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Post By
Dave Phelps

Subj: Spider-Man Revisited 42: Louise Simonson
Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 at 07:33:28 pm EDT (Viewed 7 times)

She’s not particularly known for Spider-Man work, but she did close out Marvel Team-Up and launch Web of Spider-Man, with enough stories to warrant a mention, so…

Original opinion: Didn’t make much of an impression either way.

MTU Ann #7 (The Collected Spider-Man, w/ Alpha Flight)
(Yep, I’m including Marvel Team-Up. Too many future Spider-Man writers (Conway, Wein, Mantlo, DeMatteis, etc.) got their start there for me not to.)
The Collector wants Marrina from Alpha Flight in his collection and decides Spider-Man (+ alien costume) belongs as well. Most of the other Flight members come to the rescue and fight various random items in the Collector’s collection. Not bad, but I think Simonson tried a little too hard to fit as many Flight “issues” as possible in one little story. Got to be a bit much.

And now, for that 80s classic: The Saga of Aunt May’s Hat

Chapter 1: MTU #149 (The Incandescent Man, w/ Cannonball)
Louise unites with her future New Mutants partner Bret Blevins on a story with Cannonball. How appropriate! Anyway, Spider-Man and Cannonball team-up against a ZZaxx wannabe and dump in the ocean. More importantly, Cannonball buys his mom a hat for her birthday and Pete gets the idea to do the same for Aunt May’s.

Chapter 2: MTU #150 (‘Tis Better to Give, w/ the X-Men)
It’s Black Tom’s birthday (I’m sensing a theme here) and the Juggernaut figures the best gift to give is the power of the Juggernaut. So he grabs the Ruby of Cyttorak and gives it to Tom. Tom freaks out a bit, Juggy loses his temper, and two half Juggernauts go to town on each other in downtown New York. Fortunately, it’s Spider-Man, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Rogue and Rachel to the rescue and eventually the power of the Juggernaut is back where it started. Meanwhile, Pete meets his new neighbors, Bambi, Candy and Randi (although it takes the artists awhile to figure out which is which), and discovers their unfortunate/appealing habit of sunbathing on the roof he uses to leave his apartment. But he’s able to use pictures of them to get money for Aunt May’s hat, so all is well.

Chapter 3: Web #1 (‘Til Death Do Us Part)
Spider-Man’s alien costume tries to bond with Peter one last time and they face off against a quartet of Vulture rip-offs, cleverly called the Vulturions. Despite having to fight his costume, Pete still manages to beat them. And lucky for him, the fight takes him to a bell tower while the bells are ringing so he’s able to get the suit off of him. Nearly at the cost of his own life, but fortunately the suit discovers a soft spot within. Pete is saved, but the costume apparently disintegrates. (It gets better.) Meanwhile, MJ and Aunt May go shopping and we see the exact hat Aunt May wants.

Chapter 4: Web #2 (Treasures)
Hmmm… I wonder how Peter got home? He was unconscious in his undies at the end of #1. Anyway, Peter buys the hat for Aunt May but on the way home gets attacked by the Vulturions, now with blow guns. They’re trying to make a good impression on the Kingpin, but he’s not interested. And poor Spider-Man is too busy worrying about the hat to properly nail the guys. In the end Spider-Man pulls through, but at the possible cost of the hat. Fortunately, the Kingpin is there to recover it.

Chapter 5: Web #3 (Vulture is as Vulture Does)
The one true Vulture has heard about the Vulturians, and he’s not happy. (Guess the gang never heard about Blackie Drago.) So it’s Vulture vs. the Vulturians vs. Spider-Man. Vulture gets away, the Vulturians go to jail and to Comic Limbo (I seem to recall hearing of a subsequent appearance, but it took a decade or two.), and Spider-Man manages to drop off Aunt May’s hat, just in time.

Chapter 6: ASM Ann #19 (Fun ‘n’ Games)
You thought the saga was over, didn’t you? Well, while the hat was in Kingpin’s care, Alistair Smythe (in his debut appearance, which looks nothing like his later ones) snuck a tracking device in the hatband. Through an odd series of circumstances, he comes to discover Spider-Man’s true identity… Mary Jane Watson?! A big fight follows and MJ gets her first real taste of what it’s like to be Spider-Man. Heck, she even takes a picture of the Spider Slayer… And May and Anna predict that wedding bells are in Peter and MJ’s future. Amazing how mother figures always seem to know. \:\-\)

In summary… unexceptional, but enjoyable. And the Hat Saga is just begging for a collection. ;\-\)