Marvel Team-Up (3rd series) #14

Issue Date: 
January 2006
Story Title: 

Robert Kirkman (writer), Cory Walker (art), Bill Crabtree (colors), VC’s Cory Petit (letters), Schmidt, Lazer & Sitterson (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

During a fight with Doctor Octopus, a young, other-dimensional superhero named Invincible is hurled through a portal into this dimension, inadvertently breaking up the fight. Though Doc Ock is punched away from the scene by Invincible, Spidey still wants to stop him, as he didn’t have time to place a tracer on the villain. He chats with Invincible on a rooftop and learns his background. He is Mark Grayson, and the guy who sent him to this dimension is a guy name Angstrom Levy. He’s now stuck there for a while until Levy decides to retrieve him. As he has time on his hands, he offers to help Spidey catch Dock Ock, so they head to Avengers Tower to see if anyone’s heard any news. There, Invincible meets Aunt May, Mary Jane and Spider-Man’s fellow Avengers, before heading off to where news reports claim Doctor Octopus is causing havoc. They tackle Doc Ock and, when he becomes tired of messing around, Invincible takes him down with ease. Spidey asks if he fancies sticking around to clean up some more of his villains, but a portal opens near them, meaning Invincible’s stay in this dimension is at an end.

Full Summary: 

As Spider-Man has one of his perennial battles with Doc Ock in a New York City back alley, a strange green glow appears nearby, unseen by both men. Spidey webs up Otto’s face, only to find himself covered by masonry, courtesy of Doc Ock’s powerful metallic arms after Spidey webs up his face. He manages to grab Spidey by the neck using one his appendages, and pulls the webbing from his glasses. He threatens to kill Spidey but, before he does so, Spidey asks what that is behind him. Doc Ock is disappointed. He’s taken a few hits, but he feels Spidey’s remark is beneath him.

Suddenly, from the green glow comes a guy in a costume, exiting some kind of portal at high speed. He crashes straight into Doc Ock, who is forced to release his grip on Spidey’s neck, as he is carried through a car and a wall behind him. “Perfect timing,” comments Spidey, as he heads off to see what on Earth that was. He wonders if it was Nova, or the Sentry maybe. Maybe it was Thor. He hasn’t seen him for an age. As he ponders this, he hears sirens approaching.

He soon swings to where the stranger and Doc Ock have landed. The guy is dressed in a black costume with a blue and yellow torso, a yellow facemask with blue eye protectors covering his eyes. Otto is rubbing his head, and the stranger asks if he’s okay. He explains that he’s not from this dimension and was fighting this guy, and… it’s a long story. Spidey asks him if he’s Nova with a different costume. He likes the blue, but his open facemask is soooo Gambit. Even Cyclops doesn’t do that anymore.

The stranger asks Spidey if he knows this guy. He really didn’t mean to attack him. He has these crazy spider-arms, so he’s hoping he’s got super powers. Spidey now knows he’s not Nova, and replies that the Doc was trying to kill him. Still, he’s alive, and that’s just about enough for Spidey. The stranger smiles, and thinks it’s cool that he has powers. He was worried there for a minute. He asks if the Doc is dangerous. Before Spidey can answer, Doc Ock extends his tentacles outwards, narrowly avoiding Spidey, but catching the newbie right in the chest. He asks Spidey who this fool is, but Spidey replies that he doesn’t recognize him.

Doc Ock follows the stranger through a wall he pushed him through. Spidey calls into the darkness and tries to get a reply from someone. As he speaks, Doc Ock comes crashing through the wall, only higher up; his tentacles trailing behind him. The stranger calmly exits the building, adjusting his yellow gloves, and proudly informs Spidey that the guy won’t be trying to kill anyone for at least a couple of days.

He emerges to discover that they’re surrounded by cops who order them to freeze and put their hands where they can see them. Spidey sighs and asks the stranger if he wants to get out of there before they get shot at. He’d love to, and he armpits Spidey, rocketing into the sky and away from the fight scene.

As soon as they land on a random rooftop, Spidey asks what he thinks he was doing back there anyway. He can’t hit Doctor Octopus that hard. He might have killed him. He even might have. And even if he didn’t, that means he’s on the loose and he didn’t manage to slap a spider-tracer on him. The stranger apologizes, and reckons one of his squid arms took the brunt of his blow, anyway.

Spidey corrects him, but then notices that the guy appears to be crying. His new friend admits he is. He’s thinking about his mother. Spider-Man looks around and wonders if she’s okay, asking where she is. He replies, whilst wiping his eyes, that he’s from another dimension. He’s been fighting a guy called Angstrom Levy, who has the power to access other dimensions. He kinda threw him into this one. And your mom? asks Spidey. He replies that he doesn’t know how Spidey received his powers, but he was born with his. His dad was a superhero and he inherited them from him.

He grew up being told that his father was this great superhero and that, one day, when he was older, he’d get powers just like him. Spidey reckons it sounds like a sweet deal so far. The stranger continues that a while ago, during his senior high-school year, he got his powers, and everything was cool for a while. His dad showed him some tricks and life was good. He was a super hero. And then? asks Spidey. Then, his dad killed a bunch of other superheroes and tells him that he’s there to take over the world. He wanted his help in doing so. Wow, exclaims Spidey. The stranger knows it’s terrible, and tells Spider-Man that they fought, and his father left the planet. Now, he’s left wondering if the father he knew ever really existed.

But, he continues, his mom… she lost her husband, and before his father left, he told him that she was nothing more than a pet. He never loved her. She had to hear that! It broke her heart and she still hasn’t recovered. Then, to top things, this Angstrom Levy guy threatened her. He used information gathered from other dimensions to find out who he really was, and where he lived. Levy attacked her when he was out of town. He didn’t hurt her, but he could have.

When he arrived home, Levy turned his focus on him. He reckons his mom is safe, but isn’t really sure. She’s been through so much. Angstrom is throwing him into different dimensions, trying to tire him out enough for him to be able to kill him. Now, he’s worried that, when Levy figures out that he can’t, he’ll go after his mom again. He adds that this is the second dimension he’s thrown him into. He’s just trying to wear him down, but he’ll come and get him when he’s ready. Until then, he’s stuck there.

Spidey is a great listener, and a good friend. He advises his companion to stick with him. He knows what it’s like to lose family, and have them threatened because of what you do. The guy asks Spidey if he’s suspicious. Spidey replies that he’d asked Doc Ock if he was okay after he tackled him. The bad guys don’t usually do that, and the good guys don’t lie… most of the time. He introduces himself as Spider-Man. The stranger says it’s good to meet him, but then asks if he doesn’t think that his name isn’t a little lame.

“You think?” asks Spidey, before asking him his. The guy tells him his name in Invincible. Spidey smiles (beneath his mask) and replies that he doesn’t think Invincible has a leg to stand on. What the heck kinda name is that?! As Spidey feigns being offended, Invincible says he didn’t mean to offend him, but it’s like saying if he has super powers, he’d call himself Super-Man. It’s just not very creative, he feels.

Spidey admits he doesn’t even think about it. Spider-Man feels fine to him; catchy even. Not as catchy as Invincible, smiles his new friend. Spidey holds his head. “You kids today…” Invincible then asks whether he could help out a little since he’s stuck in this dimension anyway. He’s really strong, so if there’s anything that he needs doing… superhero stuff-wise. Spidey reckons he could definitely use his help in tracking down Doctor Octopus. He could be anywhere at this point.

Invincible is eager to help. Spidey informs him that Doc Ock isn’t going to have an easy time hiding. It’s not exactly his style anyway. He figures they should head over to Avengers Tower and see if they spotted him. As they head off, Invincible is impressed as they approach the skyscraper, and he asks who the Avengers are and why they need a tower. Spider-Man explains that they’re the Earth’s premier super-team, and he should be impressed to meet them. Invincible says he’ll see what he can do.

Spidey flings the doors open and shouts, “Honey… I’m home!” Invincible is quite surprised to find out that Spider-Man is on this team. Spidey asks him what he means by that. “Nothing, nothing at all,” comes the reply. Aunt May approaches them and gives him a hug, embarrassing Spidey. Invincible asks him to relax. He’s from another dimension and won’t have time to tell anyone his secret. He whips off his mask and tells them his name is Mark Grayson. Spidey shakes his hand and offers his name; Peter Parker. Aunt May thinks Mark’s a nice boy. His costume isn’t creepy at all, and she asks why Peter’s needs to be. “To cast fear into the hearts of evil-doers, or wrestlers, I can’t remember,” comes his semi-sarcastic response.

As they chat, Mary Jane appears and asks Peter if they’re still on for tonight. It’s movie night, and she got some good ones on their Blockbuster online account. She checks out Invincible, and can see from his costume that she thinks he’s about to cancel. Peter apologizes, but explains that he’s in the middle of something. Mary Jane puts her arm around May’s waist and leads her away. She got a couple in for her just in case.

Invincible is impressed that Peter managed to snag himself such a super hot wife. He really hit the jackpot. Peter replies that that’s what she says. He then realizes that Invincible isn’t surprised like most people are. Mark replies by asking why he would be. Peter’s an athletic dude; he looks okay and has a sense of humor. What’s so unbelievable? It’s not like he’s some skinny little nerd with glasses. Peter laughs. He thinks that, right now, Invincible’s his favorite super hero. Invincible then asks Peter where the other Avengers are. He can’t have all this space to himself. Peter looks past him and tells him that they’re right behind him. Invincible turns. “Whoa. Nice shield.”

Mark decides to have a little fun. Looking at the assembled Avengers – Iron Man, Wolverine, Captain America, Sentry, Spider-Woman and Luke Cage – he fancies trying to guess their names using Spider-Man’s as an indication of how they tend to name themselves. He chooses Robot Man, Claw Man, Flag Man, Fabio Man, Bat-Woman and, uh… Black Man. Cap doesn’t reply, but instead asks Spidey who their houseguest is, and why he was brought to the tower. Peter holds his cheek in his hand. “Maybe my name does suck,” he remarks.

Cap prompts Peter again, so he explains that he was fighting Doc Ock and was interrupted by Invincible. Now he’s gonna help him take Doc Ock down. They returned there to see if anyone had heard anything. Iron Man is picking up something on the police band in his helmet, something about a guy with metal arms tearing stuff up at the harbor. Cap asks Peter if he needs any help, but he pulls his mask on and replies that he can clean his own mess up. They should hang back and wait for the cosmic stuff.

As they depart, Iron Man tells Cap that he always says that, but when was the last time they did anything cosmic? He doesn’t even remember. Does the Kang stuff count, as they were in space a little for that? Cap thinks Spidey’s definition of cosmic is very loose. “Black Man?” remarks Luke as he departs.

Invincible carries Spider-Man to the harbor, where Doctor Octopus is throwing a boat around and warning innocent bystanders to run for their lives. Two cops are standing nearby, but know well enough to wait until some superhero muscle arrives. Right on cue, Spidey and Invincible appear, and Doc Ock turns to see them. His glasses are broken, and he’s in a real bad mood. He knew that, if he caused enough damage, he’d show up eventually, and is grateful that he brought his flying friend along so he can kill him too.

Invincible doesn’t waste any time, and he tackles Doc Ock around the waist, sending them both over the edge of the jetty and into the water. Spidey asks the cops if he can trust them not to shoot them while they fight the bad guy, and they readily agree. Spidey runs to find them but soon finds that won’t be a problem, as Doc Ock is once again punched hard enough to send him flying through the air. He lands on the jetty, but he isn’t finished yet. He thrusts a metallic arm out which connects with Invincible’s face, narrowly missing Spider-Man. Spidey webs up his face again, and Invincible decides he’s had enough of this. He attacks Doc Ock and, using a combination of chops, punches and kicks, he dismantles the metal arms with casual ease, leaving Doc lying on the ground, helpless.

Nice, says Spidey, wondering if he can’t stick around to take down a few more of his villains. He’s sure they could find Electro, Sandman or someone. Before Mark can reply, he notices the familiar green glow appearing nearby. It looks like Angstrom is ready for him. He shakes Spidey’s hand, and reckons that if he gets up enough speed, when he goes through the portal he might catch Angstrom off guard; maybe take him down before he even knows he’s through. As he sets off towards the portal, he asks Spidey to wish him luck.

Instead, Spidey gets a rush of blood to the head and fires a web at Invincible’s back, thinking that maybe he should go with him. As Invincible enters the portal, it quickly closes behind him, snapping the webbing and leaving Spidey behind. He knows instantly that the idea was stupid. He could have been stranded in another dimension with no way back. What was he thinking? He decides to head home to watch movies with his wife, and wishes Invincible good luck, wherever he is.

Characters Involved: 

Captain America, Luke Cage, Iron Man, Sentry, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman I, Wolverine (all Avengers)

Doctor Octopus/Otto Octavius

Invincible/Mark Grayson

Aunt May

Mary Jane Parker

Frightened NYC bystanders and police officers

Story Notes: 

Invincible is a character created by Marvel Team-Up scribe, Robert Kirkman. He has his own series published by Image Comics. Invincible’s adventures continue in Invincible #33.

The comment about Peter hitting the jackpot comes Mary Jane’s introduction to Peter in the classic Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #42.

Fabio Lanzoni is an Italian male model, known for appearing on romance book covers, books and television.

This issue also features a short story starring Franklin Richards, written by Chris Eliopoulos, who normally carries out lettering duties for Marvel.

Issue Information: 
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