Time travel is one of my favorite subjects of all time. In
fact, I'm so obsessed with time travel I even wrote a book,
which I hope you'll check out some time at Amazon called, "The
Time Cruisers". So, it was only a matter of time before I
posted some of my favorite time travel stories from my favorite
medium, comic books.
I hope to do an ongoing series of articles on the subject,
and first off is the subject of this article, Spider-Man
and his epic adventure back into the time stream where Spider-Man runs
into the likes of
Deathlok and Killraven along the way in two very messed up
Marvel Team-Up issue number 41 back in 1975 and ran
through issue 46. Boy, those were the days, comics only
cost 25 cents a piece and you could find them
back to the story. It all began with a bewildered
Scarlet Witch who was compelled to answer a strange
call. It was a voice that would lead her to the castle
Dr. Doom himself. Finding herself under attack not
by Dr. Doom, but by
Cotton Mather, a man dressed in attire reminiscent
pilgrims, the Scarlet Witch let out a hex bolt in
desperation. The bolt traveled to
New York City where it found
transported him to the castle of Dr. Doom where Mather
was preparing Dr. Doom's time platform for take off.
Mather forces the Scarlet Witch
back into time to
Salem, Massachusetts, to the days of the Salem witch
trials, and Spidey follows after.
So naturally, Mather puts the
Scarlet Witch on trial for witchcraft in front of an
angry mob of early
American Salem residents, and naturally her husband
Vision shows up just in the nick of time to save
her, along with
Spider-Man's aid of course.
Well, it wasn't quite that simple.
In issue 42, a fight breaks out, Cotton Mather wins, and
Spider-Man, the Scarlet Witch, and the Vision are
captured and thrown into prison. They escape, track down
Mather and meet a cat named the Dark-Rider - a very
spooky dude riding a dark horse. It's then that Doctor
Doom, of all people, shows up.
Scene from Marvel Team-Up 41
Issue 42 ends with the promise of "A Past
Gone Mad!" in the next exciting issue!
Doctor Doom smacks the crap of Cotton
Mather while the mysterious Dark-Rider lets on that he knows Doc
Doom's entire past
history, and declares that he is a rider on the winds of
time itself! And he must have been a
time traveler because here he was a villain in a 1975 comic
book with an
1980's mohawk before anybody had even heard of
Mister T. When issue 43 is over after lots fighting, it's
the Dark-Rider that still stands and Doctor Doom, Spider-Man,
the Vision, and the Scarlet Witch that lie helplessly on the
dirt. To be continued of course with the caption, "Death in the
Year Before Yesterday!"
By issue 44, everyone of course is
captured, so another hero, or heroine I should say, pops up from
the future, or the present, I guess, well, it's our past.
Anyway, from early in the year of 1975 comes Moondragon to the
year 1692, yeah that weird superhero lady with the bald head
summoned by the hex powers of the Scarlet Witch.
The heroes wake up as the Moondragon
fights the Dark-Rider and, by the end, our heroes prevail.
Doctor Doom poofs back into the present and the other heroes
take Doom's time machine back as well, but not Spider-Man. He
asks the Vision to send the machine back for him while he checks
on some Salem residents who were previously on trial.
Unfortunately, they meet with a grisly fate, hung by the necks
falsely accused of the crime of witchcraft.
Naturally, with Spider-Man's luck, once he
takes his turn to travel back to the present, he misses his
destination altogether and winds up in a future world where the
H.G. Wells' novel the
War of the Worlds have taken over the Earth. In this
alternate timeline the aliens had returned in the future year of
2001, which is our past, of course. In the years, 2018 through
2020 a freedom fighter had emerged named Killraven with whom
Spidey teams up with in issue 45.
As soon as Spider-Man arrives in this
terrible future world, he runs into Killraven while fighting off
the machines of the Martians driven by their human slaves. After
a few heads have been bashed, Killraven fills Spider-Man in on
the events leading up to this strange timeline. Spider-Man of
course, doesn't know if he's in a alternate timeline or what, so
the news that one day the world will be taken over by
Martians doesn't exactly sit well with him.
After a few more battles, Spider-Man once
again hops aboard Doctor Doom's time machine in hopes that this
time he'll make it back to the present. For more on
But poor Spidey
winds up in another post apocalyptic future timeline in
the year 1990 in the world of Deathlok.
At this point, it's only around 15
years from Spider-Man's future. At the time of this
writing, it's ironically 24 years in our past. Aren't
you glad the future, our present didn't turn out quite
as bad as they were predicting, at least so far?
This version of Deathlok was
Luther Manning, a soldier who, after being near-fatally
injured, awakens in the body of the experimental
cyborg built by Harlan Ryker in a
post-apocalyptic future. Another version of
Deathlok recently appeared on the television series
Agents of SHIELD.
At first, Spider-Man takes the
cyborg as a bad guy, defending what he assumes are a
bunch of kids that turn out to be mind-numbed
radioactive mutants intent on killing Spider-Man and
Deathlok. Again, the shock of believing that only in a
few years the world would be destroyed is a major shock
After fighting hordes of bad guys,
Spider-Man heads back once again to Doctor Doom's time
machine hoping that Deathlok's future isn't his, or, if
it is, that it can be changed as the text itself says
from Marvel Team-Up 46, "...Leaving the computerized
warrior of a time that may or may not be facing the cold
ruins of a once proud city."
And there you have it, a quick
over view of a awesome classic story arc taking
Spider-Man from early American history to his future,
our past, and our future, or something like that.
more on Deathlok.
can find this entire story in
Essentials Marvel Team-Up Vol. 2
Order the Time Cruisers from Amazon
The Time Cruisers The Exodus Trap
A search for a missing scientist,
responsible for the Philadelphia Experiment during World War II,
takes his son, Ronald Montgomery, and his friends on an
exciting, epic-sized time travel adventure through biblical
history and beyond.
While on his journey, he must confront incredible odds, facing
the likes of Pharaoh's army, and Adolf Hitlerís Nazi soldiers
and villainous right hand man, Bastian Wolfe. Joining him on
this adventure are his prospective love interest, Mary, his
rival for her affections, Mack, Professor Jack Warren, and a
mysterious government agent named John Martin.
Along the way, this group of time traveling adventurers will
also encounter Noah, Moses, and even the Biblical strong man,
Samson. Relive the Bibleís greatest adventures through the eyes
of our heroes, and learn the secrets of Americaís underground
time travel organization, known as ATTA, sworn to defend America
from all enemies, past, present, and future.