Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

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Post By
Dave Phelps

Subj: Spider-Man Revisited 33: Kurt Busiek
Posted: Thu May 21, 2009 at 05:06:55 pm EDT (Viewed 19 times)

Original opinion: His current continuity stuff tended to be mediocre, with the notable exception of Legacy of Evil and the Thunderbolts team-up, but Untold Tales was very good.

Spec #176-177 (Corona)
The story which gave Kurt Busiek a new appreciation for Sal Buscema, because of the way Sal drew arrogant rich scientist Cedric Forrester. Cedric and his sister Dagny’s experiments led to her being transformed into a superbeing called Corona and the New York water supply being poisoned, nearly killing little Normie and Mary Jane. Spider-Man gets yanked in all directions but eventually saves the day. Alas, Corona is forced to stay with her brother.

Web #81 (Living in Fear)
Early in his career, Spider-Man stopped two car thieves. One went straight but lived in fear that his past would come back to haunt him. The other got powers from a hush hush Gov’t organization and called himself Bloodshed. Years later, Bloodshed wants revenge and the brother’s stuck in the middle. Bloodshed goes to jail and the other brother starts feeling better about himself. Very afterschool specially.

Web #82 (Pumping Up)
Man-Mountain Marko at his ‘roid-ragey best. Too bad Spider-Man’s stronger.

Web #83 (Entrepeneurs) (Yes, the title has a typo. Silly guys.)
Three former AIM employees strike out on their own and build a new “power harness,” attempting to use it to commit robberies. Spider-Man stops him but a public relations guy in need of something “big” snags the harness and tries to become a superhero with the inspiring name of the Bobster. Alas, Spider-Man makes him give the harness back. Good thing he made a copy of the schematics…

SMU #2 (Other People’s Dreams)
Spider-Man vs. a guy who has seen far too many movies.

SMU #3 (Captive Fire)
The sequel to Spec #176-177 – Corona escapes from under her brother’s thumb. We’re asked if we’d like to see her again and to write in if we do. I guess not enough people did.

SMU #4 (Still Living in Fear)
The sequel to Web #81 – Bloodshed is back and he’s ticked off some mobsters who want him dead. So now he’s the one who’s scared all the time. He escapes, fakes his death, and goes on the run. Wonder how things worked out for him?

SMU #5 (Look Who’s Back)
The sequel to Web #83 (guess Busiek had nothing more to do with Marko) – Bobster’s built a new suit and wants to be Spider-Man’s sidekick. He settles for a talk show.

Spider-Man/X-Factor: Shadowgames
I’ve actually seen Busiek apologize for this one. Don’t know why. Yes, it’s a completely pointless mini-series with yet another government conspiracy plotline and generic villains, but it wasn’t unpleasant to read.

Legacy of Evil
Little Normie’s been kidnapped and Ben Urich, Spider-Man and the Molten Man team-up to find him. As the story progresses, we get one last look at Norman and Harry Osborn. (Sigh) If only… Very nice, and I liked the bit where Ben thought Harry had been the Goblin for much longer because of the changes in Norman as the Spider/Goblin conflict progressed.

SMTU #7 (& the Thunderbolts)
An Enclave robot commits a robbery which Spider-Man is blamed for and new superhero sensation the Thunderbolts is sent after him. (This was early in the series when nobody knew they used to be bad guys.) MACH-1 in particular was looking forward to bringing Spider-Man in, after all the hassles he had with Spidey in his Beetle days. But circumstances lead to Spider-Man and MACH-1 fighting back to back so MACH-1 helps Spidey clear himself after all. Maybe there’s hope for the guy after all.

Thunderbolts #8
(Yes, I will be mentioning the occasional guest appearance, assuming it meets the extremely rigorous “do I feel like digging it out and reading it and, if so, do I feel like mentioning it?” criteria.)
Spider-Man isn’t a significant part of the issue (featuring the Thunderbolts and a bunch of guest stars against the Elements of Doom), but I love the exchange on the first page:
“DIE, Spider-Man!”
“Yeesh! ‘Die, Spider-Man?!’ I’m a busy guy gang – up to my spider-powered butt juggling bad guys like the Technomancers, Doc Ock, the Shocker, Kraven and Ultimatum-- --which is, like, five times as busy as any self-respecting super-hero should really be!
“So really, if I’m gonna fit you folks into my already-overcrowded schedule, you’re gonna have to come up with better quips than that!”
“Oh, right. ‘Bah.’ Muuuuch better!”

A tad metafictive, but it made me smile.

Untold Tales of Spider-Man (with occasional help from Tom DeFalco, Roger Stern and another guy I’m blanking on)
While the thought of Spider-Man acting extra immature, moving in with Aunt May, dating Betty Brant, fighting Norman Osborn and Sandman, being called Puny Parker by Flash Thompson, etc. in the current books fills me with great annoyance, that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to visit the days when that was the status quo. Especially when we also get to see some of the older versions of other classic Marvel characters. And, hey, so that’s where Spidey fought the Scarecrow… Forgot about that. Lots of fun from start to finish and it’s a shame that they didn’t go with the plan to keep the series going with Roger Stern at the helm. I could have lived with the price increase…

In summary… My original opinion stands, although I enjoyed Spec #176-177, Web #83 and SMU #2 more this time around.

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