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

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Post By
Dave Phelps

Subj: Spider-Man Revisited 34: Todd & Erik
Posted: Fri May 22, 2009 at 09:57:36 am EDT (Viewed 136 times)

(Writing gigs only of course.)

Original opinions: Certainly “artist driven” stories, in that sometimes events would occur because they felt like drawing them rather than in-story logic, but I found them entertaining.

Todd McFarlane

SM #1-5 (Torment)
A teensy bit overwritten there (and I’m probably under some obligation to do a “Rise above it all” joke), but for a first writing effort, I liked it. Five issues is probably a bit long for “Lizard acts scary while nameless woman acts mysterious and Spider-Man acts confused,” admittedly, and it’s a shame he never did the sequel which was supposed to explain it all. Also, there was one seen where Peter gets a tad arrogant which in some ways seems out of place, but in others reminds of me of the opening to ASM #3 before he got spanked by Dr. Octopus.

SM #6-7 (Masques)
Spider-Man and Ghost Rider vs. the now-crazy/religious Hobgoblin with a little boy caught in the middle. One of those “why Spider-Man is nicer than ‘90s violent heroes’” stories. Interesting take on Hobgoblin, though, even if it came a little out of nowhere.

SM #8-12 (Perceptions)
Spider-Man and Wolverine hunt a child killer, who may or may not be the Wendigo, in Canada. Not sure if trying to cast a monster whose legend is based in cannibalism as a “harmless brute” is necessarily the way to go, but the concept behind the story regarding “true monsters” and all was sound. Similar to the first story in that the plot kind of goes in circles for a couple of issues in the middle.

SM #13-14 (Sub City)
Spider-Man vs. Morbius involving a never seen before or again group of subterranean humans. McFarlane tries to come up with an in-story reason for Spider-Man to wear the black costume again and doesn’t quite succeed. (Points for letting Peter realize the flaws in his reasoning as the story progresses, though.)

SM #16 (Sabatoge Part 1)
Part one of a crossover with X-Force as McFarlane proves there are some characters he probably shouldn’t be drawing. Weird to read a story about an explosion at the World Trade Center these days. (Esp. one where one of the towers was severely damaged.)


Erik Larsen

MCP #48-50 (Life’s End)
Spider-Man and Wolverine team-up against Spider-Man’s dentist, a guy he knew in the fourth grade and some other random villains for the life of the Golden Age Captain Marvel and his daughter. Spider-Man wonders why everyone he knows ends up being a super-villain (or related to one) and hopes that MJ won’t follow suit. It’s… interesting.

SM #15 (The Mutant Factor)
Spider-Man and MJ are thinking about having kids and Spider-Man talks to the Beast to get his opinion on the risks involved. And then there’s a big fight. Pete and MJ decide it’s better to wait for awhile, causing disappointment or relief amongst fans as appropriate.

SM #18-23 (Revenge of the Sinister Six)
Larsen takes the Sinister Six tradition of guest cameos a step farther by having Ghost Rider, Nova, Sleepwalker, Deathlok, the Hulk, Solo and the Fantastic Four all make full fledged guest appearances. This time the Six is Electro, Octopus, Hobgoblin, Vulture, Mysterio and Gog (from ASM #103), and they’re a lot more violent than usual for some reason. And Spider-Man sports web bazookas and a robot arm for a bit. One of those stories you read more for the explodo than the character bits. Although there’s a nice scene with Sandman showing his darker side for a sec. (I may prefer him as a good guy, but he doesn’t need to be a saint.) Oh, and MJ gets offered a role with nude scenes, which causes some consternation in the Parker household. (She eventually turns it down.)

In summary… definitely for the fans of McFarlane and Larsen as Spider-Man artists. If you like the art, you can overlook the flaws in the plotting. If not, then it’s not going to be a pleasant time. I appreciated both of them embracing the notion of Peter as a married guy, though. Hardly classics, but I've read worse.

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