As I’ve said before, I’m not reviewing every issue of this book (or Tomb or Dracula, or Frankenstein) because I don’t think they’re actually canonical. I’m only reviewing exceptions that clearly tie to the main Marvel Universe. This issue gets in because it introduces Tatterdemalion.
“Who?” you ask…Well, Tatterdemalion is basically a hobo armed with gloves that dissolve stuff. That makes him sound stupid, but his look is truly creepy and he’s also got a scarf with weights on it that he swings around as a weapon. I first encountered him in Marvel Team-Up #93, and never got him out of my head. Much later, he becomes a member of Night Shift and fights the West Coast Avengers. He also became a minor Thunderbolt during the first Marvel Civil War.
Note: He doesn’t get the name Tatterdemalion in this comic, but this is the first appearance of the character. It isn’t until Marvel Team-Up #93 that he gets his name, when Spider-Man again teams up with Jack Russel. A full seven years later, and writer Steven Grant remembered the character. Of course, Grant also created Moon Knight in the pages of WWBN, no it’s not a surprise that he had researched the character. But when he came back, he looked pretty different…
This was also when he got the weighted scarf. He’s lost the England/1800s look, and was really more of a frightening character.
And that was the where I first saw him. For some reason the idea of a homeless dude with a weighted scarf scared the crap out of me when I was ten.
In that issue, he was partnered up with Dansen Macabre and The Shroud, which, along with Werewolf, made for half the membership of the team The Night Shift. They wouldn’t come together with Needle, Tick Tock, Brothers Grim, Misfit and Gypsy Moth until West Coast Avengers #40 in 1989, written by Mark Gruenwald.
But that’s a tale for another day.
Creators: Len Wein and Gerry Conway (writers), Tom Sutton (art) (WWBN); Steven Grant and Carmine Infantino (MTU)
Grade: C+ (WWBN); B- (MTU)
For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.