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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

X-amining Marvel Team-Up #76-77 - Patreon First!

"If Not For Love" / "If I'm to Live...My Love Must Die!"
January 1978 - February 1979

In a Nutshell
Ms. Marvel teams up with Spider-Man and Doctor Strange to battle Silver Dagger

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Howard Chaykin
Inker: Jeff Aclin and Juan Ortiz
Letters: Joe Rosen
Colors: Carl Gafford, Mario Sen
Editor: Bob Hall, Al Milgrom
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Issue #76: After receiving a deck of tarot cards in the mail, Doctor Strange lays them out for a reading, which causes a demon to emerge from the Orb of Agamotto and attack both Strange and his apprentice and lover Clea. Happening to be nearby, both Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel respond to the commotion, arriving to find Strange and Clea unconscious. Strange shortly thereafter wakes up and rejuvenates himself via a spell, but he cannot do the same for Clea, whose soul is now trapped inside the Orb. His only clue the tarot deck, Strange traces it back to New Orleans and brings Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel with him. There, they encounter Marie LaVeau, the witch queen of New Orleans, who tells them she sent the deck as a warning that Silver Dagger, who is trapped inside the Eye, is targeting him, and now has Clea captive. 

Issue #77: On the astral plane, LaVeau betrays Strange, trapping him in Agamotto's realm while freeing Silver Dagger. As Strange battles free Clea, Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel to their best to protect Strange's physical form. During the fight, Spider-Man approaches the Orb of Agamotto and is pulled inside himself. However, his arrival destabilizes the realm, causing his reality to intrude on it, which gives Strange an opening to rescue Clea. At the same time, on Earth, Silver Dagger casts a spell to increase his size and strength in order to defeat Ms. Marvel, but is stabbed in the back by Marie LaVeau, who has regained her senses. Emerging from the Orb, Doctor Strange teleports everyone back to his Sanctum, where the wounded Silver Dagger is returned back to the Orb, keeping him alive but imprisoned once more. Marie explains that she was able to bend Silver Dagger's enchantments enough to send Strange a warning via the tarot, and urges him to heed the cards before disappearing. As Strange thanks Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man for their assistance, he lays out the cards once more, and worries that in saving Clea, he may have lost his own soul forever.  

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