Greetings from the Odinson,
Back in 2014, the Odinson explored 5 unconventional Rivalries in Comics. These were feuds that drifted away from the normal Superman/Lex Luthor and Hulk/Thing disputes we have all, as comic fans, become accustom to. These were grudges and ongoing battles you don’t necessarily see every day like Superman vs. Joker. Though some of those unconventional rivalries have become more common place now, like Iron Man and Doctor Doom and Hulk vs. Juggernaut, they still aren’t as common as conventional rivalries, say like Aquaman/Black Manta and Captain America/Red Skull.
This week, the Odinson has another round of grudge matches that do not happen very often, but when they do, boy is it fun.
Another 5 Unconventional Rivalries in Comics: Spider-Man Edition Part 1
Spider-Man vs. Doctor Doom – Spidey ran afoul of the Marvel U’s most notorious villain very early on in his super hero career. All the way back in Amazing Spider-Man #5, because of Spidey’s bad reputation in the newspapers, Victor mistook the web-slinger for a fellow villain and tried to recruit him to his nefarious cause. That didn’t work out well for anybody, especially Peter Parker’s longtime rival, Flash Thompson. Years later, in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #14, Spidey teams up with Doctor Strange to prevent Doctor Doom and the Dread Dormammu from conquering the world. A 4-part tale that runs through Marvel Team-UP #41-44 sees Doctor Doom forced to team up with Spider-Man, Vison, Scarlet Witch, and Moondragon to stop a menace from the past. This is one of those rare occasions that illustrates that if things had gone slightly different in the beginning Victor Von Doom could have been one of the Marvel U’s greatest heroes, instead of its greatest villain.
Fast forward another few years and, in Amazing Spider-Man #349-350, the notorious international jewel thief known as the Black Fox has picked the wrong mark and now the only thing standing between him and the wrath of Doom is your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Also, much to the dictator’s chagrin, in Doomed Affairs, Doctor Doom is actually saved by Spidey when he is ambushed by Latverian freedom fighters. Even in alternate realities Doctor Doom is a problem for the wall-crawler as he proves to be quite the menace in his All-Ages adventures – Spidey Super Stories.
Spider-Man vs. Magneto – The first time the Odinson can remember Spidey locking horns with the Master of Magnetism was in the 1980s Spider-Man cartoon in the episode “When Magneto Speaks, People Listen” and again in the show’s sister series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends in the episode “The Prison Plot” where Spidey, Ice Man, and Firestar prevent the villain from breaking his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants out of jail.
In comics, the first time I ever saw them cross swords was in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #2 when Magneto swatted Spidey aside like a bug with his immense powers as he made his leave of the heroes. Years later, during the Acts of Vengeance storyline, in Amazing Spider-Man #327, the tables would be turned as this time the Master of Magnetism would face off with the Cosmic-Powered Spider-Man! You know, the guy that punches the Hulk into orbit in the very next issue!
Spider-Man vs. Juggernaut – This is one of the unconventional rivalries most fans know about because it is just so cool. It’s the ultimate David and Goliath Marvel style. Amazing Spider-Man #229-230 take place at a time in Marvel History before Cain Marko became just a jobber for the rest of the Marvel U, a time when the earthly avatar of Cyttorak was considered truly unstoppable. As Marko is bulldozing his way across Manhattan, Spidey takes on the impossible task of bringing him down. Spider-Man pulls off a miracle when he does something that no one up to that point had ever done without psychic or magical powers. Spidey stopped the Juggernaut!
A few years later Marvel Team-Up ended its long running series with a rematch, except this time Spidey gets a little help from his pals the X-Men. It would be another few years before Marko would get another shot to squash the bug. That happened in the Sabotage crossover when Juggernaut takes on the combined might of Spidey and the neophyte mutant heroes in X-Force. In Spider-Man #84, once again they cross paths, but this time, neither of them is at their best. Their rivalry reaches a bone-crunching conclusion (at least for now) during The Gauntlet storyline when these erstwhile sparring partners must actually team up to try and topple a cosmic powered foe whose strength dwarfs them both!
Spider-Man vs. Sabretooth – Everybody knows Sabretooth is Wolverine’s #1 punching bag. There are some that may not know that Creed actually got his start as a recurring foe for Iron Fist and proving to be quite a nuisance for the Heroes for Hire. But what even fewer people may not realize is that Sabretooth has built up quite the ire for everybody’s favorite wall-crawler as well. In Spectacular Spider-Man #116, Spidey has to step in when Sabretooth comes hunting for his ex-girlfriend, the Black Cat. Not to be deterred, an injured Sabretooth returns in Spectacular Spider-Man #119 only to be tamed once again, only this time Felicia Hardy intends to take out the trash herself. Finally, Sabretooth would return to Spidey’s corner of the Marvel U as a player in the Assassin Nation Plot storyline.
Be sure to tune in next week when we conclude this list of Unconventional Rivalries: Spider-Man Edition with Spidey’s Rogues vs. the Marvel Universe!
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
NOTE: For past entries of the So Sayeth the Odinson blog, over a decade’s worth of comic book and pop culture articles and reviews, click HERE. Also, be sure to check out my novels The Survivors and Autumn Dawn, which were inspired by 1980s horror – HERE and HERE.