Jun 24, 2012

Sal's Sunday Punch #17

Hey there, fight fans.  A special treat today - it's Marvel's artistic soul of the '70s clashing with their hottest new heroes of the '90s in 1997's Spider-Man Team-Up #7, brought to you by Kurt Busiek, Sal Buscema, and Dick Giordano.

The scientific no-goodniks at the Enclave (creators of, among other things, Adam Warlock), have created a super-robot to steal stuff.  It kinda-sorta-maybe-if-you-squint looks like Spider-Man, so when it kills a security guard during one of its heists, the hunt is on for the wall-crawler!  This is after the Avengers and the Fantastic Four sacrificed themselves to destroy Onslaught, though, so who's left to bring him to justice?  Why, the Thunderbolts!  But, of course, as we know and Spider-Man doesn't, the Thunderbolts are the villainous Masters of Evil, masquerading as heroes to gain the public's trust.  Thus, they're really excited to have a good reason to pound on Spidey - especially MACH-1, who is secretly former Spider-Man punching bag the Beetle.  But while he and Songbird fight Spider-Man, his teammates Techno and Meteorite find the robot, and it's none too friendly.

Due to recent events in Thunderbolts, at this point that may be the present incarnation of this guy, mind-wiped and altered to resemble his past self...meaning this is the second time he's been punched that hard.

And this is a big 48-page issue, so we get two Sal Buscema Punches!  Eventually, Spider-Man and the Thunderbolts put aside their differences and track down the Enclave.  Unfortunately, the Enclave have a "bio-modem" that can override the signals of the human brain!  Spider-Man's immune thanks to his spider-sense, and MACH-1's suit saves him, but the rest of the Thunderbolts become mindless killing machines!

Deja vu, huh, Abe?

Spider-Man saves MACH-1 from his teammates, giving him the chance to appeal to T-Bolts leader Citizen V's innate arrogance, breaking the Enclave's control.  The robot gets squooshed, the Enclave amscrays, and the Thunderbolts, at MACH-1's urging, clear Spider-Man's name.  MACH-1 claims he did it to further the team's interests, but he's really gone all soft on us.  Awww.

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