the comic.  

  dadoodoflow Says:    
  2017-08-25 11:48:13  
  That Double Splash made up for any general blah in the story. I also thought the two views of Strange vs. Spidey were fun. Actually, this won me over by the end.  

  Shinderu Says:    
  2017-09-14 05:39:57  
  This was pretty good for an an issue of Team-Up.  

  Russ Says:    
  2017-10-22 13:34:46  
  I thought this one was one of the better MTU stories we've seen so far. In spite of the oddball out-of-this-world visuals, this was believable in Spidey's world since this is actually the sequel to Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2.

It's really hard to say if Xandu wants to take over like any other wanna-be Marvel despot, or if he just wants to wake up his wife. And Doc's power swap wasn't necessary, but it was fun to see Spidey react to it! The ending was surprisingly heart-felt as well.

3 stars. After this story, I get the feeling Spider-Man would almost work as a member of the Defenders. Well, almost....

  Katryn Says:    
  2017-12-12 06:13:25  
  I don't know that I've enjoyed another issue of Team-Up as much as this one. Not that that's necessarily setting the bar very high, but still.  

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Date User Name Update
   February 12, 2018 TStarnes Added Eye of Agamotto listing.
   February 12, 2018 TStarnes Added Cloak of Levitation listing.
   February 12, 2018 TStarnes Added Wand of Watoomb listing.
   February 12, 2018 TStarnes Added Web-Shooters listing.
   February 12, 2018 TStarnes
   February 12, 2018 TStarnes
   July 14, 2015 Added synopsis for this issue.
   July 14, 2015 TStarnes Changed comic details.
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