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Post By
Dave Phelps

Subj: Spider-Man Revisited 40: Peter David Part Two
Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:03:15 am EDT (Viewed 180 times)


Spec #115 (Things Fall Apart)
Back in #100, the Black Cat found out that her bad luck power was causing Spider-Man issues so she planned to break up with him to save him from further damage. (Not that she had the chance.) Now we find out that she was a little too late, which explains some silliness that happened back in ASM #267, Spec #112, etc. So Peter goes to Dr. Strange to get the hex lifted, which then caused changes in the Black Cat’s abilities, including the removal of the bad luck power. Too bad she was in the middle of a fight at the time… (Also continuing the strange odyssey of Peter’s gold notebook, which was fenced, then sold to the Foreigner, then stolen by the Cat, who melted it and turned it into trim for a jacket she wore as part of a short-lived costume change.)

Spec #116 (102 Uses for Dead Cat)
Remember when Sabretooth was just an Iron Fist villain who occasionally palled around with the Constrictor? Those were the days… The Black Cat extricates herself from the bad situation she was in, with the Foreigner’s notebook in tow. The Foreigner is being visited by his old student Sabretooth, who is looking for work. Sabretooth takes it upon himself to take care of the Cat, who is saved by Spider-Man who wanted to be nice and mention that he may have done something that may have affected Cat’s abilities. She takes the news… well.

Spec #117 (Dinner Hour)
Spider-Man’s missing in action so it’s all about the Black Cat this time. After embarrassing herself trying to “have words” with Dr. Strange, she goes one on one with the Foreigner and gets her butt kicked. Fortunately for her, he wants her to help him with a plan to get Spider-Man’s life ruined (so he has nowhere to go but to work for Forry) and she’s ticked off enough to go with it. Meanwhile, Joe Robertson meets Randy’s new wife. (Married off panel; divorced off panel. How symmetrical!) He has his concerns, but then she gives him the Heimlich, so I guess that helped smooth the waters.

Spec #118 (Ashes to Ashes)
Concluding the sad story of Alex. A kid who was abused by his dad, accidentally gained disintegration powers from one of his dad’s machines, accidentally disintegrated his dad, and then went on the run, blowing stuff up along the way. Then he’s killed by a SHIELD agent. (Although we find out in a later Hulk story that he wasn’t really dead.)

Spec #119 (Catfight)
Sabretooth’s back! (Just two months before he encounters Wolverine for the first time and becomes really popular.) This time he’s targeting Spider-Man but Black Cat butts in and stops him. Also, Bambi becomes the subject of a never resolved mystery when she mentions that she doesn’t want to go through the whole giving birth thing. The obvious solution is that she married/seriously dated a guy with an infant child who grew up to think of her as his mother, but I wonder if there was supposed to be more to it than that.

Spec #121 (Point of View)
Jonah, MJ and Peter are witnesses to a robbery at the Roshomon Bank and Trust (ahem) and give their stories about what happened. It was cute.

Spec #122 (Father’s Night Out)
The Mauler’s back, he wants his son, and isn’t afraid to destroy a hospital to get him. Some guys are so single-minded…

Spec #123 (With Friends Like These…)
Blaze is back! Okay, so he never really existed… Details! But don’t get attached because he’s killed with Spider-Man framed for the murder by the end, anyway. All part of the Foreigner’s master plan, which then had to be put on hold for 6 months for some reason. (Both Spec and Web were wall to wall fill-ins for a few months.) I missed this one the first time around, which may explain why I didn’t think of the “MJ proposal” storyline as being particularly out there. From the books I was reading (aside from one panel in ASM #289, which went over my head), he wasn’t dating anyone except MJ really. They were hardly playing kissy face, but she was in his apartment all the time, cooking him dinner, complimenting his buns while he was in the shower, etc. I wonder if my opinion would have been different if I had read this one, where a “reunion fling” with him and the Cat is initiated.

ASM #289 (Hobgoblin Revealed)
Okay, so the reveal didn’t stick… This is one of those issues that I see ripped apart a lot because of how “lame” the reveal was, but I thought it was an interesting twist. Killing off the guy before the reveal, and having someone else take the job was an interesting way of avoiding the risk of the “Mystery Villain” being less interesting once the mystery is over. My main criticism is that Ned went down way too easily. There’s no reason they could have zapped him with some “power sapper gun” or something before going on the attack. Ah well, it left Stern an easy opening for later, I guess. At this point, it had been 4 years since the start of the mystery so I don’t think there was a solution that would have made everyone happy. The main flaw in having Ned as the guy was the way he killed the informant back in #238. Later immoral acts could be seen as power corrupting, but it was too early in the game then.

Spec #128-129 (Foreign Affairs)
The title of choice for Foreigner stories… it’s time to follow-up on the “framed for murder” bit, and JJJ hires Silver Sable (who, by the way, is the Foreigner’s ex-wife) to snag Spider-Man. She gives it a go, but changes her mind about it. The Black Cat gets another, even more short-lived, costume and, after manipulating events to her favor, gets Spider-Man out of the hole the Foreigner dug for him. And there’s a big fight, as there should be, between Spider-Man and the Foreigner. In the end, everyone gets away to go about their business. (I did get this one when it came out, but it was while Peter was proposing to MJ in ASM and the Cat was much more romantic with Forry than Peter, so it didn’t cause the same questions #123 might have.)

Spec #134-136 (Sin-cere)
The Sin Eater is cured and released and Spider-Man’s not happy. So he goes to threaten the guy and discovers that the beating he gave the Sin Eater may have crippled him for life. Yikes! So now Pete’s too scared to hit anybody. Just when Electro is opting for a more subtle approach to robbery – rather than wearing the costume, he plays himself off as a normal crook with a funky pistol. Spider-Man tries to take him out, but is still too freaked by Sin Eater so Electro wipes him out. Then Electro gets cocky, puts the costume back on, and Spider-Man “rediscovers his center” and kicks Electro’s butt. There’s probably a lesson in there, somewhere. And the Sin Eater’s story ends the only way it could.

Web #40-43 (Cult of Love)
Betty was nearly killed by the Sin Eater and not too long after her husband Ned WAS killed. So she’s not in a good place right now and falls in with a cult. So it’s Flash Thompson and Spider-Man to the rescue. Meanwhile, Mary Jane considers work as a lingerie model, but Aunt May talks her out of it. Plus Kate Cushing gets some proper character development.

Web #44, Hulk #349 (Warzone)
Pete goes to Vegas as part of his tour for the Webs book, and runs into both the Hulk and a team of cyborg mercenaries who have an odd definition of fun. Comes across as PAD’s attempt to get Spider-Man readers to check out his Hulk run, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

Web #49 (Corner Business)
An anti-drug story. It’s a good one, but there are only two places for these stories to go. This one went the “downer” route.

And with that, Peter David takes his leave of Spider-Man for awhile.