MARVEL TEAM-UP #1-5 (1997-1998)

Taking place while the Generation X kids are on the run–and right after Operation: Zero Tolerance–Spider-Man goes to Los Angeles in response to a personal ad in the Daily Bugle (it says, “come to L.A. or everyone will die!”). Together, they take on a one-and-done villain named Brother Love.

The ad was placed by a new villain, Authority, who is the big bad for the first five issues.

Issue #1 ends with a new classified ad, telling Spider-Man to come to Greece, which he does, enabling a Team-Up with Hercules. That brings him to Europe, so he can meet up with Silver Sable and Sandman and fight Flag Smasher. And so on. (The Man-Thing issue is confusing, but the rest of the stories are pretty straightforward reads.)

Authority is lurking in the shadows, generating all these adventures, until #5, where Spider-Man finally figures out that Authority is behind it all. He tracks him down, and Authority claims to be a kind of hero–enabling Spider-Man to stop the various crises from issues #1-4. It turns out that there’s a big bad global plot involving The Watcher…Frankly, I stopped reading at this point. Five issues in, this reboot of a reboot (coming after both Marvel Team-Up and Spider-Man Team-Up) is sub-mediocre and unnecessary.

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