Monday, July 25, 2011

Well, that's a bit on the nose:

Nightcrawler may be dead in Marvel Comics today, but we still have time to check out a few of his old appearances. This time, from Marvel Team-Up #89, "Shoot-Out over Center Ring!" Written by Chris Claremont, pencils by Michael Nasser and Rich Buckler, inks by Josef Rubinstein.

Nightcrawler picks up his girlfriend Amanda Sefton at the airport, but sees an airplane with a big A on it, for Arcade. That's kind of jumping to conclusions, yeah, but Kurt checks it out and overhears Arcade quitting a job: the extravagant hitman had been hired by Amos Jardine to kill Spider-Man, then Jardine decided to go with a lower bidder. Kurt knows Jardine as well: the sleazy tycoon had bought the circus he grew up in, then tried to put him in the freakshow.

At the circus, Kurt tries to draw out the killer, who obligingly takes a shot at him; before Spider-Man shows up. Together, they face bargain-basement assassin Cutrate Cutthroat, who gives them the hassle for a few more pages.

Cutthroat was, like many villains for Marvel Team-Up, completely throwaway...but he would return, in Captain America years later, revealed to be the older brother of Diamondback. Then Cutthroat tried to take Crossbone's job as the Red Skull's right-hand man, which goes about as well as you'd guess...

Like a lot of Marvel Team-Up's, this isn't a stupendous issue, but it's fun enough.

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