Wednesday, January 24, 2007

More Newtons: Team-Up

One of the more confusing of the short run Newtons is the Team-Up books. The first of the Team-Up stories actually appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #2, making for an interesting interlude in both story and art - a Thomas, Andru & Esposito story appearing inbetween vintage Ditko and Kirby artwork was jarring indeed.

As the Team-Up book appeared proper in late 1975 I expect that the stats came over in the second batch of art that Marvel sent to Newton. The first issue though was labeled an Annual, from there the next issues were the larger, jam packed Newtons and in most cases had nothing to do with the USA Team-Up book - they were the dumping ground for the left over material, which doesn't mean that the material was poor, as can be clearly seen. However in some cases the material doubled up with existing regular books as it was recycled. Although the book appeared in the subscription ads until December 1975/January 1976, there clearly was no serious effort to launch the book as a regular title.

Giant Team-Up Annual #1

Date: October 1975 (cover dated)

Contents:
Power To Purge by Roy Thomas, Ross Andru & Mike Esposito (Marvel Team-Up #3)
And Then The X-Men by Gerry Conway, Gil Kane & Steve Mitchell (Marvel Team-Up #4)
As Those Who Will Not See by Gerry Conway, Gil Kane & Mike Esposito (Marvel Team-Up #6)
Spiderman by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko (Amazing Spider-Man #1)

The swap card for this issue was Spider-Man A7 or Spider-Man A8, depending on where you bought it from. Despite this being labeled Giant Team-Up Annual #1 this is considered to be the first issue of the series proper as no genuine #1 has surfaced (do excuse the scan - my copy is well and truly past it's use-by date).

Giant Team-Up Annual #1

Date: December 1975 (cover dated)

Contents:
A Hitch In Time by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru & Jim Mooney (Marvel Team-Up #7)
The Man Killer At Midnight by Gerry Conway & Jim Mooney (Marvel Team-Up #8)
The Tomorrow War by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru & Frank Bolle (Marvel Team-Up #9)
Time Bomb by Gerry Conway & Jim Mooney (Marvel Team-Up #10)
Them by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Frank Giacoia (Tales of Suspense #78)

Typically for Newton here's where things get even more confusing. I wasn't aware of this issue until Robert Thomas sent over the scan and the details. This means that Newton published TWO issue #1s of the same title. The contents flow on from the other #1 although anyone can hazard a guess as to why two issue #1s were released. I expect that the first book wasn't refered to in-house as the official Team-Up book and this one was. Or they might have lost track of what they'd issued. Or they just wanted to make sure they made as much money as humanly possible. This is possibly the book refered to as the Spider-Man/Thor annual in the Newton work books.

#2

Date: February 1976 (cover dated)

Contents:
The Coming Of Ka-Zar by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Werner Roth, Chic Stone & Joe Sinnott (X-Men #10)
The Return Of The Mole Man by Lee, Kirby & George Bell (Fantastic Four #22)
The Power Of Pluto by Lee, Kirby & Vince Colletta (Thor #128)
The Verdict Of Zeus by Lee, Kirby & Colletta (Thor #129)
Thunder In The Netherworld by Lee, Kirby & Colletta (Thor #130)

I'm not overly sure of the contents of this book as I don't have it at hand, but this is what I've written down and it does match up with the cover image. Clearly Newton felt that these books could be a good dumping ground for stories that featured more than one of the principals from the main books. No posters/swap cards were issued with this book. This book does have a flow on effect from the Team-Up Special and doesn't have anything at all, content wise, to do with the two Team-Up Annuals.

#3

Date: March 1976 (cover dated)

Contents:
Side-By-Side With The Sub-Mariner by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Chic Stone (Fantastic Four #33)
Where Flies The Beetle by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko (Amazing Spider-Man #21)
The Secret Of The Silver Surfer by Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema & John Verpoorten (The Defenders #2)
Four Against The Gods by Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema & Jim Mooney (The Defenders #3)
Blood Purge by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru & Vince Colletta (Savage Tales #10)

A Defenders title was mooted for Newton for early 1976, along with an Australian version of F.O.O.M(!), but with the closure of the line this is as close as a Defenders title came to being realized. The premium for this issue was an iron-on transfer featuring Daredevil and Spider-Man.

TEAM-UP SPECIAL no number

Date: mid to late 1976

Contents:
The Hulk vs The Thing by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & George Bell (Fantastic Four #25)
The Avengers Take Over by Lee, Kirby & Bell (Fantastic Four #26)
The Search For The Sub-Mariner by Lee, Kirby & Bell (Fantastic Four #27)
When Titans Clash by Roy Thomas, Werner Roth & John Tartaglione (X-Men #29)

This is Newton at their utmost best - when they got it right they got it very right. This book reprints a classic Fantastic Four storyline, shot from the original stats in glorious black and white and totally interrupted. As they had a certain degree of freedom with space none of the splash pages, or indeed any of the pages were edited out of the final story. Plus they threw in a classic Thomas/Roth X-Men story to boot.

2 comments:

robert thomas said...

Daniel, I would be inclined to date the no-number Team-Up Special as late 1976 even though the indicia says 1975.

The total lack of free poster, Marvel Mailbag and competitions plus the inclusion of ads for TV Stars and Scream suggest this was put out in the last months.

I agree this is a great collection of classic Lee / Kirby in gloriously clean black and white!

Danny said...

I'm inclined to agree, however the price is wrong. I do believe that it could possibly be mid to late '76 though and I've adjusted it accordingly.