I had started to work on my next PPTSSM post, but I realized that there was so much backstory from other titles that I had to give you the non-comic nerdlingers a training level like they do in video games.
Once upon a time, there was a comic called Super-Villain Team-Up. Thusly:
It wasn't the most accurate title, because pretty much every issue was villains fighting each other. Maybe that's how villains team up. Because, you know... villains don't follow anyone's rules, including how they're going to team up.
Anyway, it's basically a maxi-series about how Dr. Doom can't get along with any other super-villain in the Marvel Universe. It's collected in The Essential Super-Villain Team-Up tpb, and it's certainly worth a read.
But anyway, back in the day, the book ended it's original stories here:
Yeah, see? It's all about Doom and Magneto not getting along. But more importantly, this began a story that wouldn't end in this title. There would be a few more issues of Super-Villain Team-Up, but they would be reprints of Doom not getting along with the Red Skull. Fun fact: This title existed to keep rival DC Comics from trademarking the term "super-villain." With all these intellectual property disputes, I'm amazed both DC and Marvel have a character called "Scarecrow."
Meanwhile, there was another comic on the racks called The Champions:
We covered The Champions years ago. While I liked the line-up, it just never came together. But any team with the Ghost Rider on it is automatically awesome. And, of course, we have the Angel's worst costume ever.
And they fought this guy. You'll want to forget it, but it's relevant later:
And they fought this Nazi creature made out of bees:
That will not be relevant later, but I never pass up a chance to mention the Swarm.
So, remember that Dr. Doom / Magneto storyline that began in Super-Villain Team-Up? Well, they had to end it somewhere, so why not The Champions?
And then, because the comics industry is a silly one, The Champions would then get cancelled itself after the next issue of that series.
Wow. Got all that? It's a lot of history to learn. I guarantee you the next post won't be worth it, but it had to be this way. You trust me, don't you? Of course you do.
See you soon!
Oh, I know why Rampage will be relevant later. Foreshadowing!
Swarm is a Nazi skeleton covered in bees! Sorry, but on the Spider-Man Crawl Space, any time Swarm is mentioned, that sentence must be said to explain who and what he is.
Oh, that's right about Swarm! I forgot about the skeleton!
Even as a kid I never liked the Champions. They just didn't seem to fit together, and screamed "we need to put all these second bananas and lower-tier characters somewhere". Also, it was around this time I realized that the only reason I ever thought Ghost Rider was cool was the Mike Ploog chopper he had originally.
But I'll tell you something - your recaps make the whole series worth it!
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