Marvel Team-Up #125 (Story 1)

 Title: Marvel Team-Up
 Lookback: Totalistic Team-Ups
 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Jason Godin (E-Mail)


Tigra! Tigra! Tigra! Back in the day, writers used to LIKE Tigra, as opposed to these days, where she appears maybe once a year (hint, hint). Here is Spider-Man's close encounter with the (second) most foxiest feline he's ever laid eyes on!

Story 'Yesterday and Today!'

  Marvel Team-Up #125 (Story 1)
Summary: Spider-Man & Tigra (vs. Zabo)
Arc: Part 1 of 'Spider-Man and Tigra' (1)
Editor: Tom DeFalco
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils: Kerry Gammill
Inker: Mike Esposito
Cover Art: John Romita, Jr.
Articles: Cat, Doctor Strange

We start our adventure with Tigra racing across the Manhattan rooftops, as she's late for some sort of important date. However, she's stopped by a group of thugs menacing a police officer below. She goes to help the poor cop, who, as is revealed, was only trying to tell the punks to take their beer elsewhere. One of them raises a tire iron to hit him, but Greer rushes to the rescue, and she helps the officer take down the punks.

They run away, and the officer says that he isn't going to arrest them - after all, they're young, and he was like them once. Greer is floored by his kindness, and gives him a kiss for his efforts. She says he can meet her for dinner later. Wow, if all I had to do to get some action was do my job poorly...

Six blocks and twelve minutes later, Tigra arrives at her appropriate destination - a commercial set for the Kwikee Burger! The director, Mr. Bickey, chides her for being late, and tells her to say hello to her co-star, the Obvious Spider-Man! Greer complains loudly that this is supposed to be her chance at TV stardom, and doesn't want to share itwith the wall-crawler. Bickey replies that his bosses decided that having two super-heroes would be better than one, and that Spider-Man is more... well known than Tigra. Spidey tells her not to worry, that he's decided to quit on the commercial anyhow - he might get a bad reputation if he started hawking fast food. Uh... okay...

Tigra shoots her commercial, and steps outside. There, Spider-Man is waiting for her, looking for love. Greer doesn't give him the time of day. To Spider- Man's request to make beautiful music, she replies: "I don't play any instruments."

Spidey, dejected, realizes that it isn't Tigra who got him down, it's his failed relationship with Black Cat, and this other cat reminds him... There's a LOT of hidden innuendo in just pages 5 and 6 of this issue, it's amazing to me that they pulled it all off and still kept it kid-friendly. Having a mind entrenched firmly in the gutter myself, I thought of at least 6 filthy jokes in reply to the heroes' comments.

Moving along, Tigra wonders why she's so attracted to Officer Carl, and realizes that he is just like Bill, her one-time lover, now dead. She goes to dinner with him. Carl got all dressed up for the occasion, and there's Tigra, in her usual crime-fighting black bikini. Not that I'm complaining. However, the meal is interrupted when a large man with a collar smashes the table, demanding to fight Greer alone. She is shocked - it is Zabo, the bodyguard of Mal Donalbain - the man who created her as the Cat so long ago to serve in his superwoman army. Tigra looks shocked as she ushers civilians out the door of the restaurant, but Spider-Man flies in to the rescue, or so he thinks - he dropkicks Zabo, nearly breaking his own foot in the process.

Tigra begs Spider-Man to stay out of this, as it is a personal fight for her. He replies rather chauvanistically, offering to help the damsel in distress. However, due to Carl's interference, Spider-Man accidentally webs Tigra to the wall, allowing Zabo an opportunity to attack. Tigra flips just in time, and pulls her arm free of Spider-Man's webbing because it "hadn't dried yet."

Zabo then crushes Spider-Man through the wall of a - get this - Kwikee Burger. Zabo angrily reveals that he is Donalbain's brother - causing Tigra concern. Zabo believes Tigra is responsible for Donalbain's death, but really, Mal killed himself. In addition, Tigra feels horrified that Mal Donalbain used his devices to turn Zabo into a mindless drone. Spider-Man manages to lock Zabo in a tight hold, but only after Zabo hits Tigra hard enough to hurt her badly. Tigra croaks out that Zabo's actions aren't his fault, and begs Spider-Man to let him alone. Spidey thinks about it for a moment, and DOES... great responsibility, my butt... but Tigra looks at the frustrated Zabo, and tells him that he doesn't have to kill her, he can live his life freely now, without Mal Donalbain's interference. Zabo looks at her and begins to cry, running away.

Later, Tigra, Spider-Man, and Carl all discuss what happened, hoping that the cops will understand. They do. Lance Bannon, Bugle photographer, shows up to snap some shots, as Spidey and Tigra run away. Mr. Bickey returns to complain about the Kwikee Burger damage, but Spider-Man shuts him up with a fistful of web. Carl wonders if it's too soon to retire. As do I, friend. As do I.

General Comments

This is a little messy - even at the urging of another hero, Spider- Man really isn't the type to let crazed killers run amok. At least this isn't the complete screwjob from Amazing Spider-Man #375, but this is still off. And I also didn't appreciate how DeMatteis had Spider-Man turn down the commercial offer - the guy's desperate for cash, and he's done TV before, and New York has a generally negative opinion of him anyway... which leads me to wonder how he got THIS gig... but it just doesn't feel right.

Overall Rating

Two webs - I feel a bit generous. It would be 1.5, but there were a few moments of humor worth giving credit for.

 Title: Marvel Team-Up
 Lookback: Totalistic Team-Ups
 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Jason Godin (E-Mail)