Saturday, November 11, 2023

Marvel Team Up #120 “Old Soldiers” August 1982


Script J.M. Dematteis art by Kerry Gammell

For the first time, we see Fortune without Chaykin in any fashion not even the cover for this issue that teams Dominic Fortune with Spider-Man. 

How does our Brigand for Hire who operated in the 1930s come to team up with Spider-man?  The cover shows Fortune still looking young.  What happens?

The story opens with Peter Parker visiting his Aunt May and her fiancé Nathan Lubensky at the retirement home.  It’s a party but there is one grumpy geezer, David Fortunoff, (hey editor it was spelt Fortunov in earlier stories and later stores).

It looks like the sliding timescale left ole Dom behind. Dom lost Sabbath Raven during the war, he married and had a family.  After the death of his wife, he went to live with one of his sons and his family of wife and three children before moving into the retirement home.

However, the villain Turner D. Century flies past his window and David finds his old swash-buckling costume and becomes Dominic Fortune again to chase the criminal.  Peter follows to find out what is happening and maybe get some photos for the Bugle (gotta make rent, right?) except he forgot his camera.

Dom tells Turner that he keeps tabs on the criminal element and he heard of the villain’s encounter with Spider-Woman (*Spider-Woman #33).  Turner explains he’s not a bad guy he’s just trying to bring America back to the values that made it great.  Dom plays along to keep an eye on him. 

Turner has a sonic weapon that only affects those under 65 killing them, which he demonstrates as Spiderman bursts in. 

Spiderman collapses and Dom thinks he’s dead.  So it is up to Fortune to stop Turner but when he catches up to the villain, he has a heart turn and collapses.

Turner is about to unleash his weapon when Spider-Man webs him.  Turns out the device only briefly knocks youngsters out not killing them.  And Dom is alright too. I was starting to worry for a moment. 

Dominic Fortune is back and he is going to track down Sabbath Raven.

The resolution was a little pat with the machine not working and Fortune shrugging off what appeared to be heart attack.  But it wasn’t a bad way to update Dominic Fortune. 

I’ll admit I’m a little torn, there’s part of me that likes the idea of heroes aging rather than being eternally the same age – Tim Drake and I were 15 together – he’s still 15 and well I’m not. But there’s also the idea of seeing heroes in their prime, I want to see the hero in their prime.  The last two Indy films were fine but there’s a reason people keep fan recasting Indy because they want more adventures of Indy in his prime and not having to pass the heavy lifting to his son and goddaughter.

The cover promised me Dom in his prime but didn’t deliver but nearly every other character who served in WW2 either has that retconned out or some sort of status or immortality serum to keep them young.  So it is nice to see someone age appropriate to have that in their history.

First time away from Howard Chaykin and it was an okay story with a good set up for more appearances of Dominic Fortune Brigand for Hire!

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