Marvel Team-Up (3rd series) #11

Issue Date: 
October 2005
Story Title: 
Titannus War part one

Robert Kirkman (writer), Paco Medina (pencils), Juan Vlasco (inks), Studio F (colors), VC’s Cory Petit (letters), Schmidt, Lazer & Sitterson (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Doctor Strange senses the devastation wreaked by the alien Titannus in Tokyo. He knows that action needs to be taken, and he uses his astral form to co-opt several heroes to the cause. The first heroes he enlists are Spider-Man and Nova, who have just defeated the Rhino… again. He then picks up She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel in a pool hall before picking up Bruce Banner and returning to his own body. He then whisks everyone to Tokyo, which is in a state of ruin. The alien Titannus stands before them, and he is attacked by Wolverine, who arrived before everyone else. The giant alien manages to put Wolverine out of the fight before Doctor Strange implants a suggestion into Banner’s mind. This suggestion causes him to change into the Hulk, and he attacks Titannus. Despite his prodigious power, Titannus manages to defeat him in three moves, leaving the others to wonder how on Earth they can stop him. Before they can decide on a plan of action, Titannus explains that all he wants is for them to listen to him. Spidey reckons that, considering what he’s just seen, that isn’t a bad idea.

Full Summary: 

With the destruction in Tokyo causing massive psychic disturbances and loss of life, Doctor Strange is caught by a psychic backlash and holds his head in horror. His assistant, Wong, asks if he requires some more tea, as he senses Strange has a long night ahead of him. Strange replies that this is no time for tea… this is a time for action.

Over New York City’s moonlit skyscrapers, Spider-Man’s thoughts are centered on whether Mary Jane mailed some bills out. His concentration is broken when his webbing is spliced in two and he begins to fall. Out of nowhere, Nova swings around and grabs him under the armpits. He explains that it was an accident. He’s in the middle of a fight with the Rhino a couple blocks over and accidentally hit the webbing. Spidey tells him that being carried by the armpits isn’t remotely comfortable and, as he spins another web, preparing to depart, Nova calls after him. He asks if he wants to help him with the Rhino; just to make things go a little quicker. Spidey turns and apologizes. He has a lot on his mind today.

Moments later, the two heroes approach the Rhino, who is holding a rucksack. He tells Spidey that he think he’ll break his legs this time. Spidey quips that the last time out, all he did was surrender. He isn’t going to take any cheap jibes in front of Nova. He asks Nova to shove the Rhino off the edge of the building. Nova is surprised. They don’t want to kill him, do they? Spidey asks Nova to trust him. As requested, Nova rams the Rhino who topples through some brickwork and heads towards the street below. Spidey quickly erects a sheet of webbing to catch him, and completes it just as the Rhino drops past him. The Rhino resigns himself to yet another defeat at Spidey’s hands, as Spidey returns to speak with Nova.

Nova’s impressed with Spider-Man’s quick thinking. Spidey explains that some branch of the government should be around soon to pick the Rhino up. He asks Nova how he is. They haven’t had much time to catch up recently. Nova reckons things are going okay. He thinks the New Warriors might be reforming again so the hero side of his life is looking up. Also, his ex-girlfriend has just had a baby, which is kinda weird; like her life is moving on and his is staying the same. He adds that he might be graduating college soon, so that’s good. Spidey is surprised. He always thought they were the same age. Nova is equally surprised to hear that Spidey is younger than himself. Spidey tries not to take offense at the remark.

Suddenly, the astral form of Doctor Strange appears. Nova isn’t too familiar with Strange. He informs Spidey that he was there when everyone fought Thanos in space a while back. He didn’t really meet him, though, or his creepy ghost. Spidey says he’s a cool guy. He’ll like him. Doctor Strange interjects. “I’m standing right here, kind of.” He informs them that they don’t have time for this. Something disastrous has taken place and once he’s gathered some more heroes, they can meet him back at his abode. Spidey knows the way, and so the two heroes take off, leaving Doctor Strange to gather more muscle.

The next place he visits is the Hammer Pool Hall on B. Willis Street. Inside, Carol Danvers is playing the She-Hulk at pool, though Jennifer is kicking her butt. She’s won six games in a row, and she asks Carol to tack the balls while she gets another beer. As she heads for the bar, Doctor Strange’s astral projection appears and he tells them that they need not be inebriated for the mission he has in store for them. Carol wonders why the hall’s customers don’t appears to be concerned about his appearance, but Strange replies that they cannot see him - only they can.

He adds that he will inform them about the task at hand once they’re back at his sanctum, but for now, he must gather some others. He imprints Carol’s mind with his address and the two former Avengers head off. She-Hulk asks Carol if she’s gonna fly slow enough for her to leap behind her, but Carol figures she should armpit her. It’ll be faster. Once they are airborne, She-Hulk remembers fondly the old days when they could just calla Quinjet. She misses those days, and so does Carol.

Spidey and Nova arrive at Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum in Greenwich Village but, on landing, Spidey knocks something over. He’s a little concerned that it’s something potentially unpleasant. He warns Nova not to touch anything. Nova insists he isn’t about to. Spidey could have sent them back in time, or to Hell or something. He wonders if Strange can hear them. They turn to see the Doctor’s physical body sitting there, motionless as his astral form does the legwork. Spidey hopes not. “If he saw what I just did, he’d kick my a…”

At that moment, Wong opens the doors and ushers in Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk. Spidey picks up on their conversation, and reckons Carol must have armpitted her. Jennifer replies that she did. Spidey acts all justified, and tells Nova that he was right. It isn’t even remotely comfortable. From now on he’s using a web harness. Carol asks if anyone knows what this is about. Before anyone can answer, Bruce Banner materializes in a swirl of smoke. He tells them he certainly doesn’t know anything.

“Cousin,” remarks She-Hulk, “It’s been so long!” Doctor Strange’s astral form re-enters his physical body, and he stands before them. He apologizes for the delay, but he had to retrieve some more muscle, and the Hulk wasn’t easy to locate. He appreciates their patience. He explains that what he has sensed is a great cataclysm taking place in Tokyo, Japan. It appears to be the work of one man, whose origin is unknown to him. The media are being kept in the dark to avoid widespread global panic, and the military forces of nine countries have been dispatched, including their own. However, they will be no match for this man. They must save their lives and keep this being from causing any more damage.

Nova asks about the New Avengers. Wouldn’t this be a good job for them? Some of them… at least? Strange explains that they are the only heroes he could muster in such a short amount of time. Captain America and Iron Man aren’t in the city, and Banner was the only one he specifically sought out. He knew his strength would be needed.

Spidey figures this means he’s going to Japan. Ms. Marvel wonders how they’re gonna get there. She can’t carry all of them. “You got that right,” replies She-Hulk. Doctor Strange tells them he has means and, with a little mystical teleportation, the heroes find themselves amidst the ruins of Tokyo’s modern city center, laid waste by Titannus. “Oh my,” exclaims She-Hulk, as she takes in the terrible devastation.

Titannus stands before them, arms outstretched. He expected their response time to be a little shorter than this, but now they have arrived, it doesn’t matter. Before he can explain himself, Wolverine attacks, having waited for an opportune moment to strike. He slashes at the giant’s armor, and Titannus stumbles backwards as Wolverine prepares to take his head off with his adamantium blades. As he lies on the ground, he summons energy into his giant fist and strikes Wolverine with great power. Wolverine is launches high into the air, blood spurting from his face as he rockets skywards.

Nova is keen to attack, but Doctor Strange stays their hands. He has something else in mind. He places his fingers on Bruce Banner’s temple, and asks him to dwell on this thought. Banner screams, and in an instant he is transformed into the mighty Hulk. Wolverine lands, meanwhile, and Spidey asks when he arrived. Wolverine replies that he’s been there, keeping people safe and saving lives, waiting for the right time to attack. He knows this guy is no lightweight, and asks Spidey if they are all that Strange brought.

Strange asks everyone to just keep an eye on the fight and keep any civilians safe. He feels the Hulk should be able to defeat this monster alone. “See, Wolverine… I think he brought too many,” quips Spider-Man. The Hulk, dwelling on Strange’s implanted thought, is in an angry mood, and says Hulk will smash puny armored man! However, when he approaches Titannus, the alien delivers a punishing blow to the Hulk’s stomach, and lays him out with a ferocious right cross. A third punch puts the Hulk down for the count. “Listen to me!” cries Titannus as the Hulk falls.

The Hulk transforms back into puny Banner. “Uh-oh,” gulps Spidey. Titannus confronts the heroes, but explains that he doesn’t want to fight any of them. He needs their help. Having seen what he did to Tokyo and witnessed his defeat of the Hulk, Spider-Man reckons that maybe they should hear the guy out.

Characters Involved: 


Dr. Strange and Wong


Nova the Human Rocket

Warbird/Ms. Marvel





Pool Hall customers

Story Notes: 

Nova is Richard Rider, a member of New York City’s New Warriors.

The Rhino (Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich) is a long-time enemy of Spider-Man’s.

She-Hulk is the Hulk’s cousin, Jennifer Walters. Recently she has been working as a lawyer working for the firm, Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg, & Holliway. She is a former member of the Avengers and Fantastic Four.

Dr. Stephen Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme; a master of the mystic arts who helps keep Earth safe from magical and supernatural threats.

Carol Danvers began her superhero career as Ms. Marvel, and later changed her name to Warbird. She was shown considering using her old name in House of M #1.

Titannus destroyed Tokyo in Marvel Team-Up (3rd series) #9.

In the pool hall scene, there appear to be cameos by J. Jonah Jameson and two members of the band, Gorillaz. The guy on the left looks a little like Superman nemesis, Lex Luthor.

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