Appearing in "The Spider and the Sorcerer!"
- Melinda Morrison (First appearance)
- Spider-Man's Web-Shooters
- Spider-Man's Suit
- Wand of Watoomb
- Crystal of Kadavus (First appearance)
- Cloak of Levitation
- Eye of Agamotto
Synopsis for "The Spider and the Sorcerer!"
While out on patrol, Spider-Man happens upon an alleyway mugging. The wall-crawler quickly sends the muggers packing. When he checks on their intended victim, the elderly man puts Spider-Man under a hypnotic spell. The man in question turns out to be the sorcerer known as Xandu, who had fought Spider-Man in the past. He orders his hypnotic slave to retrieve the Crystal of Kadavus which is being kept in the Sanctum Sanctorum of Doctor Strange. He intends to use the mystical artifact to make himself the ruler of the cosmos. Gloating at the irony of using one of his foes to attack the other, Xandu teleports Spider-Man away so he can complete his task.
At that moment, from his home in Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange has just finished reading some of the writings of the Ancient One and has decided to meditate upon it. As he enters his meditations, Spider-Man appears around the corner. Xandu mentally directs the wall-crawler to do his bidding, but this mind control has also affected the hero's motor skills and he gives himself away by knocking over a metal urn. Hearing the crash, Doctor Strange thinks it is his servant Wong, but when he gets no reply he gets up to investigate. When Doctor Strange happens upon the web-slinger, Xandu clouds Spider-Man's perceptions to make it look as though Strange is attacking him. This leads to a struggle between the two, however, Doctor Strange has to pull his mystical punches as he does not wish to harm Spider-Man. Under Xandu's control, the wall-crawler has no such compunctions and manages to use his webbing to pull a statue off a mantle and strike Strange in the back of the head, knocking him out. Spider-Man then recovers the crystal and is brought back to Xandu's lair.
There, the evil sorcerer uses the power of the Crystal of Kadavus to regenerate the previously destroyed Wand of Watoomb. Xandu explains that Doctor Strange tried to erase his memory of the mystic arts. This left Xandu a drunken derelict, but ultimately his mystical knowledge returned to him, restoring his sense of purpose. Xandu explains that he is not just seeking to conquer the world, but also to restore a life that is lost to him. He recounts how in his younger days he was betrothed to a woman named Melinda. Tragedy struck when one of his spells went out of control and struck her down. Try as he might, he found himself unable of restoring Melinda to life. With Melinda in a death-like coma, he sought to find a cure for her. He hoped that the Wand of Watoomb could save her. However, because of the hero's interference, he now seeks to destroy them.
However, before he can kill Spider-Man, Doctor Strange arrives on the scene. Using the Wand of Watoomb, Xandu teleports both Spider-Man and Doctor Strange to a mystical dimension. There he transforms himself into a more powerful being. As Doctor Strange and Xandu engage in mystical combat, Spider-Man snaps free of Xandu's mental control. When Strange is bolted aside, Spider-Man tries to use his webbing to snatch away the Wand from Xandu. The evil sorcerer turns this against him, using a spell to turn the wall-crawler's webbing against him. When the pair try to combine their powers against Xandu, he uses his mystical powers to bind them like marionettes. By this point, Doctor Strange tries a dangerous gambit by casting a spell that allows his mystical bolts to be fired out of Spider-Man's hands, catching Xandu off guard. As it turns out, Doctor Strange swapped powers with Spider-Man, using webbing to blind Xandu. At the Doctor's command, Spider-Man tosses another bolt of magic at Xandu, knocking free the Wand of Watoomb. With Xandu restored to normal. Doctor Strange then tosses the Wand deep into this other dimension where he hopes it will be lost forever.
Returning to Earth, Doctor Strange learns of Xandu's intent to try and revive his beloved Melinda and agrees to try what he can to help. Examining the woman's body and using his mystical powers to learn what he can. He then tells Xandu that there is nothing he can do, as she is not in a death-like sleep, but a death like sleep. Unable to restore someone from death, Doctor Strange apologizes to Xandu as there is nothing he can do. Unable to accept this reality, Xandu loses his mind and the two heroes leave him to cry over his lost love.
- Spider-Man mentions his recent trials with Doctor Octopus and Hammerhead. This is a reference to his recent battle with both villains in Amazing Spider-Man #130–131.
- This story has multiple references to Doctor Strange and Spider-Man's previous battle with Xandu. That happened in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2. This story references Doctor Strange #179, which was a reprint of that story.
- Although Melinda is dead here, Xandu succeeds in bringing her back to life in Marvel Fanfare #6.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
- This issue contains a letters page, Mail It to Team-Up. Letters are published from T.E. Pouncey, Frank Simonetti, and Allen Bradford. The letters page also contains a Series "A" Marvel Value Stamp #33 Sue Richards.
Links and References
- The Marvel Value Stamp Site