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It may be surprising that the editors at Marvel even bothered to release this collected edition, but I'm very glad that they did! The Essential Super-Villain Team-Up is one of those rare gems that will remind you of a time when Marvel routinely dared to try different concepts.
The first section of the book is devoted to the Dr. Doom solo stories from issues 1 through 8 of Astonishing Tales, from 1970 and 1971. Doom shared the pages of AT with Ka-Zar, but the jungle hero's tales are NOT included in this volume. (Maybe they'll publish "The Essential Ka-Zar" in the future.)
Originally published erratically from 1975 to 1980, Super-Villain Team-Up began as two quarterly "Giant-Size" special issues in 1975. Sales warranted a bi-monthly series, which ran for 17 issues from 1975 until 1977. It was later "revived" for two issues in 1979 and 1980. All of these are collected here, with the exception of SVTU #15, which was just a reprint of two of the AT stories.
Filling out the volume are three issues of The Avengers (#154-156) and one issue of The Champions (#16), all of which were crossover issues with SVTU in 1976 and 1977.
Although the cover of this trade paperback only features Dr. Doom and the Sub-Mariner, you will find several other venerable Marvel villains, including the Red Skull, Magneto, Attuma, Diablo, Arnim Zola, and Satan himself! Plus guest stars like the Fantastic Four, the Shroud, Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter, and even Adolf Hitler!
This book has a lot going for it, from the stunning art of Wally Wood on the first four Astonishing Tales, to the single greatest Dr. Doom tale ever ("...Though Some Call It Magic!", by Conway & Colan, AT #8), to the death of the Sub-Mariner's first love Betty Dean, to the bizarre yet compelling alliance of Nazi villain the Red Skull with Hitler himself!
If this Essential volume has any weaknesses, however, one may be that the stories do not flow together as well as in other volumes (ex., Essential Amazing Spider-Man) simply due to the nature of the original publication. Although the comics reprinted here were "starring roles" for Doom, Subby, etc., SVTU was more about action and treachery than characterization. The early AT stories and the Doom/Namor alliance saga are exceptions, but the last 1/3 or so of the volume seemed very hit-or-miss to me.
Likewise the art is inconsistent. You have some great work by Wood, Colan, George Perez, Sal Buscema, but I also had to sit through a couple of real stinkers where the pencil work looked like a teenager's try-out samples. However, if you enjoy seeing a variety of artistic styles, especially in the "mighty Marvel manner" of the 1970s, this might not bother you at all.
All together I would rate The Essential Super-Villain Team-Up as a solid 85 out of 100, and I'd recommend it to any fan of superhero comics. If only for the opportunity to experience what Marvel was like in the '70s --- either as a younger reader who never had the chance to own these obscure issues, or as a long-time fan wishing to read them again and again!