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Dave Phelps




Double posting today, because I'm going to be off net for the next day or two. Can't leave my loyal readers hanging. ;\-\)

Original opinion: Nicieza hasn’t done much with the character, which is a shame, because I think he’s got a really good handle on him. Fortunately, he just makes the minimum.

(He also did an issue of Spider-Man Unlimited and the Final Adventure mini, which are covered under the Clone Saga.)

Web #38 (Moving Up)
Under a fairly redundant cover, the entertaining story of Peter’s farewell to his “bachelor pad.” The Hobgoblin (Macendale) is looking for work from the Kingpin and is sent to kill Spider-Man. Meanwhile, Peter and MJ are hosting a bash at his old apartment. Unfortunately, someone spiked the punch, which causes issues for Spider-Man in battle. (“Mommy, did Spider-Man just burp?”) Fortunately, a timely equipment malfunction saves the day and Pete gives a Mrs. Muggins a heartfelt farewell.

Web #39 (Petty Crimes)
Spider-Man vs. the Looter (post-loser status; pre-love affair with meteor) to save Nathan Lubensky’s watch. Meanwhile, Nathan tries to bridge the gaps with May after the incident in Spec #113.

New Warriors #32-34, Annual 3 (Forces of Light, Forces of Darkness)
As part of a group of guest stars, Spider-Man gets a rare chance to show off his experience and leadership skills. (“Okay Warriors—let’s go get ourselves killed!”)

ASM ’96 (as in 1996) (Deadmaker)
Set just after he and MJ got married, Peter encounters the son of a guy his dad killed while on the job. After beating him up, they have a nice heart to heart about moving forward in the wake of family tragedy.

Lifeline
The sequel to the Stone Tablet Saga, with Hammerhead, the Lizard, Boomerang, Caesar Cicero, the Eel, Man Mountain Marko, Arthur Stacy and Dr. Strange. Can’t go wrong with Steve Rude art, and any story with Hammerhead becoming a godlike being has got to have its charms, but it fell a little flat. One quibble is that the story took place when Peter thought MJ was dead, but when asked who he would resurrect, her name never came up. Tsk.

In summary… Lifeline was a little disappointing, but the rest had me wishing there was more to go through.



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Common-Sense, Tingling!




Have you read New Thunderbolts?

While I think most of his Spider-Man stuff (especially ASM ’96)* was good, I’ve never really been sure he had that great a handle on the character overall.

I don’t recall exactly which issue (six, maybe) but there’s a guest appearance early in New Thunderbolts that always rubbed me the wrong way. Spidey shows up to harass MACH IV (formally the Beetle) when the guy was clearly making an effort to become a better person (serving his time, becoming a hero, giving other villains a chance to reform)**. What happened to the guy who was giving second (and third and sometimes fourth) chances to people like Black Cat, the Prowler, Rocket Racer, Puma, and Sandman?

Plus his long-awaited Spider-Man/Deadpool crossover in Cable & Deadpool was easily the weakest story in an otherwise great series.

*And honestly I like that story for badass MJ more than anything else.

**On the bright side. The end of the conversion was hilarious. “I don’t trust you any farther than I can throw you” “You’ve thrown me pretty far”



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Dave Phelps




Read both, but don't remember either... Hmm...


    Quote:
    What happened to the guy who was giving second (and third and sometimes fourth) chances to people like Black Cat, the Prowler, Rocket Racer, Puma, and Sandman?


Well, he WAS burned by Sandman. (Not like he knows about the Wizard's involvement.) Plus the other Thunderbolts had just tried to take over the world or something over in Avengers/Thunderbolts, right?

Prowler and Rocket Racer were one time threats (maybe two-three for Rocket Racer), as opposed to hardened criminals.

As for the Cat... I suspect "little Peter" had some say in that one. ;\-\)

Puma seems to fall under the Punisher loophole.

So I can see it happening.


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Common-Sense, Tingling!





    Quote:
    Read both, but don't remember either... Hmm...


The C&DP issue wasn’t particularly memorable anyway.

It did have the first Ken Ellis appearance I’ve seen since the 90s though. That ought to please his fans. Both of them.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      What happened to the guy who was giving second (and third and sometimes fourth) chances to people like Black Cat, the Prowler, Rocket Racer, Puma, and Sandman?



    Quote:
    Well, he WAS burned by Sandman. (Not like he knows about the Wizard's involvement.)


That always bugged me. I can sort of understand Spidey feeling he’d been tricked but surely the Thing must have noticed that the Sandman’s personality changed completely overnight.


    Quote:
    Plus the other Thunderbolts had just tried to take over the world or something over in Avengers/Thunderbolts, right?


Kinda. Zemo made a grand speech at the end of Thunderbolts #75 about saving the world by taking it over but – when we see them again in that mini – they’re mostly concerned with toppling/blackmailing third-world dictators and super villains. Then Cobalt Man … well that’s something I don’t want to spoil.

Abe sided with the Avengers during that fight anyway.


    Quote:
    Prowler and Rocket Racer were one time threats (maybe two-three for Rocket Racer), as opposed to hardened criminals.


I think the Prowler is particularly significant to Spidey’s belief in second chances. The last time he intentionally let a thief escape the guy killed his uncle. Here Peter sees a lot of himself in Brown, decides to take a chance on the guy, and is rewarded with a lifelong ally (occasional Stacy-related hiccups aside). If not for the Prowler I don’t think Peter’d be taking chances on any of these people (well, probably the Black Cat but that’s more because there are some Spider-Man writers that wish they were writing Batman).

Rocket Racer is a weird one to me simply because the writers can’t seem to agree on with side he’s on but Spidey seems to have decided he’s a decent guy regardless (see the “Great Game” style story from Zeb Wells’ Peter Parker fill-in). I did like what Fred Van Lente did with him in MODOK’s 11 though. He’s like a textbook case of an “Art of War” spy? Who’s going to suspect a loser like the RR?


    Quote:
    As for the Cat... I suspect "little Peter" had some say in that one. ;\-\)


Yeah, and he lets the Black Fox go because he reminds him of Uncle Ben (which doesn’t really say much for Ben Parker). The point is that Peter tends to be a bit of a softy so any “I’m watching you” tough talk to Abe rings false to me.


    Quote:
    Puma seems to fall under the Punisher loophole.


“The Punisher loophole” bugs the heck out of me. At least Fireheart has SOME redeeming qualities (though probably not enough to make Peter overlook that he kills people for money). Castle is just a serial killer.



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bstie1198





    Quote:
    Web #38 (Moving Up)
    Under a fairly redundant cover, the entertaining story of Peter’s farewell to his “bachelor pad.” The Hobgoblin (Macendale) is looking for work from the Kingpin and is sent to kill Spider-Man. Meanwhile, Peter and MJ are hosting a bash at his old apartment. Unfortunately, someone spiked the punch, which causes issues for Spider-Man in battle. (“Mommy, did Spider-Man just burp?”) Fortunately, a timely equipment malfunction saves the day and Pete gives a Mrs. Muggins a heartfelt farewell.


This is the only Macendale Hobgoblin story I really like, because of the drunk (and not knowing it) Peter. Fun issue.


    Quote:
    Web #39 (Petty Crimes)
    Spider-Man vs. the Looter (post-loser status; pre-love affair with meteor) to save Nathan Lubensky’s watch. Meanwhile, Nathan tries to bridge the gaps with May after the incident in Spec #113.


I could go without a homeless but not loony Looter. I really like where Dezago and 'Ringo took him. It works really well for me, and I like to keep a little of the zany Lee / Ditko stuff around (if only the Enforcers were a more regular presence).


    Quote:
    In summary… Lifeline was a little disappointing, but the rest had me wishing there was more to go through.


You're the first person I've heard that has felt disappointed by Lifeline. I guess it's due to your pro-MJ / my anti-MJ bias. \:\-\)

IMO, Lifeline is one of my favorite mini-series, and the only real "gem" that makes me wish Nicieza had written more Spider-Man (I also enjoy Final Adventure, cause I live in the Portland, OR area, and it's neat to see Peter on my turf).


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Dave Phelps





    Quote:
    You're the first person I've heard that has felt disappointed by Lifeline. I guess it's due to your pro-MJ / my anti-MJ bias. \:\-\)


It honestly wasn't the MJ thing. (When I say it's just a quibble, I mean it's just a quibble. ;\-\) ) Just one of those stories that seemed to be... missing something that I couldn't put my finger on.

Glad you liked it, though. \:\-\)


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