The Fangirl Life: Comics Feature One

By Michal Basford

This is the first of eight comic features. In particular, this week, I’ll be focusing on Spider-Man.

My personal comic collection has grown recently to include more older comic instead of only newer ones. Primarily, it’s been DC. This changed when my dad took me to a comic show. We went through boxes of comics, searching for anything of interest. While I got a variety, Dad got Spider-Man for the most part. I, however, didn’t get any older Spider-Man. I raided his collection of Spider-Man comics and found five team-ups of interest.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man has been seen three different ways: one in Spider-Man (a trilogy), another in The Amazing Spider-Man and the final in Civil War (with a separate movie on the way). The first two left themselves open to continuing but stopped short.

In the team-up with Black Panther, Spider-Man is hurled off of an aerial ship of some sort befo
re Black Panther is mentioned, but he’s (Black Panther) inside the Avengers’ headquarters. Black Panther, or “Panthy” as Peter calls him, saves Spider-Man. The plot follows Spider-Man and Black Panther in the tracking down of Stegron before battling him and his army of dinosaurs.

In the team up with Falcon, we find Spider-Man breaking up an attempt to harm a fellow tenant in his new apartment building. It’s revealed what caused the three boys to act as they did. Shortly after, Falcon comes into the picture as a private investigator or detective of some kind. The two meet when coming after the same bad guy who stirred up trouble in these boys.

In a change of pace, Wanda is seen first in this team-up. However, she appears to be losing her mind in a way. She goes back and forth with Vision, going between attitudes. However, she leaves and is caught by what I assume is the villain. The story cuts to Spider-Man in New York when Wanda falls unconscious. It appears that he is minding his own business, simply “flying” through New York when something nearly hits him. He’s consumed by what he thinks is some form of a fireball or something of that nature, and this is when we get a glimpse of the villain. His voice has been heard in the previous pages, haunting Wanda, but his face hasn’t been seen prior to this point. His appearance matches that of an old man from Salem in the 1600s, and his speech matches. This isn’t really what I expect from a villain, but it makes for an interesting plot. Spider-Man tries to fight the Cotton Mather as this villain is called but is overcome when the Cotton Mather takes control of Wanda’s mind in order to bring the ceiling down and trap Spider-Man. While Peter is trapped, the Cotton Mather escapes with Wanda by traveling in time. Spidey follows shortly after using the same machine. The Cotton Mather has taken Wanda to a town that seems like Salem as the people cry out for “the witch’s” death. Vision appears seemingly out of nowhere, and Spider-Man follows shortly after.

Thor comes into play rather quickly, saving Spider-Man’s skin, in his team-up with Spider-Man. Thor joins Spider-Man in fighting the villain, the Monolith. The battle rages on for a few pages before awakening another potential hero. The Monolith vanishes into thin air as Thor strikes him with lightening from his hammer.

Peter is out on a walk, probably a date, with a girl named Cissy when the villain (Doctor Strange possessed and not looking like himself) attacks. Peter takes Cissy home then checks on Doctor Strange. He appears normal, looking like himself. Peter discovers it was indeed Strange that attacked him. He returns to normal as it was Clea that was going into his mind to discover the problem he has. No resolution is reached, but a woman named Satana comes along and claims to be present to save or kill him.

Both Spider-Man and his team-ups seem rather different from the portrayals in the movies. Expected, of course, but notable nonetheless. Peter doesn’t want Mary Jane knowing who he is, but in all of the movies (Spider-man and Amazing Spider-Man) his girlfriend or crush knows he’s Spider-Man after finding out at some point in the series of events. However, his sense of humor isn’t far off from what we’ve seen in theaters. Black Panther isn’t from Wakanda and doesn’t appear royal. Falcon isn’t a veteran but is instead an investigator of some nature. Doctor Strange has a follower, something we didn’t really see in the recent movie.

I’m interested to see how villains such as these are incorporated into MCU in the future.