Marvel Team-Up (3rd series) #25

Issue Date: 
December 2006
Story Title: 
Titannus Lives, part two

Robert Kirkman (writer), Andy Kuhn (artist), Studio F’s Marte Gracia (colorist), VC’s Rus Wooton (letterer), Aubrey Sitterson (editor), Tom Brevoort (consulting editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Spider-Man heads off in his classic red and blue costume, hoping that the day will be fun. It isn’t. He is quickly recruited by Doctor Strange, along with several other heroes including Captain America, Luke Cage and Wolverine. He informs them that Titannus is on the rampage in Baltimore, and it’s up to them to stop him. He takes them to Maryland, and discovers Titannus destroying a gas station. Doctor Strange tries to talk to Titannus, but he reacts as if he’s disinterested. He attacks the heroes, and forces some of them to protect the innocents around them. Doctor Strange senses that Titannus isn’t acting of his own volition, but this surprise allows Titannus to punch him with great force. Wolverine leaps at Titannus but he is thrown into the ground, after which She-Hulk is dispatched easily and Captain America also struggles against his might. Crusader joins in the action, having made his way from New York City. Seemingly, Titannus defeats all the heroes, leaving them either dead or dying. However, in reality it is Crusader, using the cosmic ring, who is playing with Titannus’ perceptions. With Titannus oblivious to this deception, Doctor Strange then discovers who it is that controls him, and he gets the Japanese authorities to arrest the two glory-seeking Japanese scientists. With the danger over, S.H.I.E.L.D. take Titannus away using the same control techniques the scientists had deployed. Meanwhile, in the future, Speedball mistakenly believes their time stream to be collapsing, only to confuse the readings with the weather computer.

Full Summary: 

(the future)

Inside the Baxter Center, home to the ‘League of Losers,’ Dagger and Darkhawk are taking a stroll. Tandy is surprised that Chris allowed Speedball to go on surveillance duty. She’s willing to bet that he’s not qualified. Chris doesn’t really care. If he has to look at that screen anymore, he’s going to attack the place himself. He’s in serious need of some downtime. Tandy grins, and replies that downtime is the exact opposite of what she had in mind. She pulls Chris towards the bedroom by his pendant. “That’ll work, too,” he grins.

Elsewhere, Terror is laying on a bed in the med-lab as Reed Richards operates on him. Terror is concerned about whether this little procedure is going to work. He’s grown more than a little dependent on the spider-armor he got from Arana’s arm. Reed reminds him that the source of the armor was Arana’s tattoo. The tattooed portion of her arm is preserved and imbedded into the mechanical arm he’s grafting onto Terror’s body. He reckons the armor should work as it has before… at least, that’s the theory.

Meanwhile, X-23 and Chad Channing are playing computer games whilst Gravity eats pizza. Sleepwalker joins Speedball on sentry duty. Robbie is relaxed, but that doesn’t fill Sleepwalker with any feeling of comfort. Suddenly, the alarms sound. “Oh lordy!” exclaims Robbie, “This is not good - not good at all!” Sleepwalker asks what’s happened. Robbie looks at the monitor and replies that, if the readings are correct, he’s pretty sure they’re doomed. The time stream is collapsing or something. This reality will cease to exist in a matter of minutes. Robbie hopes that Reed still has the time machine lying around, because even if duplicates of them already exist there, their only hope may be escaping back to the time they came from!

(New York City, the present)

Mary Jane asks her Avenger husband, Peter Parker, what he’s doing. Peter is dressed in his classic red and blue costume, and replies that he’s going out on patrol. Didn’t he just tell her that? She replies that he did, but she means what’s with the blue and red? She thought he was strictly red and gold these days; Tony’s suit. Peter guesses he just kinda missed it. He was packing for the trip to Washington, the one Tony’s bringing him along for, and he saw it in the closet. He figured he’s take it out for one last spin, for old times’ sake. MJ thinks it’s cute how sentimental her husband is sometimes. Peter pulls on his mask and asks her to keep the bed warm for him. Always, she replies, kissing him tenderly. Moments later, Spider-Man is out of Avengers Tower and swinging into the city. It’s a quiet night, he figures. This should be fun.

Meanwhile, in his astral form, Doctor Strange visits several heroes in order to recruit them to his cause. Spider-Man is visited in mid-swing, Ms. Marvel is playing pool with Luke Cage, Wolverine is involved in a fight with Deadpool and Captain America is paying cards by himself. She-Hulk is made aware of Strange’s presence whilst in bed, as John Jameson notices Strange’s astral image drift into their bedroom.

The heroes convene at Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, where he asks for their help. Wolverine complains that he was kind in the middle of something. She-Hulk sulks. “Me too.” Spidey informs him that he’s taking it easy tonight, so it better not be as rough as last time. He doesn’t think he could handle someone as tough as the guy from last time tonight. Strange apologizes for the inconvenience, and regrettably informs Spider-Man that it’s the exact same guy as last time. Spidey reminds everyone that Titannus should be dead, but the doctor tells them that he’s very much alive, and this time he’s on American soil.

Captain America asks what they’re waiting for. Strange replies that it’s not that simple. Titannus is more than capable of handling them, even with their combined strength. They have to devise a plan. Luke asks if they have anything that can hurt him. Thus far, replies Strange, only himself. It appears that reasoning with him is their only option. He needs the assembled heroes to protect the innocents and clear a path in front of him so he can try stopping him. She-Hulk likes the plan, but asks if he has something to wear as she is only wearing a bed sheet.

(Baltimore, Maryland)

Meanwhile, Titannus is on a rampage. He levels a gas station, causing a huge explosion which forces bystanders and customers to flee for their lives. Doctor Strange and his team of heroes arrive on the scene, and Strange tells Titannus that they need to talk. He assures the Skrull that they are not there to fight, as they know how foolish that would be. They just want to know what he wants. He could provide him with a great many things.

Titannus turns and sees the opposition standing before him. Without a word he smashes his fists into the ground, creating a small seismic ripple. The heroes run for it, and Spidey rues the fact that he didn’t put on the armored suit today. Strange takes to the air and informs them that he will try and distract Titannus whilst they get the innocents to safety. No more lives need be lost.

She-Hulk, wearing a snazzy little number from Doctor Strange’s closet, smashes a large rock that is thrown in her direction, whilst Spider-Man grabs some kids and swings them to safety. Titannus then grabs a large chunk of masonry and takes to the air himself, putting him on level terms with the Sorcerer Supreme. Strange tries to communicate with him. He explains that he knows that Titannus is not inherently evil. He did what he did before out of love. He saw that much in his eyes when the woman he loved broke his heart and he tried to kill himself. However, he adds that if he persists, he will be forced to banish him to another realm. He doesn’t want to do that, and asks once again for a reason why he is doing this. Again, Titannus remains silent. Strange then uses his powers to determine that Titannus isn’t acting on his own. Someone else is involved in all of this. Titannus uses Strange’s confusion to punch him hard.

Wolverine immediately leaps at Titannus, claws at the ready. He doesn’t care if Titannus kills him. He’s going to make him bleed. He manages to slide his claws into Titannus’ neck, but the giant turns him mid-air and throws him with great force into the ground. Ms. Marvel then throws She-Hulk in their version of a fastball special, but their efforts are in vain, as Titannus grabs She-Hulk and throws her into the far distance. Cap orders Carol to go fetch her. He’ll deal with Titannus.

He runs at Titannus, informing him that he’s read the S.H.I.E.L.D. file on him, and he knows how tough he is. He knows how much damage he can do. However, he doesn’t care. He’s taking him down! He slams his shield edge first into Titannus’ shoulder, but it simply sticks there. Titannus is unfazed. Cap grabs the shield, and only just manages to evade being pummeled by the big guy. Cap goes in again, determined to end the Skrull’s rampage. He finds himself on the end of some punishing blows and, as he struggles to take the force of his opponent’s fists on his shield, Crusader flies in to remove him from the line of fire.

As they fly away, Crusader tells Cap that they are all over the news in New York. This is a big deal. He assumes Cap won’t mind if he lends a hand. Cap doesn’t respond, and Crusader realizes that he has been knocked unconscious by the force of Titannus’ blows. He deposits Cap on the ground so he can sleep it off and returns to the action. Titannus takes out the entire group of heroes, slicing Wolverine in two, driving Cap’s shield through Doctor Strange and smashing the heads of Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk together. After Crusader gets a giant fist straight through his torso, Titannus stands victorious with the heroes either dead or dying around him.

Spider-Man looks at Titannus, who is encased inside a pocket reality created by Crusader, using the cosmic ring. Spidey is confused, so Crusader explains that he’s created this pocket reality to convince Titannus that his battle continues. No one has died, despite what Titannus may think. However, his new reality constantly changes and Crusader doesn’t know how long he can hold him. Doctor Strange has finally pinpointed the source of those controlling Titannus. It’s not the Skrull that they struggle against, but a mindless drone. Titannus will fight until his muscles wear down to the bone and he can no longer move. He must deal with this before Crusader’s concentration is broken. Strange’s astral form emerges from his body, leaving the assembled heroes standing there, helpless.

(Tokyo, Japan)

The two Japanese scientists are in a secret bunker hideout, where they control Titannus and watch his actions on their monitors. They are pleased with the success of their pawn, and reckon Baltimore will be leveled in a matter of minutes. Then, Titannus will be ready for New York. They figure that they’ll go down in history. Suddenly, the doors open and a team of police officers charge in to arrest them. The astral form of Doctor Strange watches on with satisfaction. The scientists can’t believe they’ve been rumbled.

(Baltimore, hours later)

With Titannus no longer under anyone’s control, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents arrive on the scene and take him away. The Japanese scientists have divulged the information necessary for S.H.I.E.L.D. to control Titannus themselves. She-Hulk is glad it’s all over, but Spider-Man bets her twenty they’ll be fighting the guy again in six months. Captain America, now conscious, shakes Crusader’s hand and tells him that he recognizes him from the recent situation with Iron Maniac. “You say you’re new to this?” he remarks. Crusader admits that Iron Maniac was his first real experience with it. He’s thinking about changing his name. Carol Danvers replies that she’s been there and done that. In her experience, you almost never improve on the first one. Strange figures that their job is at an end. Spidey says that it never ends. At least he should get a few hours rest before the next bad guys attack.

(the future)
Darkhawk and Dagger rush to the control room where a terrified Speedball and Sleepwalker are sitting at the computer bank. Chris asks what’s going on. Are they under attack? Reed Richards and Terror rush into the room and Reed asks what the situation is. Speedball points to the instruments and informs them with haste that the time stream’s integrity is compromised and reality is collapsing. Chris takes a look.

“No, you idiot,” he balks, “The time stream monitor is on the left. This one monitors the weather.” He explains that the readings indicate a fluctuation in barometric pressure. It’s starting to rain. Speedball is embarrassed but happy that they’re going to live, after all. Cool, he says. He was starting to like it in the future. “Get the hell away from my equipment,” commands Reed Richards.

Characters Involved: 

Luke Cage, Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine (all Avengers)

Ms. Marvel

She-Hulk and John Jameson

Mary Jane Parker

Dr. Stephen Strange and Wong


Gas station customer and local residents



Two Japanese scientists

Japanese police officers

(the future)

Dagger, Darkhawk, Sleepwalker, Speedball, Terror, X-23 (all league of Losers)

Chad Channing

Reed Richards

Story Notes: 

This is the last issue in the series.

Peter’s trip to Washington was detailed in Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #529-531 – “Mr. Parker Goes to Washington.”

The confrontation between Wolverine and Deadpool appears to be a previously unseen encounter.

Crusader now flies without a jetpack, implying that he is somehow using the cosmic ring to fly.

The cover features three characters who never actually appeared in this series, namely the Irredeemable Ant-Man, Iron Fist and Nightcrawler.

Arana died in Marvel Team-Up (3rd series) #16, before the League of Losers travelled into the future.

She-Hulk and John Jameson are now a couple, as seen in her own ongoing series.

Carol Danvers began her superhero career as Ms. Marvel, but subsequently changed it to Binary and then Warbird before settling into her old name once again.

Issue Information: 
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