Cover Price: $.25

#37
September 1975

Value: $7 (Near Mint-)

 

Supporting Cast:


Guests:
Frankenstein's Monster


Villains:
Baron Ludwig Von Shtupf, Man-Wolf

"Snow Death!"
Chapter 1: "Madhouse!"- 6 Pages
Chapter 2: "Wolfpack!" - 6 Pages
Chapter 3: "Survival! - 6 Pages


Writer -
Gerry Conway
Artist - Sal Buscema
Inker - Vince Colletta
Cover - Ed Hannigan
Lettering - Karen Mantlo
Colorist - Phil Rache
Editor -
Marv Wolfman

In Marvel Team-Up #36, Spider-Man is kidnapped and taken to a remote mountain castle. He finds another prisoner, the Frankenstein's Monster. A mad scientist named Baron Ludwig Von Shtupf has nefarious plans for the two. Yes, if this seems like the plot of an old Universal Pictures horror film, you would be right. Spidey and Frankenstein's Monster escape and are befriended by a beautiful young S.H.I.E.L.D. agent named Judith Klemmer. She explains that Von Shtupf is hatching a plan to conquer the world.

Spider-Man, Klemmer and Frankenstein's monster return to the castle, only to find themselves face-to-face with Von Shtupf's newest pawn, the Man-Wolf, and that's where this issue begins. Man-Wolf, of course, is astronaut John Jameson, the son of Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson. John first appeared way back in Amazing Spider-Man #1. On a mission to the moon, he found a strange, glowing rock. When he began wearing the stone, it transformed him into a savage half-man, half-wolf creature. He and Spider-Man had quite a tangle in the Man-Wolf's first appearance in the classic Amazing Spider-Man #124.

After a brief battle, the Man-Wolf grabs Klemmer and kidnaps her, crashing through a window into the woods. That leaves Spider-Man and the Frankenstein monster distracted, and Von Shtupf is able to blast them from behind and once again capture them. The mad scientist straps them to a table and intends to dissect them! "We wouldn't go to pieces, would we?" he cackles. But like any good horror movie villain, he first must explain his master plan. He intends to dissect the heroes in order to learn about their powers. Using that knowledge, he plans to create an army of super-powered monsters all under his control - an army he intends to unleash on the world. "Von Shtupf, I take it back. You're not sick. You're just crazy," Spider-Man tells him.

Meanwhile, it turns out the Man-Wolf hasn't kidnapped Klemmer with intentions to hurt her. Instead, he defends her against a pack of wild wolves. It seems he sees her as a potential mate. She convinces him to go look for food, giving her a chance to sneak back to the castle, where she hopes to help Spider-Man and the Frankenstein Monster.

Speaking of ol' Frank, he uses his superhuman strength to smash through the restraining table and stop the deadly lasers. They escape and find Von Shtupf sleeping at his desk, babbling about "everyone must like me...if they don't, I can kill them!" Spider-Man webs him up and the self-professed "Monster Maker" begins weeping uncontrollably. It's a pretty silly scene. Spider-Man then rushes to aid Klemmer. "Klemmer may need help," he says. "All this guy needs is his bottle."

He finds the Man-Wolf instead. They fight again, until they hear Klemmer's screams. The wolves have returned and she is once again in danger. The Man-Wolf rushes to her aid and actually is hurt protecting her from the wolves. Klemmer's heart melts at the creature's noble gesture. "Dear Lord...you're hurt! You were hurt saving me!" she says. Man-Wolf passes out from his injury, although he will be okay.

The story closes with Spider-Man and Klemmer talking as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents take Man-Wolf away for medical treatment. "Imagine being so hated and feared - as though you were some sort of monster," Klemmer says. "It's tough. I guess even a creature like that wants to be loved," Spider-Man adds. What they don't realize is that Frankenstein's Monster hears every word and takes them to heart, for he, too, is a lonely, decent man who is scorned and feared for how he looks. Spider-Man realizes that the Frankenstein Monster has quietly walked away. "Klemmer, I've a feeling you and I have just won the award for being first class dumb," he says. It's a bittersweet ending, as Frankenstein's Monster is quite a sympathetic character in these two issues.

Man-Wolf next would appear for his own solo adventures in Creatures On The Loose #30-37 and Marvel Premiere #45-46. He next returns to Spider-Man's world in Amazing Spider-Man #189-190.

This second part of the two-part story has its ups and downs. The whole horror movie plot itself takes some getting used to. And the scene of Von Shtupf crying and sobbing is so silly that it threatens to drain any drama out of the story. But the Frankenstein Monster and Agent Klemmer characters are written very well. Both become three-dimensional, likable characters, which isn't easy to do in such a short period of time. It makes you want to see more of them.

Next issue: It's back to more conventional superhero adventures, as Spider-Man teams with the Beast to battle the Griffin!

Reviewed by Bruce Buchanan.

Quality Rating: 3
Significance Rating: 2

Overall Rating:

5

 

Marvel Team-Up #36

Also This Month:

Amazing Spider-Man #148

Marvel Team-Up #38