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Marvel Team-Up #28: Review

Dec 1974
Gerry Conway, Jim Mooney

Story Name:

The City Stealers!

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Marvel Team-Up #28 Review by (November 1, 2023)

Review: Very strange tale: there have been crazier stories (check out DEFENDERS on this very site) but none staggers belief so much as this one, which defies geography, geology, physics, and multiple other scientific disciplines. Check out the issue’s entry at the Marvel Database for a detailed list of impossibilities portrayed and Marvel’s efforts to retcon the whole thing into something a bit more plausible. And they note, as did I, that the final burst of narration in the story has the editors distancing themselves from the account, suggesting that writer Gerry Conway made it all up (as if the writers didn’t make all of this up). So, all silly bits aside, this tale is fairly entertaining and besides, it’s just a comic book.

Comments: This story takes place during a break in the events of THOR #231The City Stealers (called that only on the cover and in the story title) are revealed to be working for “They who Wield Power” in INCREDIBLE HULK #241, a band of villains led by Tyrannus; this is their first mention and their further career is seen in INCREDIBLE HULK #208-209 and #238-241. One of the City Stealers wears green armor but the other’s armor seems to shift between gray, blue/purple, and blue/purple/pink. At the end, Hercules is on his way to recover the Runestaff of Kamo-Tharn in THOR #231-235. The Mayor portrayed is Abe Beame, in office 1974-1977. Spidey uses the phrase, “You can bet your bottom Resnicoff…” I have absolutely no idea where that came from though it likely means the same as “bottom dollar” indicating a certainty. The letters column includes one by Bob Wayne, who may be the future DC executive of that name.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Marvel Team-Up #28 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara

Spider-Man swings through the city, worrying about finding a new apartment. Hercules walks the streets, musing on the unequal distribution of wealth in America. Suddenly, the impossible happens: the city is shaken by an earthquake. A woman is hurled through a window on the building Spidey is clinging to so he catches her in a web and returns her to her office. Herc sees a pier collapse and rescues a homeless man who fell into the river….

Peter Parker goes to the University to speak with Professor Aldritch. The Prof has detected two sources for the tremors where there shouldn’t be even one: one in the northernmost point of Manhattan and one in the southernmost. Pete changes into Spider-Man and decides he will need help to solve this problem….

In the south of the island, Hercules, knowing this disaster must be man-made, finds the tremors starting again underground. He rips up the ground and discovers a gray-armored figure using a device that fires an energy beam down into the earth. Spider-Man, unable to locate another superhero, encounters another armored man with a device at the north end of Manhattan. Spidey attacks the green-armored villain and discovers that his foe is surprisingly strong, strong enough to grab Spidey and slam him to the ground, knocking him out….

Spider-Man awakens to find himself chained up next to Hercules who allowed himself to be captured so that he could learn the villains’ plan. He breaks free but a blast from one of the armored villains knocks him out. Spidey asks the baddie what his plan is; the plan is to cut Manhattan loose and tow it away so they can demand a ransom of two billion dollars; if it is not delivered, the island will be sunk, killing everyone on it. So Spidey breaks free and he and the recovered Herc defeat the green baddy. The fact that these two armored men speak in the second person suggests to Spidey that are receiving orders from a third party; Spidey wrecks the gray villain. He tears open a panel in its chest to discover that the armor was operated by a little old man, frightened of mysterious masters called “They.” Spidey has an idea….

So Hercules pulls Manhattan back into place with chains. The Mayor of New York arrives, accusing them of causing the disaster and bemoaning the destruction of all the city’s bridges and tunnels. Spidey refers him to Reed Richards and the two heroes go on about their business….

Jim Mooney
Vince Colletta
Bill Mantlo
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Dick Giordano (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Peter Parker)

> Marvel Team-Up: Book info and issue index

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