The Spider-Man Christmas Special! (Marvel Team-Up #127)

What I Remember:  

This is a Christmas-themed team-up where the Watcher enlists Spider-Man to intervene and help someone during Christmas.

Vital Stats:

Marvel Team-Up #127 “Small Miracles”

Script: J.M. DeMatteis

Penciller: Kerry Gammill

Inker: Mike Esposito

Letterer: Rick Parker

Colorist: Glynis Wein

Editor: Tom De Falco

Editor-In-Chief: Jim Shooter

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Publication Date: March 1983

Cover Price: 60¢

Re-Collection Price: $4.00


What Happens:

It’s Christmas Eve and the Amazing Spider-Man swings through the city, eventually arriving at his Aunt May’s house in Forest Hills.

Happenin' shindig. 

Aunt May is throwing a Christmas party for her friends. As Peter enters, he becomes the focus of everyone’s attention including Mr. Chekov, who’s dressed as Santa.

As the party rolls on and Aunt May and her guests are caroling. Peter notices that Mr. Chekov has left the group and is looking longingly out the window. Peter asks him what’s wrong.

Mr Chekov explains that since his son and daughter-in-law died in a plane crash, his only family is his granddaughter, Bette. He’s only seen her a few times since her parents death and he asked her to come tonight and she said maybe, he’s starting to realize she’s not coming.

He's probably worried another old lady is going to goose him.

Suddenly, Peter’s spider-sense begins going haywire and he leaves to check it out. As Peter makes his way out into night, it suddenly begins to snow, he becomes disoriented and finds himself in his costume and in front of the giant Watcher!


Behold: The Watcher!

That's a funky snow globe.

He hands Spider-Man a jewel projecting an image of Bette Chekov! Oatu vanishes before giving Peter any answers.

Spider-Man takes this as a mandate to find Bette. 




He is able to look up an address for Bette but arrives at the apartment he finds the police and the coroner on the scene and a woman’s body being wheeled out. Spider-Man freaks out thinking he was summoned to witness Bette’s death, demands to know the name of the deceased and the detective says that there was $1000 worth of cocaine in the apartment and the dead girl is Sheila Fiore. Spider-Man, knowing he still has a chance to rescue the girl, swings away but quickly finds himself without any leads.

"I'm making a cameo for no apparent reason."

As Spider-Man sits, brooding on a rooftop he runs into Captain America, who encourages him to keep trying. Reinvigorated, Spider-Man’s spider-sense starts going off and a bar appears inside the jewel! He shakes down the patrons at the bar, with no results.

All small panels this issue. 

We then learn that Bette is not in the bar but upstairs with a drug dealer. We learn that Bette’s stash of cocaine was stolen from some mobsters and now they’re after her.

The guy she’s with, Buck, worries that Bette is freaking out over the death of Sheila and will rat him out. He attacks her, but Spider-Man interferes and breaks it up.

Bette has sure made a lot of enemies.

As Bette escapes, mobsters arrive looking for her. She takes off, dropping her cocaine and finds herself at a literal dead end. Spider-Man follows her out and takes them out, but not before Bette is shot.

Not exactly a Gwen Stacy moment.

Spider-Man wonders why he was called to intervene if she was going to die anyway. The Watcher reappears, in frustration Spider-Man hurls the jewel at Watcher.

Team-ups in the 80s always leave Spider-Man exasperated. 

It shatters over Bette her breathing improves. Watcher points Spider-Man in the direction of a hospital and he whisks her off, where she’s reunited with her grandfather, presumably swearing never to touch cocaine again. 


Continued After Ad:

This ad is worth the price of the book alone!

Bonus Bullpen Bulletins!

Notice the early emojis.


Worth Re-Collecting?

This was one of those heavy handed early-80s anti-drug issues. It is not my favorite J.M. DeMatteis story, that would be either his Justice League work or “Kraven’s Last Hunt.”

'memba calling information?

The story wasn’t bad, I didn’t think it was particularly good either. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t invested in Mr. Chekov enough to care about his granddaughter. I also think it's a stretch that Oatu would be so invested in her story to violate his directive. The art was typical 70s and early 80s Marvel, I didn't feel like anything stood out.

This book was an okay Christmas issue but hardly one I would feel the need to read every holiday season.

Next Issue:

In two weeks, we kick off the new year with Wolverine. Wolverine is in Madripoor with Wolverine #5 by Chris Claremont and John Buscema. Everyone's favorite X-Man strikes out solo in the fifth issue of his first ongoing series. Happy Holidays! See you in 2017!

Back Cover: