MARVEL TEAM-UP #48-51: Iron Man and Dr. Strange (1976)

Spider-Man and Iron Man, and then Dr. Strange, investigate industrial sabotage at Stark Industries and come upon a new criminal called The Wraith.

He’s not all that interesting.  But what is interesting is this tough-talking, female police Captain. 

We all know Jean will become one of Spider-Man’s most beloved police officers, but isn’t it interesting that she first appeared in MTU?

Having a “Wraith saga” was likely an effort to ensure people were hooked for a multi-issue story, but MTU was a comic that was supposed to be the exact opposite of a continuing story book.

Wraith is tougher than Spidey.

And he is Jean DeWolff’s brother! He’s unmasked at the end of #50, and issue #51–still Spider-Man and Iron Man–has him going to court and causing “chaos in the court.”

Oddly, it’s a rare courtroom scene without either Foggy Nelson or Matt Murdock.

The ending is bizarre. Wraith was under the thrall of an evil force and Dr. Strange removes the “obstruction.” His defense in court, though, was that there’s no such thing as telekenisis.

Next we see the judges in their chambers were (behind it all?).

Then we see Hulk jumping, but Hulk won’t even be in next issue, which will be Captain America.

And then, on the letters page, Mark Gruenwald shows he loved continuity conundrums before he was ever hired as a professional writer.

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