The latest volume of Marvel Team-Up has gotten off to a solid start with Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man teaming up first. Eve Ewing has shown she has a good understanding of both character voices. Though we have seen the Freaky Friday body swap between heroes many times before Ewing has kept the focus on what makes both Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man fun. Now that we are at the end of the first story arc for Marvel Team-Up how will Ewing wrap things up. Let’s find out with Marvel Team-Up #3.
Writer: Eve L. Ewing
Artist: Joey Vazquez and Moy R.
Colorist: Felipe Sobreiro
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: As the sun rises over New York City Spider-Man (in Ms. Marvel’s body) and Ms. Marvel (in Spider-Man’s body) meet on a rooftop. They talk about how they haven’t had body changes lately. They then both talk about how sick they are about living each other’s lives.
Ms. Marvel begins to freak out that they will be stuck in each other’s bodies. Spider-Man calms her down by saying they will figure things out.
They then head over to Empire State University where they are able to quickly find where the Jackal is holding Dr. Yesenia Rosario hostage. Dr. Rosario tells Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel to stop Jackal from downloading all her data as he plans on using it for his cloning projects.
As Spider-Man (still in Ms. Marvel’s body) works on stopping the upload Ms. Marvel struggles to properly fight Jackal with Spider-Man’s powers. Spider-Man steps in to calm Ms. Marvel down. He then uses Ms. Marvel’s powers to quickly knock out Jackal.
While the police arrest the Jackal, Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel try to ask Dr. Rosario for help but first she asks the heroes for some food.
After eating Dr. Rosario gets the details on the body swap and runs some tests on Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel. Dr. Rosario says that she doesn’t have a way to get the two heroes back to normal.
Spider-Man remembers that Dr. Curt Connors developed technology to separate part of his and the Lizard’s personality. Dr. Rosario says there are a lot of dangers if they attempted that process. Both Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel are willing to risk it to be back in their bodies again.
After Spider-Man gets the tech from Dr. Connors lab Dr. Rosario is able to create a device to swap the heroes back to their original bodies.
Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel fist bump and talk about what they are going to miss about this experience. Dr. Rosario activates the device and the process successfully gets the heroes back into their original bodies.
Dr. Rosario asks Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel if they remember anything. Both only remember up until the body swap originally happened. Dr. Rosario fills them both in on what happened the last few days, though Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel still can’t remember the others secret identities that they learned when they swapped bodies.
After Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel leave to head home Dr. Rosario grabs a bottle of water. She is then shocked to learn that she gained Ms. Marvel’s powers.
A few days later both Peter Parker and Kamala Khan enjoy being back to their normal lives with their friends and family. End of story.
The Good: Eve Ewing, Joey Vazquez and Moy R. ended the first story arc in Marvel Team-Up in a satisfying way. As with the other issues Ewing and her team know what Marvel Team-Up should be, a fun comic that pairs up two fan favorite characters for a rare adventure together. That is exactly what Marvel Team-Up #3 delivers in this story wrap up.
Throughout this arc Ewing has maximized the potential of the Freaky Friday body swap idea to explore both Peter Parker and Kamala Khan’s characters. Ewing works in both character’s voices to create a fun dynamic as the pair are over living the others lives. It is all done in a way that keeps the story fun. Which is impressive given how it could’ve been annoying to hear both Peter and Kamala whining about their situation. Ewing pulled back at the right time to keep the story moving and dialogue fun.
Peter keeping Kamala’s spirits up showed that he understood he was the adult in the room. He needed to stay calm for Kamala’s sake as she was missing her life. It’s a good way to show that Peter is the most experienced of the two that he knew in this Freaky Friday situation panicking was the last thing they needed to do. It made how he took out Jackal with Ms. Marvel’s powers a nice payoff to this build up.
Also in getting the Jackal out of the way early in Marvel Team-Up #3 Ewing was able to continue to keep the focus on Peter and Kamala. It is there chemistry with each other and their respective handling of this Freaky Friday switch where this story has shined. Ewing showing that they are willing to risk possibly losing some memories showed how desperate they were. That made how they both reflected on this adventure before getting their bodies back in a fun way.
Joey Vazquez and Moy R. hit on the fun tone that Ewing set out to have with Marvel Team-Up #3. The artwork is very animated and Felipe Sobreiro helps elevate it with the bright color palette that he gives their artwork. Vazquez and Moy R. highlight how impactful both the action and emotional story beats that we see hit on throughout this issue. This all makes Marvel Team-Up #3 standout from the normal comic book that follows the Marvel art style guide that has become more common lately.
The Bad: Marvel Team-Up #3 was not without its faults. The biggest problem of this entire story arc centers around the Jackal being such a lame villain. When it comes down to it the Jackal is one of the worst villains in Spider-Man’s Rogues Gallery. He has never been as when he was Miles Warren in the original Clone Saga that was published back in 1975. Since then he has been a complete joke of a villain that can’t ever be more than the guy obsessed with cloning people.
Ewing does nothing to help the Jackal break away from being the one note villain. Instead Ewing just further confirms how much of a throwaway villain the Jackal is as he is knocked out and arrest less than half-way into Marvel Team-Up #3. It all just solidifies how the Jackal is a villain who peaked in the mid-70s and has only gone downhill since then.
Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel losing their memories of each other’s secret identity was also a disappointing plot choice. Once they forgot each other’s secret identities it felt like a step back in all the solid development that Ewing was writing in these first three issues of Marvel Team-Up. It was something that didn’t affect the greater Marvel Universe. At the same time, it was a good change in the status for Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel’s relationship.
It would have helped wrap up how this story arc could’ve been a cool passing of the torch between Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel as Peter passes on the lead role to Kamala. Not doing that felt like a missed opportunity. Especially with Kamala Khan being the Peter Parker of her generation, it would have added another notch to build Ms. Marvel’s growing popularity.
Dr. Yesenia Rosario developing Ms. Marvel-like powers was also an odd way to end Marvel Team-Up #3. It was supposed to be a hook to have fans look forward to Dr. Rosario possible reappearance. Instead it just felt like a lame attempt to have a “one more thing” moment when Marvel Team-Up #3 simply could’ve ended with Peter and Kamala returning to their normal lives, like they did in the final double page splash sequence.
Overall: Marvel Team-Up #3 nicely wraps up what was a fun opening story arc to an iconic series. Eve Ewing captured how fun Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel are both individually and together. If it was for a bad choice of villain and odd story choice at the end Marvel Team-Up #3 could scored higher than it did. Still, if you are a Marvel fan who has a spot in your pull list to try a new comic than Marvel Team-Up is a series you should check out.
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