Marvel Comics celebrated its 80th year with plenty of throwback comics like Marvel Two-in-One and an annotated edition of Marvels, just to name two. The celebration included Marvel Team-Up, which features a unique pairing of two popular heroes, employing the flip-comic format with a different story starting on each side. The stories converge in the middle in the first issue of this six-issue trade paperback, which is clever and quite an eye-catching mechanism. Opening with a Spider-Man/Ms. Marvel story and closing with a Captain Marvel/Ms. Marvel story, this is a great collection for readers young and old.
This is fun superhero comic storytelling. The opening story with Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel is a classic body-swap story that plays up the awkward situation both characters are in. The first issue gives each character their own focus on different halves of the book. The beauty of this is how it shows similarities between Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man, but also how they’re different. There’s some nice character writing that fleshes out their typical day while also showing what they’re like in battle. The cliffhanger only promises this combination will enhance tenfold next issue and I can’t wait to read more of it. Eve L. Ewing and Joey Vazquez infuse this story with positivity and fun thanks to their takes on the characters.
Vazquez utilizes a few clever layout designs to convey the day in the lives of Kamala with Peter inside her body and Peter with Kamala inside his body. On the top of a double-page layout is Peter’s day and on the bottom is Kamala with the panels separated by Spidey and Ms. Marvel logos. It’s a nice way of showing their days in tandem and highlighting how they are different. The characters across the issue look sharp and highly detailed too. There’s also another effect as if a tube TV was out of sync when the characters swap bodies that’s quite effective. A lot of creative ideas went into this story making it an endearing treat.
The follow up is a story by Clint McElroy and Ig Guara. This is a fun story for Marvel history buffs. It plays into recent Captain Marvel events with her mother as well as key moments involving Mar-Vell. This story does well to capture the mentor angle as Captain Marvel tries to help Kamala Khan only to put her in danger. There are some Kree entanglements that longtime fans will love too. It’s quite clear McElroy has a rich knowledge of the Marvel universe and it pays off big time in this story. There’s certainly a lot of explaining in this story, but I found the reveals and twists worked well enough to keep your interest up.
Guara gets to draw Ms. Marvel’s new costume which looks pretty great. There’s some clever use of Ms. Marvel’s stretchy powers too making her look perfectly otherworldly. There is also a hilarious character who acts somewhat like The Dude from The Big Lebowski that’s characterized well by Guara.
This collection is quite an entertaining read. The first story is light and filled with creative visuals while the second story is a great read for Marvel buffs. I’d wager there’s something here for young and old fans alike.
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