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

Amazing Spider-Man Message Board >> View Post
Post By
The Green Ninjas

In Reply To
Dave Phelps

Subj: Re: Spider-Man Revisited 32: Terry Kavanagh
Posted: Sat May 23, 2009 at 07:44:48 am EDT (Viewed 6 times)
Reply Subj: Spider-Man Revisited 32: Terry Kavanagh
Posted: Wed May 20, 2009 at 06:12:42 pm EDT (Viewed 175 times)

I will try to get back to the Mackie posts at some point, but for now, I'll take on this one. Due to Marvel UK stopping reprinting Web after #90, outside of the Maximum Carnage issues, I haven't read all of Kavanagh's run, outside of what I tracked down and read years later, so I'll comment on what I know.

    Original opinion: The occasional neat moment but overall pretty mediocre. Not big on actually ending stories.

That about says it. I really have no idea why so many people refer to him as the worst Spider-Man writer ever, when he was for the most part just harmlessly mediocre, and even when he did write something horrible, it was mostly harmless.

I do wonder if people are just blaming him for being "the guy behind the Clone Saga", but it's never really been clear if the idea he "blurted out" in a meeting was anything more than "bring back the Spider-Clone", rather than the whole "Peter is the Clone" deal. And even if it was, it's hardly like he held a gun to the heads of all the other writers, and the editors and forced them into it.

    Web #77-78 (Toast of the Town)
    Spider-Man follows a homeless woman (Anna) into the sewers and helps out a couple of Morlocks while the new Firebrand (same suit, but without the political aspects) burns down a homeless shelter that just opened up and was hosting a gala featuring the entire supporting cast. And Cloak & Dagger show as some sort of follow-up to the tail end of their last ongoing. Jonah has a nice moment at the end. It was okay.

When I came back to the Marvel UK Spidey reprints, they were half-way through this one, I don't remember if I ever found/read the first part. But this was OK, although losing the political aspect of Firebrand does seem to be missing the point a bit.

    Web #79-80 (First Blood)
    Spider-Man fights a killer android sent by Silvermane to snag him and loses. Fortunately, it’s Black Cat to the rescue. It was okay.

OK, I was young at the time, but I remember enjoying this battle with robots enough. And wasn't Silverman trying to drain Spidey's blood? I remember that kind of freaking me out.

    SM #19-20 (Diabolique)
    Spider-Man vs. Diablo in a museum. It was okay.

Wasn't this a hastily thrown together fill-in because Larsen's home was wrecked in a flood or something, and he lost all the work he was doing?

    SM #25 (Why Me?)
    Okay… so Spider-Man sees half of Captain Britain’s staff (from the early days) at the Daily Bugle and there’s a note attached from Captain Britain asking for help and so Spider-Man goes to London where he gets hit by a gargoyle and then shunted down a tube and then he runs into the Juggernaut only it’s not really the Juggernaut it’s Captain Britain but Captain Britain thinks Spider-Man’s the Juggernaut and Captain Britain’s teammates from Excalibur are there (including Phoenix (Rachel, not Jean) who was supposed to be in space recovering from near death at the time) and they all attack but then Excalibur gets confused because the Juggernaut isn’t known for agility and sticking to walls and the true enemies are revealed to be Nightmare and D’Spayre so Spider-Man and Excalibur attack but then Excalibur are all killed except for Captain Britain (who’s ticked) and Spider-Man looks at Rachel’s corpse sees something weird and then he’s flying into battle surrounded by the Phoenix Effect complete with a FWAAAASH asking “Is there room for a hungry… Spider-Phoenix?!” and he destroys Nightmare and D’Spayre since they’re really robots and just as Spidey and Captain Britain start to realize they’re being duped (“let me guess—an unnecessarily aggressive gargoyle…?”) they’re attacked by Silvermane, Tarantula, Rhino, Dr. Octopus, Vulture, Scorpion, Green Goblin (don’t know which one), Vermin and the Lizard only those are robots too which are made short work of and it all turns out to be the work of Arcade who I guess holds a grudge from that Marvel Team-Up story so with the help of Meggan who poses as Arcade’s assistant Miss Locke Cap and Spidey trick Arcade into confessing what he did and make him frown.

    And I had a lot more fun typing that than actually reading it. Maybe if Alan Davis had been the artist…

      While Arcade, the hired killer for the man with too much money to waste, is a much better fit somewhere like the Spidey books than in the X-books, but I remember reading a friend's copy of this back in the day, and yeah, it's probably the worst thing he ever wrote, Spidey-books or not.

        ASM #375 (Echoes)
        I normally don't cover back-ups that don't feature Spider-Man directly, but what the heck. The Chameleon's reaction to the death of Kraven is finally addressed and he makes mention to a final trap. Gee, I wonder what that could mean? (Hint, we're about halfway into the return of Peter's parents storyline.)

      In retrospect, given the talk of how no-one seemed to know until late in the day whether Peter's parents were real or not, it's weird that they were setting this up a year in advance.

        Web #97-100 (My Enemy’s Enemy)
        Blood Rose is back and still trying to kill the remnants of the Kingpin’s empire. Richard Fisk washes onto a deserted island, is nursed back to health and toughened up by a mysterious guy named Trench. Richard discovers that Trench has a weird costume, steals one of the gloves, renames himself Gauntlet, and goes back to the New York. Then we find out Richard isn’t really Richard. He’s Richard’s old buddy Alfredo who took Richard’s place as part of the plan to bring the Kingpin down and went nuts along the way. The real Richard is Blood Rose. A big fight ensues, featuring Trench (now calling himself Nightwatch), Gauntlet, Blood Rose and “the new Enforcers,” a completely random hodgepodge of villains (led by Madame Menace, Mentallo, Fixer, Controller and Mr. Fear) who were never seen as a team again. And they seemed so ambitious, too… And, lest we forget, the classic(?) Spider-Armor makes its first and only appearance. I really liked Name of the Rose, so messing with the ending didn’t sit well at all (even though it’s like Mackie that instigated it rather than Kavanagh). And the New Enforcers were just too random and pointless. (Richard Fisk was caught at the end and, presumably, went to prison. He was next seen in Bendis’ Daredevil run, back in Kingpin’s organization with a receding hairline and a lot more weaselly. Guess prison changes a guy.)

      I have no idea if the "Richard Fisk isn't Richard Fisk" thing was always planned or not, but whoever's fault it was, it's still pretty weak, and "My Enemy's Enemy" was a poor sequel to "Name of the Rose". That said, "hero gets new armoured costume to beat a foe they otherwise could not beat" has been an overused plot since The Dark Knight Returns made it famous, so we should probably be thankful that the Spider-Man franchise got it out of the way in one issue of the lower-tier book of the franchise, rather than over a longer period of time in the flagship book. The armour comes and goes so quickly, it's like they're aware it's just there for the gimmick cover.

      As I recall, Nightwatch had a ridiculously over-convoluted origin that involved time-travel or something, begging the question of why I have some kind of morbid fascination with the guy.

      And the New Enforcers appear to have been shot down by the same problem that befell a similar early 1990s supervillain alliance in the Hulk's book; they were mostly all villains that 'belonged' to other books. This storyline was barely over when the Controller showed up in Iron Man, in a role that flat-out ignored he'd ever appeared anywhere since about 1987.

        Web Ann #9 (Chaos is the Cadre!)
        Introducing three mysterious young super… beings: Dementia, Vortex and Shard – the Cadre (and yes, those are their birth names). They wander around and inadvertently cause trouble until a mysterious blonde lady whisks them away. I’ll give Kavanagh points for trying to build a full backstory behind them, but since any follow-ups were done in Moon Knight stories I’ve never read I can’t say whether this was the beginning of something interesting or just a random series of events only done because the mandate for the annuals that year was to create new characters. (Which was only slightly less successful than DC’s attempts to do the same with Bloodlines…)

      These guys did reappear in the Moon Knight series, I can say that much. Begging the question of why they made their debut in an entirely different book.

      And Marvel did have a couple of minor successes from the 1993 annual characters, with Genis being the longest lasting of them, and the likes of the X-Cutioner, X-Treme and Bloodwraith making a number of other appearances.

        Web #101-103 – part of Maximum Carnage, which will be covered under Micheline

      Let us at least mention the moment in #102 when the Carnage Family crash the nightclub, bursting out of a stolen limo in a way that makes it clear that Doppleganger had been driving. That's awesome.

        Web #109-111 (The Savaging)
        The Lizard gets broken out of the Vault by Calypso, who he promptly kills (tsk) and then goes on a savage rampage so he can… well, because he wanted to go home. Also introducing walking bounty hunter cliché Warrant, who I actually thought had potential. The Lizard apparently gets blown up.

      As comics go, despite starting reading in the '80s, I'll always be an early 1990s boy, so Warrant gets a free pass from me.

      But while The Savaging wasn't anything special in and of itself, I do give it serious credit for a bit of forward planning no-one really seemed to notice. Who's the one man who knows for 100% certain if Spider-Man is a clone? Curt Connors. And this storyline took him out of play well in advance of the Clone Saga. And when one of the editors (Budiansky?) wanted a Lizard story in 1995, Kavanagh stepped up and turned the Lizard into a savage beast, once again keeping Connors out of the picture.

      Shame someone else messed it all up by revealing that Lizard wasn't Connors, who was sat at home all the time, and Peter could've just called him up and asked if he was a clone.

        And from there it’s all clone saga so I guess we’re done.

      Well, technically Facade was pre-Clone Saga. I don't give Kavanagh the grief everyone else seems to over us never learning who Facade was, since it's not really his fault the Clone Saga stretched well over the six months it was supposed to, and went on so long, he left the book well before it was over. And the way things played out, it ends up looking like Facade's career is over anyways.

        In summary… cut out #97-100 and I’d say he was okay. That story brought him down a lot in my eyes, though.

      Yeah, he was....OK, occasionally had his moments, and occasionally did something horrible like Spider-Man #25. It's hardly like he was on the level of badness that was the reboot, or OMD.

      Also, did Saviuk change inker, colourist or something around the time Kavanagh replaced Mackie on Web? His art seemed better in the Mackie era, as I recall.

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