Before Civil War: When Tony met Spidey (Marvel Team-Up #9)

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This post originally appeared June 28, 2015, in the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Marvel Team-Up #9 – May, 1973

Cover art by John Romita

Marvel Team-Up #9 – May, 1973
Marvel Team-Up #9 – May, 1973

British actor, Tom Holland, has been cast as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s new Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Yes, yet another overseas actor fills the shoes of an iconic American superhero, joining the likes of Henry Cavill (Superman), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Andrew Garfield (the previous Spider-Man), James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), to name just a few. Come on Hollywood, American actors need work too!

Marvel Team-Up #9 – May, 1973
Marvel Team-Up #9 – May, 1973

I’m thrilled to see Spidey become part of the MCU and I really wish young Mr. Holland well as he dons the Web-Head’s red and blue costume in the MCU/Sony mash-up movies, but I have my doubts about the logic of forcing his first appearance into the Captain America: Civil War film. My fingers are crossed that they pull this off successfully, but the filmmakers are going to have a lot going on for just one movie. (It remains to be seen if, in today’s racially charged world, the “Civil War” title itself stirs up any controversy.)

It has been reported that Holland screen-tested with Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) as part of the audition process for the Spider-Man part; and that, brings us to this week’s classic comic cover, Marvel Team-up #9, featuring both Spider-Man and Iron Man.

Shell-Head and Spidey end up in the 23rd Century, in the middle of a battle between Zarrko, the Tomorrow Man and Kang the Conqueror, who has put the Avengers on ice as part of his evil plan. The teamed-up heroes take on all manner of futuristic gizmos, including a robotic zealot that takes religious offense to Tony Stark’s human flesh.

Sadly, writer Gerry Conway envisioned racial divisiveness (apparently programmed into our robots) 300 years into this fictitious future. Let’s hope and pray he was wrong. I’m sure the world will still need heroes, but hopefully by then we won’t care what color they are or who they choose to love.

On a related note: In this insane world of racial hatred and intolerance to diversity, read “Why Spider-Man should remain a nerdy, white heterosexual

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