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Marvel Team-Up #9: Review

May 1973
Gerry Conway, Ross Andru

Story Name:

The Tomorrow War

Review & Comments

4 stars

Marvel Team-Up #9 Review by (January 6, 2024)
Comments: Part one of three parts. Story takes place before AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #119-120, wherein Spidey goes to Canada to face the Hulk. Zarrko was last seen in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #101-102; this marks his third appearance. Spidey compares the arrogant self-righteous robot to the upbeat evangelist Billy Graham (1918-2018) which is inaccurate and insulting to Graham. The Avengers imprisoned by Kang are Vision, Black Panther, Jarvis, Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Thor.  

Review: MARVEL TEAM-UP was always one of my favorite 1970s titles, with Spidey at his most entertaining, teamed up with a succession of other Marvel heroes, big and small, on offbeat adventures. Maybe because of this title, Gerry Conway was one of my favorite Spidey writers and the little-known Ross Andru maybe my most favorite Spidey artist (as well as being the penciller on Marvel’s color DOC SAVAGE run). And now we have a fast-paced far-ranging sci-fi/time travel epic pitting the comics’ two biggest chronal mischief-makers, Kang and Zarrko, against one another. It’s non-stop cool stuff from here to the end of issue #11 so hang on!


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Marvel Team-Up #9 Synopsis by T Vernon
One fine day, Avengers Mansion begins shaking violently, upending the sidewalk, staggering pedestrians, before it fades out then back in. Iron Man shows up to investigate but can’t enter because the building is wrapped in a force field….

Peter Parker watches from home on the television news but he doesn’t want to join in, preferring to take a bath then a nap. His roommate Harry Osborn looks in, yelling at Pete for having the TV volume turned up too high. Miffed, Pete heads out…

…changing to Spider-Man and arriving at Avengers Mansion to join Iron Man (who doesn’t want him) just as a portal opens. They dive through into a world of green membrane; they plummet until they hit a huge platform while spaceships duel overhead. Fearing danger, Iron Man flies toward the victorious ship and is suddenly immobilized by a powerful force. The ship lands on the platform and Zarrko the Tomorrow Man emerges, freeing Iron Man from his bonds, pleading self-defense. He invites them in and explains that he needs their help. He takes them to his 23rd Century home, a pacifistic age with no weapons which has been invaded and conquered by an army. Zarrko had brought the Avengers from their time to aid him but they have been captured by the enemy. Zarrko leads them to the enemy’s citadel in future New York. Spidey and Shellhead defeat the guards on the wall and break down the outside door. Proceeding through the corridors they battle soldiers on sky-sleds, trapping them in a giant web. Then they are attacked by a giant robot that smashes in Iron Man’s chest, condemning him for being a cyborg, not a pure machine. With Iron Man damaged, Spidey webs up the robot and smashes its head in. He helps Iron Man through the last door where they move through an airlock and find…Kang the Conqueror in a giant control room, with the captive Avengers sealed in two rows of glass cells. Kang blasts the two heroes, paralyzing them—and then Zarrko, who had duped Spidey and Shellhead into fighting their way into the control room, now stands poised to take over Kang’s operation, making the 23rd Century a beachhead from which to invade and conquer 1973….

Ross Andru
Frank Bolle
Stan Goldberg
John Romita (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Charlotte Jetter.
Editor: Roy Thomas.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

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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