$5.50! I musta been out of my mind! McKay’s is so weird. They’ll give you most comics really cheap, they’ll give you a perfectly good comic for 75 cents, and then they’ll randomly have something expensive. I must’ve been so high on the euphoria of cheap comics that I just went along with it, since I needed this one, after all. It is, at least, in nice shape. Let’s find out if it was worth it. A surprising John Byrne cover. Inside, it’s Bill Mantlo, Sal Buscema, and Dave Hunt (Dave inking and coloring MTU AND inking this, nice), with a “Janice” credited with colors. Janice Cohen? Who knows? Peter Parker is in Los Angeles! Yeah, it’s very abrupt! JJJ sent him here.
I don’t mean to tell the team how to do their job, but Peter has this thing called a “Spider Sense?” Might be helpful in this situation?
“Kid, you got a death wish? Do you not got some kinda danger sense or nothin’??” Angel grabs one of the panes, while the other goes careening toward Peter. We’re told it’s only 2 seconds to impact when he finally senses trouble and flips out of the way just in time. Angel flies down and he and the cops are amazed Peter didn’t die. Angel also learns Peter is the photographer he’s been waiting for, sent by The Bugle “to photograph the break-up of The Champions.” Odd. Have The Champions appeared or been referenced yet? Don’t recall. A weird misfit team of former X-Men and lower tier heroes. And now they’re done, presumably as their comic got cancelled. Angel says he’s too late, that everyone’s gone but him already.
Well, that was nice of Warren. Turns out the recently published Champs #17 was, indeed, their final issue, and had been written since #8 by one Bill Mantlro. After flashing back to how they all broke up after their last caper (Presumably in the pages of their own book), Angel says now he’s just waiting around for a buyer or an earthquake to take this building off his hands.
Dave Hunt seems like a solid inker for Sal. He refines and completes the linework instead of just tracing it like Mike Esposito does. Sal’s legendary speed was largely accomplished by hewing closer to breakdowns than full pencils in these days, he needed an inker he could trust, and has one here.
Well, this got weird fast. In short order, it becomes apparent Angel doesn’t want Spider-Man fighting Rampage and Rampage must be Iceman brainwashed or otherwise compromised, with the “second-class Iron Man” suit, as Spidey calls it, doing all the work. But Clakre makes Rampage attack Spidey, and Angel is very upset, allowing Rampage to belt both heroes across the room. Spidey doesn’t have time to figure out what’s going on, and just clocks Angel to get him out of the way as Clarke sends him pawn after Spidey again. Our man thinks there’s something disturbingly familiar about his armored foe. Clarke reveals he has a force field as Spidey tries to web his controls, and then Angel wakes up.
Oh my goodness. What a shocking revelation. I mean… come on. Spider-Man fought Bobby by himself back in ASM 93, and downed him, Warren and the other X-Men at the same time in both X-Men 35 and MTU 4. These two are the least dangerous of the original X-Men (At least until they decided Iceman was an Omega-level mutant in the 90s). Now I’m supposed to worry Spider-Man can’t beat Iceman with help from someone who knows him well? I do not! But I guess we’ll see how they manage to get a whole issue out of this premise next time. Folks in the letter page are divided about Razorback (One person calls him even worse than Rampage, so he must’ve loved this issue! That’s funny). One positive letter and one negative both come from guys in Arkansas, either happy or sad to have him representing them. Can’t please everybody, but I’m surprised they pleased as many as they did this time.