Marvel; March 1979
Cover by John Byrne and Terry Austin

Title: “Sword of the She-Devil”
Synopsis: When an ancient evil is unleashed in modern New York, Red Sonja and Spider-Man must team to stop him.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: John Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin

Review: The classic X-team of Chris Claremont and John Byrne co-plot this tight little Spidey/Red Sonja team-up. The concept – an ancient evil is unleashed in a New York museum, with Sonja hot in pursuit – is a slight one. But Claremont makes the most of it, with strong character work and sharp dialogue. Byrne likewise delivers strong character work, and choreographs the action with aplomb. Fellow X-teamer Terry Austin provides the inks, and, as usual, his detail and precision take Byrne’s work to another level. Needless to say, Byrne and Austin draw a great Red Sonja. Simply a fantastic, done-in-one comic.

Grade: A

Second opinion: “In the long line of successes scored by Claremont/Byrne on Marvel Team-Up, this is their finest moment...10 out of 10.” – Steven Alan Bennet, AFTA #3 (April 1979). “Very tactfully handled.” – Adrian P. Snowdon, FantaCo’s Chronicle’s Series Annual #1 (1983). Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide second edition (2003).

Cool factor: Mary Jane Watson transforms into Red Sonja, drawn by John Byrne and Terry Austin. ’Nuff said.

Notable: Clark Kent makes a cameo appearance at The Daily Bugle Christmas party.

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 12p British variant of this issue. According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable:Unhand me, lout – or, by the Living Tarim, I’ll brain you!” – Red Sonja, not so sweet on Spidey

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