skalja: Ultimate Spider-Woman posing like a BAMF (spider-man: hold back the flood)
[personal profile] skalja posting in [community profile] scans_daily
People have been very generous about responding to my requests for vintage Marvel Team-Up, so I thought I'd respond with the issue that got me into the title in the first place. As it happens, it's a holiday story -- "Small Miracles," by J.M. DeMatteis and Kerry Gamill, issue 127. The main team-up is Spidey and Uatu (... sort of), but there's a brief cameo for you Cap fans as well.



It's Christmas Eve at Aunt May's boarding house for senior citizens. Sadly, length restraints require me to cut the hilarity of Peter arriving and promptly getting forcefed cake and dragged under the mistletoe by women three times his age, so let's skip straight to the party in full swing:




Peter suggests that Bette might still come and does his best to cheer up Mr. Chekhov. But then, his spider-sense goes off and he runs outside -- only to find himself suddenly dressed in his spider-suit and confronted with the Watcher!




The wrong question, by the way, was, "Who the heck are you?!!"




Uatu changes the screen so he can look at Bette Chekhov, who's wandering around in the snowy city looking frozen to death. We don't know exactly why the Watcher is so interested in her, but he proclaims, "... the threat is no less deadly than the Over-mind! No less awesome than Galactus! This woman -- this child -- is the focal point."

Hmm. Interesting! Poor Spidey, he's got a lot on his shoulders.

Anyway, Spider-Man gets Bette's address from a telephone operator and shows up at the clean-up end of a police operation -- they're removing a body, Bette's roommate. The police want to find Bette, and they want to know why Spider-Man is looking for her as well, but he blows them off.

Unable to find any sign of Mr. Chekhov's granddaughter, he goes to sulk on a rooftop.




(Uh, back at you, Cap.)




Yes, Captain America really did just make an appearance in this issue to randomly speechify. Ain't he great? They team-up next issue, incidentally.

Back on track, Spidey finally finds Bette in time to rescue her from her abusive boyfriend, but she panics and flees the scene -- with boyfriend's cocaine. As it turns out, she's been under watch by some unsavory fellas wanting to trace her back to her supplier, and they see her drugs and go after her. Spider-Man catches up just a little bit too late:




Without a word, Uatu heals her and sends Spidey off to the hospital. Bette is all set to recover and, after a well-placed phone call from Peter, reunited with her grandfather.




(I just liked that panel.)

As for the Watcher? He finally reveals why Bette's so important.




Awww. Let's savor that for a moment.

...

And now that we've savored ... okay, Uatu, let's get this straight. You're feeling kinda lonely and you want to participate in the whole Christmas spirit thing by saving someone's life and reuniting two estranged relatives -- that's great and all. So instead of just calling up the freaking friendly neighborhood superhero who just so happens to be acquainted with one of the relatives in question and, you know, asking him to help you in this goodwill endeavor, you ... scare the bejeesus out of him, order him around without giving him any answers, and convince him that there's some kind of Cosmic Plan at risk if he doesn't follow through?

Man, no wonder Spidey hates cosmic stuff.

Ah, well. Merry Christmas, one and all!

Date: 2009-12-25 11:39 pm (UTC)
bensanaz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bensanaz
My take on it would be that Uatu doesn't want the superheroes to know he feels any emotional attachment to the humans, because eventually it will come up during something that the Watchers would actually consider significant and he might end up getting entangled as a result. By doing this in his standoffish, moves-in-mysterious-ways fashion, Spidey is left with the impression that Uatu is engaging in his cosmic bullshit and the status quo between the Watcher and the heroes is preserved.

Date: 2009-12-26 12:07 am (UTC)
perletwo: happy puppy (Krypto happy)
From: [personal profile] perletwo
The Watcher Code is pretty strict about directly interfering, IIRC - anything more direct than this might have attracted undue attention. Uatu has been known to be rather chatty with heroes on other occasions.

For a second there at first, I thought Mr. Chekov was rockin' a mohawk. So glad to be wrong there!

This is why I love Steve Rogers - the world's a better place just because he's there.

Date: 2009-12-26 12:22 am (UTC)
perletwo: excelsior (capna_shield)
From: [personal profile] perletwo
That seems to be what he's saying at the end there, that he's sneaked it in under the radar.

Yeah, the whole Cap thing - not really a proposition that needed all that much testing, Marvel gang....

Date: 2009-12-27 05:55 am (UTC)
victory_or_death: (Default)
From: [personal profile] victory_or_death
Plausible Deniability?

If asked if he said anything to Spiderman in order to assist, he could tell the Watcher Ethics Board, that he indeed, did not say anything.

I don't know why but a Watcher covering his ass (especially considering the short toga look) is kinda funny.

Date: 2009-12-26 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lonewolf23k
There's also the possibility that Uatu, being of an alien mindset and all, has trouble with concept of direct conversation with non-Watchers. He didn't just ask Spidey to help him, because his mind couldn't fathom the concept.

Date: 2009-12-26 03:27 am (UTC)
joysweeper: Happy Peter Parker hangs upside down eating a cookie. (Xmas Spidey)
From: [personal profile] joysweeper
Uatu, you need some kind of a Herald or whatever to interpret what you want to the common people.

Cap is totally posing. *g*

Date: 2009-12-26 04:28 am (UTC)
lamashtar: Shun the nonbelievers! Shun-na! (Default)
From: [personal profile] lamashtar
Speechifying is Cap's superpower!

Date: 2009-12-26 07:01 am (UTC)
proteus_lives: (Default)
From: [personal profile] proteus_lives
If anyone could teach the world the true meaning of Christmas, it's Steve Rodgers!

Date: 2009-12-26 03:03 pm (UTC)
valtyr: (happy cap)
From: [personal profile] valtyr
Oh LOL. He's posing there with his shield on his knee, and then when they start talking he puts it back on his back. So Cap spotted Spidey, snuck up behind him, took his shield off, struck a pose, waited for him to turn round, and then, dramatic entrance made, puts the shield away and gets on with it.

That is clearly why Cap was there; he gets paid to hang about posing and making inspiring speeches all Christmas.

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