Tuesday, 1 January 2013

What other Essentials has Spider-Man appeared in?

Happy New Year everyone!

Next month will see the release of the next Spider-Man volume - Essential Marvel Team-Up volume 4, containing issues #76-78, 80-98 & Annuals #2-3. I'll be reviewing the volume in due course and also adding my thoughts on issue #79, which has been omitted due to rights issues.

In the meantime, this post is response to another enquiry about a minor aspect of the Essentials, namely which volumes from other series include issues from the various Spider-Man titles. I've already covered the issues not yet reached by their own volumes, but for the sake of completism here is a full list of all the volumes that contain any issues from the various Spider-Man series. The individual issues are linked to the posts containing the relevant reviews and the relevant volume links are to those reviews. As ever the co-stars of Marvel Team-Up issues are identified:

Essential Classic X-Men volume 3
Both issues come from after the X-Men's original series was cancelled and replaced by a reprint run. The Amazing issue would appear to be the first significant appearance of any of the X-Men post-cancellation.

Essential Werewolf by Night volume 1
This was one of the earliest Marvel forays into traditional horror following reforms to the Comics Code Authority in the early 1970s. As with so many other Marvel characters, the Werewolf popped up across the Marvel universe and invariably met with Spider-Man.





Essential Punisher volume 1
As noted previously, Essential Punisher volume 1 is an odd entry in the series as it collects the character's earliest appearances from multiple series rather than concentrating solely on his own titles. However it's not the only Essential volume out there to take such an approach...

Essential Marvel Horror volume 2
Essential Marvel Horror is one of the more unusual of the Essential series as it collects stories based around the various horror-based characters, mostly from the various anthology series, rather than a chronological run of an individual series. Volume 2 brings together stories featuring the likes of the Living Mummy, Gabriel the Devil Hunter, Brother Boodoo, Golem, Scarecrow and Modred the Mystic. Note that the stories in the Marvel Horror volumes are not always in chronological order...

Essential Marvel Horror volume 1
...hence Volume 1 appearing on this list after Volume 2. The first volume carries stories featuring either Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan, or his sister Satana. (I am astounded that Marvel was able to get away with using the name "Satan" in the titles of any of its series in the 1970s.)

Essential Defenders volume 2
Although the Defenders are famous for their "non-team" status, some characters were more Defenders than others and all three of the above guest-stars fall into this category.

Essential Killraven volume 1
This is one of the odder series Marvel has ever put out. Having obtained the comic rights to H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, Marvel created a sequel series set in a post-invasion apocalypse future in which the protagonist was a freedom fighter battling against the Martians. Whilst time travelling back from the 17th century Spider-Man accidentally wound up in the era and teamed up with Killraven.

Essential Marvel Two-in-One volume 1
This was half of the first ever crossover between any of Spider-Man's titles and another series, bringing the stars of the two main rotating team-up books together. It's a pity there was never a crossover with Super-Villain Team-Up to round things out.

Essential Warlock volume 1
Following the cancellation of Warlock's own series (for the second time) his story was partially continued in this issue of Marvel Team-Up. The climax then came in a two-part story run in Avengers Annual #7 and Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2. The latter part saw Spider-Man show up to help save the day, and it is discussed in my second post on guest appearances.

Essential Nova volume 1
As previously discussed, this was the first crossover between Amazing and another series, bringing together Marvel's biggest star and their newest (and the Nova issue also appears in Essential Spider-Man volume 8). Looking back it's astounding to think that Nova was seriously expected to be the next Spider-Man. But then predicting The Next Big Thing has never been an easy science.

Essential Iron Fist volume 1
I believe the latter issue is the first time "the Daughters of the Dragon" were billed under that name. More normally they were part of Iron Fist's supporting cast.

Essential Man-Thing volume 2
The title of this volume makes many people laugh but back in the 1970s Marvel actually went one further and produced a comic with the title Giant-Size Man-Thing. How on earth did that one ever get past the Comics Code Authority? (And yes, every issue was printed with the CCA seal of approval.)

Essential Moon Knight volume 1
(Contrary to some early reports and many online listings, Marvel Team-Up Annual #4 is not included.)

Similar to the Punisher, Moon Knight began life as a one-off villain in another series (in this case Werewolf by Night) but proved so popular he kept returning and eventually graduated to a series of his own. His encounter with Spider-Man came midway through this journey.


Essential Dazzler volume 1
Dazzler was being steadily built up to be one of the Next Big Things from Marvel as part of a wider tie-in with a record company, but for various reasons the tie-ins were cancelled before they could happen and her actual series didn't materialise until 1981 when the disco fad was already fading. But before then one of her earliest appearances was in Amazing Spider-Man, an issue which ends rather suggestively between Spidey and Dazzler but unfortunately this was never followed up on.


Essential Spider-Woman volume 2
Well okay Spider-Man himself doesn't actually appear in this issue, one of the few of the later Marvel Team-Ups without him, but I've included it for completism's sake and in any case Spider-Woman does.

Essential Defenders volume 5
Once again these are team-ups with some of the more regular members of the Defenders in this era.

Essential Defenders volume 6
...and yet again we get a team-up with one of the main Defenders.

Essential Ghost Rider volume 4
Notably Ghost Rider himself doesn't actually appear in this issue, but instead we get Zarathos, the spirit previously bonded to him. This issue was also a crossover with Secret Wars II.




And so that's all the volumes I'm aware of. Unsurprisingly the vast majority of volumes reprint issues from Marvel Team-Up due to the policy of collecting some significant appearances of characters alongside their own series. However Essential Punisher volume 1 balances out the numbers somewhat.

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