The usual tri-monthly effort. Spider-Man Team-Up #6 contains two stories by two distinct teams. US$2.99 for total of 64 pages with only a few ads. Worth the three bucks? Read on and see what I thought.
Part One: OK, Hulk is trashing the Avenger's Mansion, and S.H.I.E.L.D. is trying to stop him on principle. By co-incidence, Spider-Man is nearby and tries to stop him on principle. By co-incidence, Aquarian is nearby and tries to stop him, on principle, right? So, Hulk wants some data from the Avenger's computer to save his own life (long story). A Dr. Doom robot is there, trying to get the data. Everybody piles on the robot, but the data gets away, but is destroyed, so Hulk can't get it. By co-incidence. On principle.
Well, that's pretty much it. A poorer example of the comic-bookman's craft you would be hard pushed to find. Not bad, just... well... just not anything really. Kind of like eating soap bubbles, leaving you with nothing to show for it but a bad taste in your mouth and a mild case of indigestion.
How do I know what soap bubbles taste like? Well, let's just mention a heavy drinking session when a bottle of Palmolive looked a lot like Creme De Menthe, and say that it would make a better story than the one I just read.
Creative Team: Larry Hama, Dietrich Smith, Sean Parsons.
Part Two: Dracula is back from the dead. Originally believed destroyed in Dr. Strange #14, it seems that the Lord of Darkness is a little harder to take down for good. Just like a good film, there are stunning locations, beatiful leading ladies, brave heroes, and fifty-odd mutilated bodies littering the scenery.
Peter Parker is snappin' pics of the aforementioned bodies when Dr. Strange turns up. No co-incidences here, Strange is the only man who is up to this kind of task, and with a little help from Spider-Man, they tackle Dracula on the astral and physical planes.
The Dracula story is getting rather cliche'd, and it sure must be hard to make it seem at all fresh. In spite of having less than half the comic to work with, this story manages to pack a couple of new twists, a bit of pathos, some conflict, and half a dozen witty one-liners in to that space without seeming to be working too hard.
Actually, perhaps there were a few too many witty one-liners for comfort. Spider-Man has been in the business for a long time, and I would have thought he would know when a joke is appropriate, and when it might be time to get serious for a moment or two. Still, the storyboarding is masterful, even if the scripting is inappropriately glib at times.
Creative Team: J.M. DeMatteis & Marv Wolfman, Bob McLeod, Tom Palmer.
One respectable work, and one that shot waaaay wide of the mark. Shame, because I really loved Larry Hama's stints on Wolverine's title. Perhaps he was in a real hurry this time - or maybe there are two Larry Hama's in the business right now? Whatever.
One miserably mediocre web for Hama and The Hulk. Four finely furnished webs for the fine friends behind the Dracula story. Worth the three bucks for that alone I would say. Overall, let's call it three.
Just my opinion, mind.