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Marvel Team-Up #10: Review

Jun 1973
Gerry Conway, Jim Mooney

Story Name:

Time Bomb

Review & Comments

4 stars

Marvel Team-Up #10 Review by (January 13, 2024)
Comments: Part two of three parts. Human Torch is wearing a red-and-yellow costume which he wore between FANTASTIC FOUR #132 and #159. The rest of the FF are searching for Agatha Harkness, who went missing in FANTASTIC FOUR #132; she is found in FF #140-141. Johnny doesn’t want to visit Attilan because his ex, Crystal, lives there and is now married to Quicksilver; Johnny and Crys broke up in FF #105. The big irony is that Crystal isn’t there so he punked out for nothing. The letters page includes one by letterhack Brian Earl Brown.

Review: Race against time stories are always a great source of entertainment and we have three of them in one issue. Never mind how the heroes learned where the three bombs were, we’ll assume Gerry Conway told them and move on. The devolution bits are mere window dressing but serve their purpose in tossing obstacles in the heroes’ way. And it does seem a bit strange that the United States in 1973 has the most powerful arsenal in all of time and space, especially considering how many galactic empires have shown up in Marvel comics (the Kree? The Shi’ar, The Skrulls? The Badoon? None of them was armed as well as the US during the Nixon Administration?). Then…oh, Johnny, seriously? The world is in danger from a pair of time travelling master villains and you cut out because you don’t want to run into your ex? Reed, Sue, Ben, and Medusa should all give him a smack in the face for that. Well, at least Spidey doesn’t complain—even though he has the most reason to.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Marvel Team-Up #10 Synopsis by T Vernon
In the 23rd Century, Spider-Man and Iron Man have been defeated by Kang the Conqueror who is now challenged by Zarrko the Tomorrow Man, plotting to take over Kang’s operation, making the 23rd Century a beachhead from which to invade and conquer 1973. Zarrko reveals his plan: he has sent three capsules back to 1973 containing a form of chronal radiation. When detonated, Earth will devolve backwards in time, turning the world back to the Stone Age—except for a small area in Western North America, where a weapons depot resides; Zarrko plans to hijack the nuclear weapons and conquer all of time. Because of his stamina, the paralysis beam wears off of Spidey quickly but Iron Man is down for the count, his armor drained of power; he encourages Spidey to escape and figure out a way to overcome the bad guys. Spidey searches the building until he discovers a vault conveniently marked Time Portal. He enters, figures out how the thing works (he hopes) and returns to New York on February 14, 1973 where he left from. Meanwhile, Kang stuns Zarrko with his paralysis ray and turns to see someone entering the control room and he recoils in shock [this will be explained next issue]….

Spidey finds himself in the Baxter Building where he triggers an alarm and is trapped. When Human Torch sees who it is, he releases Spidey, who explains the situation; Johnny agrees to join him on the mission, first locating and stopping the time bombs and then figuring out how to deal with Zarrko and Kang….

Human Torch goes after the bomb that came down in Japan. He sees a modern train turn into a steam locomotive and learns the bomb has already detonated. He traces the radiation to a shack where a man wielding a shotgun transforms into a Samurai warrior; assuming he’s out of his mind from the radiation, Johnny subdues him and tries to deactivate the bomb…but the radiation starts to drive him mad….

Meanwhile, Spider-Man has stowed away on a jet to Venezuela, in pursuit of the second time bomb. As he watches, the jet airliner devolves into a canvas-covered biplane while the city around him turns into a mud village. He traces the bomb to the docks where he battles some ancient warriors, before being hypnotized by the bomb’s radiation. Suddenly, Human Torch appears, melting the bomb, having been able to marshal the strength to nova blast the Japan bomb. They wait for a biplane to turn back into a private jet, then hop in and fly to Greece, location of the third time bomb. But the radiation turns their plane into a Da Vinci-era glider and they fall from the sky. They fight a bunch of ancient Grecian warriors and Johnny is about to destroy the bomb when Spidey stops him, turning it off instead. The bomb is their only clue how to defeat Zarrko and Kang. Johnny recognizes the bomb’s radiation as similar to that of the Negative Zone surrounding the Great Refuge of Attilan, home of the Inhumans. Johnny would rather not go there to encounter his ex, Crystal, so he gives Spidey directions to the place before taking off….

Jim Mooney
Frank Giacoia
Stan Goldberg
John Romita (Cover Penciler)
Mike Esposito (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Charlotte Jetter.
Editor: Roy Thomas.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Human Torch
Human Torch

(Johnny Storm)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Kang the Conqueror)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Zarrko (Tomorrow Man).

> Marvel Team-Up: Book info and issue index

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