Web of Spiderman Annual #1 ★★✬☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress & Blogspot by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Web of Spiderman Annual #1
Writer: Ann Nocenti
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 37
Words: 3K

From Marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Web_of_Spider-Man_Annual_Vol_1_1

Spotting a broken window outside of a jewelry store, Spider-Man swings inside to stop a robbery. Inside, much to his surprise, Spider-Man discovers that the robbery is being committed by a number of small humanoid robots. Chasing after the machines, Spider-Man watches as they begin to combine into a single large robot. When the masked hero tries to stop it, the robot begins to emit a high pitched noise that makes it hard for Spider-Man to concentrate. Through a force of will, Spider-Man is able to snare the robot with a web-line and the pull the robot to the ground. However, this only makes it worse, as the robot begins to flail around. The machine then rights itself, and with the sonic attack taking its toll on Spider-Man, the robot ropes him out and sprays him with knock out gas before fleeing the scene. Spider-Man manages to fight off the effects of the gas and breaks free from his bonds, and is able to sneak up on the robot and knock it out with a single punch. Recovering from the effects of the gas, Spider-Man recovers the robot’s severed head as a souvenir. As he leaves, the wall-crawler blames himself for not taking pictures of the battle as he could have sold them to the Daily Bugle. Examining the robot’s head, Spider-Man is impressed by its design and it reminds him of his of his days as a high school student. He then begins to chastise himself for allowing his identity as Spider-Man has been taking more priority to that of Peter Parker.

Elsewhere in the city, a young boy named Max is throwing out old sports equipment and toys into a nearby dumpster. A task made more difficult because of his leg braces and that his hands begin to cramp up. He suddenly hears a bunch of noise behind him, and when he turns around, Max discovers that some of his classmates have tied tin-cans to his legs. The kids chase Max, forcing him to run for it. When the intelligent child hurls insults at the other kids. Unable to understand Max’s vocabulary they threaten to beat him up, but he manages to flee the scene and get back home. Inside, Max has an advanced workshop where he conducts his experiments. Turning on his computers, it activates a robot that Max called “Future Max”. Max tells his robotic invention that his nervous system is slowly failing him, Max tells Future Max that he will eventually use mechanical parts to replace his own nervous system. Suddenly there is a tapping noise that comes from a brick wall. Max rushes to it, it is the girl who lives next door named Beatrice. He tells her about his day, making up a story about playing ball with his friends. Unaware of who Max really is, she hopes he wasn’t playing with the local bullies who she saw bullying a handicapped child. Beatrice then shows Max a surprise by pushing out one of the bricks that she chiseled loose so they can hold hands together. The idea of Beatrice learning the truth about him frightens Max. When she asks him to touch her hand, Max tries but his hands cramp up again and he accidentally hurts her. He apologizes but convinces her that he needs wants to keep the mystery of their friendship. Beatrice can’t understand it, but Max assures her that they can finally meet soon, but has to get back to work on his science fair project. It’s then that Max’s combining robots return home, and as he goes to work on repairing the damaged machine, he puts aside a letter from Reed Richards, declining his request for nerve restoration research due to time constraints.

The next day, a street hustler named Alexis Sharp decides to play a small con by offering to walk an elderly woman across the street in order to pick her pockets. Unfortunately, the plan backfires when her pet poodle bites Alexis’ finger, forcing him to punt the dog across the street and flee. Checking out the newspaper, he finds an article about an upcoming science fair and decides to use his con-man skills to find an inventive child with a wealthy family to bilk on false promises of marketing their child’s invention. Later, at the science fair, Max is setting up his science fair project. He crosses paths with his intellectual rival, Chester, who has assistants to help him set up his own project. However, these assistants are more interested in playing video games and eventually abandon Chester, leaving him to set up alone. Also present is Peter Parker, who is impressed with the imagination and ingenuity the children have put on display. Peter is impressed by Max’s invention, a device that increases the strength of your grip. Peter introduces himself to Max, who is excited to meet Parker, as he knows that Peter used to attend the same school and won his share of science fairs. As they begin talking about Max’s invention, the boy is happy to finally speak with someone who understands him. Peter offers to try and convince his editor at the Daily Bugle to do an article on Max and his inventions. Max is briefly interested but soon becomes engrossed in his work.

No sooner is Peter gone, Alexis Sharp approaches Max’s display and is impressed by what he sees. Trying to convince the boy that he is an agent, Max declines his representation. Sharp isn’t ready to give up and spots a love letter to Beatrice and another from Reed Richards that gives him an idea on how to manipulate the boy to suit his needs. Alexis then tells the boy that he is a colleague of Reed Richards, and that he works with people on an exchange basis. He convinces Max to build an exoskeleton that Alexis can wear to prove that his invention works. This finally gets through to the boy and he accepts Sharp’s card. Later that evening, Max is working on his exoskeleton, having to cannibalize Future Max in order to construct it. Max hopes that Reed Richards is impressed with is invention and agrees to cure him so he can finally reveal himself to Beatrice. As he works, Max accidentally bumps a water tank, spilling water on his mechanical arm brace. This causes a jolt of electricity that Beatrice hears from the other side of the wall. Beatrice asks Max if he is okay, and suggests that they meet up the following day. Max tells her he can’t for now, telling her to trust in their love for each other.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man returns home to his apartment and discovers that a local stray cat has managed to get into his apartment again. As it rubs up against the severed robot head, it suddenly calatters to life. Peter examines it more closely and realizes that it is build using the same principals as Max’s grip enhancer at the science fair. Putting on his mask, Spider-Man decides to make a social call to young Max. At that moment, Max is putting the final the final touches on the exoskeleton for Alexis Sharp, who helped fund the construction by calling in some underworld markers. As Alexis begins to test out the suit, Max begins to become suspicious of Sharp’s credentials. Suddenly, the doorbell rings and Max goes to answer it. It turns out to be Spider-Man who has come to talk to the youth. Seeing the robot head, Max tries to explain his situation. Hearing about Sharp’s alleged relationship with Reed Richards, Spider-Man asks Sharpe if he had heard about what happened with Richards’ daughter. This is a trick, as Reed doesn’t have a daughter, and Spider-Man catches him in a lie.[Continuity 1] Realizing the jig is up, Alexis Sharp tries to escape in the suit.

Spider-Man follows after him, and Sharp decides to fight back. Seeing that the battle suit is heavily armed, Spider-Man lures Alexis to an area that is scheduled for demolition. With no innocent people around, allowing the pair to cut loose. Down below, Max arrives and attempts to use a device to deactivate the armor, but it short circuits. An officer arrives on the scene and gets the boy to safety as Spider-Man and Sharp fight on. As the battle rages on, Max manages to slip by the police and get close enough to Spider-Man to tell him about the exoskeleton’s vulnerability to water. Spider-Man tells Max to get to cover and then uses this knowledge to lure Sharp to a nearby water tower. Knocking the crook into the water shorts out his armor, leaving him immobilized. Spider-Man then webs up Sharp and leaves him hanging for the police. The next day, Peter Parker arrives at Max’s house to take photos of him for the Daily Bugle article. Max tells him that he can’t take the photos as he has a date with Beatrice. Admitting that he is nervous, Peter reminds him that he helped Spider-Man that he is more brave than he thinks. Sure enough, when Max goes to visit Beatrice, they hit it off immediately.

Oh goodness. This was supposed to be a double sized issue, which means 48 pages at a minimum. However, once all the ads are removed, it was a measly 37 pages.

It is basically a one shot story about a smart kid with some sort of degenerative nerve disease being tricked into building a suit of armor for some insane guy who quotes movies (I’m not even going to say anything because I already know what I think of movies in general) and Spiderman fighting the badguy and the kid going on a date with the girl next door.

Let’s discuss that boy/girl love interest thing, shall we? The kid is in highschool. He talks to this girl, who lives in the apartment right next door, through a brick wall, a brick wall that is one brick thick. But they have never seen each other. Ever. Never ever never ever. Not even when going to school or coming or going out of the apartment building. So when they finally have their date, she invites him inside her apartment for dinner. I realize this was 1985, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t customary for single women living on their own to invite underage boys into their apartments.

And speaking of apartments. This kid has an entire laboratory in the basement. Now, maybe he’s living in some sort of town house and not an apartment building. But his single mom is raising him and he’s got a degenerative nerve/muscle disease. But he builds an Iron Man suit from egg beaters and junk material (no, seriously, Spiderman sees an eggbeater and comments on it), with sonic guns AND mini-missiles AND a machine gun. In his basement. This isn’t suspending reality, but pure wish fulfillment. I could see my 14year old self eating this up and absolutely loving it. But now, it’s beyond ridiculous. I just laughed and rolled my eyes.

Dave and I are going to be taking a break from this comic series for a couple of months. Dave because of being busy at work and me because I really need to evaluate if I want to actually read any more. The story, and hence the writer, is what separates the good from the bad and ol’ Ann Nocenti didn’t appear to be up to the job on this issue. So this will be the last Web of Spiderman review for at least a couple of months.

Now, I know that news is going to devastate you all. I can only imagine the turmoil, angst and old fashioned pain you will suffer because of this. And because I am a responsible blogger, I just want to reassure you all, THAT I WILL BE LAUGHING IN GLEE EVERY SINGLE SECOND THAT YOU ARE IN MISERY. Then I will pat you on the shoulder and say something banal like “there, there, it’s ok”. That makes it all ok.

Here’s Dawie’s take on this:
Dawie’s Review of Web of Spiderman Annual #1


Web of Spiderman #6-9 ★★☆☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress & Blogspot by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Web of Spiderman #6-9
Writer: Danny Fingeroth, Peter David, David Michelinie
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 95
Words: 8K

From Marvel.Fandom.com/wiki/Web_of_Spiderman

Synopsis for “Gold Rush!”

Story continued from Secret Wars II #2…

The Kingpin is woken up at 3:00 am with some troubling news. He places a call to a man Bainbridge. As he waits for the man to answer, he figures out the financial worth of the current crisis and realizes that it could make the great depression seem like prosperous times. When Bainbridge answers the phone, the Kingpin explains what must be done…

While elsewhere in Manhattan, Mary Jane Watson cannot sleep, her mind keeps coming back to the fact that she had recently revealed to Peter Parker that she’s known that he’s secretly Spider-Man for years[Continuity 1]. She struggles with the fact that she can’t be with someone that risks their lives on a daily basis, and although she is still friends with Peter she cannot shake the feelings she has for him. As she considers the strange twist of fate she finds herself in, she notices that there is a fire some blocks away and wonders what the cause of it could be.

At the site of the fire is the man of Mary Jane’s thoughts, Spider-Man who is at the scene of the office building that formerly housed the Heroes for Hire until the Beyonder recently turned the structure entirely into gold just moments ago. Realizing that there might be people trapped inside the building despite the late hour, Spider-Man enters the building and begins finding those who are trapped inside and finds that everything except for humans has been turned into gold.[Continuity 2] As Spidey searches for survivors, those few who are still up at this late hour find it almost impossible to believe that a building can be turned into gold. However, before anyone can capitalize on this, the Kingpin calls in to his contacts in Washington D.C. to assist in closing off the area to prevent people from making off or learning about this sudden cache of gold, as it could cause a financial crisis. Hard pressed for resources, the government makes a deal with the Kingpin even though they realize that they are making a deal with the proverbial devil.

Unaware of this deal, Spider-Man continues to rescue those trapped in the building as two police officers arrive. When the cops wonder how they will keep the public away from a giant pile of gold, they soon find themselves surrounded by a heavily armed guard of gangsters and street thugs. They are soon relieved by government agent Charles Anderson who explains to the two officers that these men as assisting in keeping the area secure until the military arrives. When Spider-Man returns to the outside he recognizes some of the armed men as enforcers for the Kingpin. He also witnesses as the owner of the building, Henry Trumpsley, is forced to accept a check buying his property and is escorted off the property.

When Anderson tells Spider-Man to leave, the Wall-Crawler refuses to tell him that he can rescue the people trapped inside easier. Despite being shot at, Spider-Man slips back inside, wondering what the Kingpin has to do with the recovery. Seeing that he is unable to stop Spider-Man, and hard pressed for resources, Anderson orders the men to hold their fire and let Spider-Man do his job.

As the work continues on, over in Queens Aunt May and her fiancée Nathan Lubensky mull over the financial problems they’re having keeping their elderly boarding house afloat.

By this time, the military has arrived and begun slowly removing the gold and shipping it out of the area and a massive barrier is being erected around the block to prevent people from seeing it. By the time the press arrives, there is speculation going around as to what the military is clearing out of the area. Inside the wreckage, Spider-Man continues to pull people out of the building. For the most part, everyone is alive, but he does come across one dead body within the wreckage. After bringing the body out, Spidey decides to take a break and take into consideration that scope of what the Beyonder has done. Everything, including simple trash, has been turned into gold, a discarded notebook that was considered trash hours earlier is now worth a small fortune. When Peter considers how much he and his Aunt May could benefit from something as small as a solid gold notebook, Peter wrestles with his desires and what he feels is the right thing to do and leaves the notebook behind. Spider-Man’s attention is drawn to another individual who is trapped in the building. However, upon closer inspection, the Wall-Crawler learns that the reason why the man is trapped is that he was attempting to carry out all his personal possessions that had been turned into gold and that the weight of it all had pinned him to the floor. The man is unwilling to give it all up until the roof begins to collapse over their head and he begs Spider-Man to save him.

With the last of the people out of the building, Spider-Man is about to web-sling away when he notices a black limo pull up to Anderson. Spider-Man is shocked to see that it is his old foe the Kingpin, and becomes angry when he witnesses a number of soldiers loading several gold typewriters into his limo. Furious that he must struggle through life while a known criminal like the Kingpin gets free gold from the government, Spider-Man finally has enough and decides to get what he believes he deserves. Jumping back into the ruins of the building, he recovers the gold notepad that he previously decided to leave behind. Exiting the building he confronts Anderson and tells him that he saw the transaction between him and the Kingpin and shows him that he intends to keep a reward for himself. After angrily chastising the government official, Spider-Man swings off leaving Anderson to consider what he has just done.

This story and Secret Wars II continues in Amazing Spider-Man #268…

Synopsis for “”Welcome… …to My Nightmare!””

Peter Parker is having a dream wherein he has arrived at the Daily Bugle completely naked to see if Joe Robertson is in. Betty Leeds sends him through, not noticing that he is not wearing clothes. Likewise, Peter doesn’t seem the least bit concerned that the Daily Bugle staff is comprised of heroes and villains. Betty warns Peter that Joe is in a bad mood, but he assures her that he can handle it. However, when he arrives outside Robertson’s office he is shocked to see the Hulk come smashing out. With this threat before him, Peter’s original Spider-Man costume begins to appear upon him. The other people in the Bugle begin to run, telling Spider-Man to run. With the Hulk looming over him, Spider-Man can’t find a way to fight back. Thinking a change of costume will confuse the Hulk, Spider-Man’s costume suddenly changes to his black and white costume and flees from the Daily Bugle building. Suddenly, the Daily Bugle building collapses. Examining the rubble, Spider-Man discovers the Hulk is still alive. As his costume continues to alternate between red-and-blue and black-and-white, he tries to battle the gamma-spawned monster. Despite his efforts, the wall-crawler is grabbed by the Hulk and tossed at the Brooklyn Bridge. However, instead of being splattered against the metal frame of the bridge, he rips through it like a piece of canvas. On the other side, the web-slinger finds himself falling into a void. He hears a voice calling out for help, but can’t find any way to save himself from falling.

Suddenly, Peter Parker wakes up and realizes that this was all a dream. Even though he is in his Spider-Man costume and has a coffee machine in his apartment, Peter doesn’t realize that he’s still dreaming. When he hears someone cry for help, he looks out his window and sees his Aunt May’s home down below. Fearing the worst, Peter puts on his mask and swings down to the house. There, Spider-Man watches in horror as the Burglar with an automatic weapon mowing down his Uncle Ben, Aunt May, Gwen and George Stacy, Mary Jane, and Betty Leeds.[Continuity 1] Horrified to see all his loved ones dead, Peter demands to know why the Burglar killed them. Fleeing the scene, the Burglar tells him that this is what Spider-Man wanted, that he needs guilt to keep going. Spider-Man denies this and in a fit of rage follows after the Burglar. Suddenly, Spider-Man finds himself replaying his confrontation with the Burglar at the Acme Warehouse.[Continuity 2] Spider-Man knocks the crook out, but this time when he gets a good look, he has the face of Peter Parker. This is a shock to Peter but this puts him in a state of despair that he believes that Spider-Man is actually responsible for the death of his loved ones.

Accepting defeat, Spider-Man doesn’t resist when the Hulk comes smashing through the wall to destroy him. However, when the Hulk smashes the floor, it breaks away and the pair both fall into some water below. Once again he hears a voice calling out for help and begins swimming toward the voice. This leads him into a sewer where he finds the creature that calls itself Nightmare. It begs Spider-Man for help as the Hulk has been chasing him and begs Spider-Man to save him before his realm is destroyed. Spider-Man finally clues in to the fact that he is dreaming. However, Nightmare warns him that if he dies here, he will die in real life. When the Hulk catches up to them, Spider-Man lures the brute out to the surface. Spider-Man is surprised that this dreamscape looks just like Manhattan. Surfing in the air on a manhole cover, Spider-Man loses the Hulk around the Statue of Liberty. He returns to Nightmare and demands to know why Nightmare’s realm looks like Manhattan. Nightmare explains that his realm takes on aspects that are familiar to those who are trapped in it and that only an adept can see it as it truly is. When Spider-Man mentions the name of Doctor Strange, Nightmare curses his foe, blaming him for everything that has happened. Spider-Man demands answers, and Nightmare tells the wall-crawler that Doctor Strange cursed his realm with Bruce Banner’s sleeping mind.[Continuity 3]

Nightmare goes on to say that this dream-form of the Hulk is just as powerful as the real thing and that he chose Spider-Man due to his sense of responsibility and his previous experience battling the Hulk. That’s when the Hulk comes crashing through again. Spider-Man blinds the behemoth with some webbing, allowing them to flee. Nightmare takes Spider-Man to the very edge of his realm where there is nothing but a white void that Nightmare states is a realm of utter madness. When the Hulk catches up to them once again, Spider-Man battles it the best he can, and ultimately uses his superior agility to knock the Hulk into the void, destroying it. Exhausted, Spider-Man is glad it is over so he can finally return to the waking realm. However, Nightmare has other ideas, telling the hero that he intends to keep him in the Nightmare Realm to defend him forever. Suddenly, the Hulk reaches out from the void and grabs Nightmare dragging him in. Nightmare begs Spider-Man for help, reminding Spider-Man of his sense of responsibility. Instead, Spider-Man turns away trying to ignore Nightmare’s sickening screams. Spider-Man does have a responsibility to himself, as well as others. As he leaves Nightmare’s realm, he tries to ignore the horror he has seen, reminding himself that if he saved Nightmare, he’d be trapped in his realm forever and unable to save anyone ever again.

Suddenly, Spider-Man wakes up and is suprirsed to see his landlord, high neighbors, and the police standing at the foot of his bed. As it turns out, his nightmare was so intense his screams woke everyone up and they called the cops. His landlady Maimie Muggins is upset that he made such a racket. His neighbors are a little more sympathetic, when Peter tells him he forgot what the nightmare was about. However, he thinks that sometimes it is better that way.

Synopsis for “Local Superhero!”

Years Ago:[Continuity 1]

In the vastness of space, a planet explodes, hurtling debris across the universe. One such chunk ends up crashing in a junkyard on planet Earth in the small town of Smithville, Pennsylvania. The following morning, Frank Hopkins reports for work at the Smithville Savings Bank. He arrives late for work much to the annoyance of his employer. After being snubbed by Marge, the bank typist, he meets with his co-worker Irving. Irving has two tickets to an orchestra performance that evening and Frank accepts an invitation to join. That evening, Frank waits outside for Irving, who is running late. Suddenly, he hears a scream in a back alley and sees a pair of thugs tar and feathering Irving. Around his neck is an antisemitic sign reading “Jew Boy”. When Hopkins tries to stop them, he is beaten up and left in the alley. The two thugs then throw Irving in the back of a pick-up truck and attempt to flee. Frank grabs ahold of the tailgate and holds on for dear life. However, despite his heroic efforts, the speeding vehicle shakes him loose, sending Frank Hopkins rolling into the junkyard. Trying to get up, Frank uses the chunk of space rock to steady himself. Suddenly he feels funny and gets up with no further pain. Walking home, Hopkins dismisses this as nothing but adrenaline.

Returning home, Frank goes through old newspaper clippings of heroes like Captain America and the Human Torch, who were active in World War II. He wishes that there were heroes like that around in this day and age to prevent such acts of violence.[Continuity 2] The next morning, the front page story in the papers is about the beating of Irving Stein, who is now recovering in hospital. Reading this at work, Frank Hopkins once more wishes there was something that could have been done for poor Irving. At lunchtime, Frank goes out into the bank parking lot to eat his lunch. When he accidentally drops his apple under a car, he is surprised when he somehow manages to lift the car off the ground in order to retrieve it. Not believing what just happened, Hopkins attempts to lift the car again. He is surprised that he is able to lift it over his head. Putting it back down he wonders what he should do with this newfound power. When he walks around the front of the bank, he witnesses the two thugs who beat up Irving as they trip a young African-American boy. Suddenly, Frank Hopkins has some inspiration.

That evening, Frank returns home and gathers an old pair of long johns, some dye, and some markers and gets to work. Putting on this outfit and a mask, Frank Hopkins goes out looking for the guys who beat up his friend. He finds them roughing up a man who just walked out of a liquor store. Frank easily trounces these youths before the eyes of astonished bystanders, who proclaim him a hero.


Peter Parker is meeting with Joe Robertson at the offices of the Daily Bugle. He is upset that Joe is once again refusing to buy photos of Spider-Man. Joe tells him that if he used every photo of Spider-Man they have in his files, they could publish them for a year-and-a-half. Sympathetic of Peter’s situation, Joe assigns him to a story that Joe is researching for the Sunday Suppliment. It is regarding the true identity of the Smithville Thunderbolt, a local hero in Pennsylvania. With no other choice, Peter grudgingly accepts the assignment and is soon on a bus to Smithville. The whole way, Peter complains to himself about how hard it is to make a living now that Joe Robertson is less interested in photos of Spider-Man.[Continuity 3] Soon, Peter arrives in Smithville and once off the bus a young man runs by warning everyone of a fire. Peter sees a nearby abandoned home billowing with smoke. With everyone off the bus, Peter slips inside to change into Spider-Man to save anyone who is trapped inside.

However, no sooner is Spider-Man on a rooftop opposite the other building, he witnesses the Smithville Thunderbolt running onto the scene. The wall-crawler decides to sit back and watch things from the back of the burning building. As Spider-Man climbs into the building, the Thunderbolt leaps out with two children out the front. The web-slinger looks around but can hardly see through the smoke. Suddenly, his spider-sense begins going off, warning him of danger. However, he is too late to stop a huge bruiser in overalls from striking him from behind. The strength of the blow causes Spider-Man to break through the floor to the main level of the house. Looking at who he attacked, the mysterious attacker realizes that this isn’t the Smithville Thunderbolt and leaves. Spider-Man recovers from the blow and witnesses the Thunderbolt leap away. Wanting to learn more, Spider-Man tags the local hero with a spider-tracer. With the danger over, Spider-Man decides to change back into his civilian guise before he is spotted. Later, Peter Parker begins tracing the signal from the spider-tracer. It lures him to a dumpster, and Peter fears that the Thunderbolt discarded his tracer. Suddenly, someone from behind compliments him on his camera. It’s a woman, and when he thanks her for the compliment and that he uses it for journalism, the woman gets upset. Turns out, the woman is Roxanne DeWinter a reporter for the Smithville Gazette, and she views Peter’s presence as competition for her attempts at learning the Thunderbolts identity. However, she quickly changes her tone when she learns that Peter works for the Daily Bugle and insists on buying him lunch.

Soon the pair are sitting down at a diner where Roxanne explains that she is looking for a big scoop so she can finally get out of Smithville. She figures that learning the Thunderbolt’s true identity is her ticket out of town. She suggests that the two of them work together, but Peter declines, saying that he works better alone. He thanks her for lunch and heads out. However, Roxanne DeWinter refuses to be blown off so easily. Moments later, Peter is back at the dumpster, but doesn’t find any trace of his spider-tracer. Suddenly, he picks up a faint signal and leaps over the dumpster to track it, unaware that DeWinter is following after him. The signal leads Peter to a modest looking home. He then slips around to the side of the house and changes back into Spider-Man and tries to find a way inside so he can recover his spider-tracer. Not far away, Roxanne DeWinter has lost sight of Peter since going back for her car, but deduces that he is in the only inhabited house in the area. Inside the house, Spider-Man introduces himself to Frank Hopkins, who is shocked to see Spider-Man in his home. Saying he has come to recover his property and follows the signal to a closet. Before Frank can stop it, the wall-crawler opens it and is shocked to discover the costume belonging to the Smithville Thunderbolt.

Unaware that Roxanne DeWitter is listening outside his door, Frank Hopkins confesses that he is the Smithville Thunderbolt. He begs Spider-Man not to tell anyone because he believes he will be humiliated and ridiculed. He explains that he got his power a number of decades ago, but they are now starting to fade. He reveals that he has been using ordering scientific equipment to build devices that could roughly mimic is fading powers. Frank then reveals that with crime at an all time low in Smithville, he would manufacture dangers so he could still play hero. He reveals that he staged the “fire” in the house with smoke bombs and hide in the dumpster after his “daring” rescue. He once more begs Spider-Man not to reveal his secrets, fearing he will be laughed out of town. That’s when Spider-Man hears a creaking floorboard from behind a door and ues his webbing to open the door. Before they can react, Roxanne snaps a photo of Frank in costume with his mask off. As Spider-Man tries to recover the camera from Roxanne, his spider-sense begins to go off. Suddenly, the strong man that attacked Spider-Man earlier comes bursting through the wall. He intends to kill Frank, insisting that he is the true Smithville Thunderbolt.

Synopsis for “The Twilight Heroes”

Years Ago:[Continuity 1]

A planet explodes, sending debris across the universe. One piece came to the planet Earth, breaking in two as it entered the atmosphere. One half ended up in a junkyard in Smithville, Pennsylvania. The other half ends up crashing in a nearby farmers field.

One Year Ago:[Continuity 2]

Ludlow Grimes is toiling away, plowing his field by horse. Suddenly, his plow blade strikes a rock. Ludlow digs it out and suddenly feels strange, but dismisses it as getting too much sun. When his wife calls him back to the farmhouse for dinner, he simply tosses the rock away and heads in. Down at the homestead, Ludlow is greeted by his wife and children as they set the kitchen table. When Ludlow’s wife tries to swat a fly, Grimes offers to do it for her. With a single swat, Ludlow not only kills the fly but smashes through the front door with his bare hands. Ludlow is confused by what happened, but his family is frightened. His wife now thinks her husband is a monster and tells him to get out.


Ludlow Grimes has smashed his way into the home of Fred Hopkins, who has just been outted as the Smithville Thunderbolt by Spider-Man and reporter Roxanne DeWinter. Ludlow pronounces himself the true Smithville Thunderbolt and intends to kill Hopkins. Spider-Man gets between the two men and tells Frank to flee. However, Hopkins can’t bring himself to go, wishing there was something he could do, but doesn’t feel confident as his powers are fading. Meanwhile, Roxanne DeWinter snaps photos of the battle, intent on getting the scoop on this story in order to advance her career and get out of Smithville. Eventually, the Smithville Thunderbolt loses his nerve and flees. Spider-Man continues to struggle with Ludlow, and tells Roxanne to get out as well. However, she refuses to leave until she is finished her roll of film. Spider-Man, manages to briefly stun Grimes and tells Roxanne to get a move on. She agrees and tells Spider-Man that she will call the cops after to drops her film off to be developed. The pair begins to fight again, but Ludlow gets frightened off by the sound of a police siren and flees the scene. With an officer banging on the door, Spider-Man takes his leave as well, wondering what he should do next.

Changing back to Peter Parker, the hero goes to the Smithville Gazette to try and stop Roxanne from developing the film. However, he arrives too late, as she has finished processing the photos. He tells her that he knows what happened and who Frank Hopkins is and pleads with her to destroy the pictures. He tries to convince her that this revelation will ruin Frank’s life and he doesn’t deserve it after all he has done for the community. Roxanne refuses to listen because she is still chasing fame and heads off to the printers with her photos. Meanwhile, Frank Hopkins has changed back into his civilian clothes and returns to his home. Talking to the police, he pretends to have no idea what happened at his home. After assuring the police that he isn’t in any danger, he goes back into his home. There he pulls out his binder full of newspaper clippings of his exploits as the Thunderbolt. He laments on how he is a nobody without his powers, which are now fading. Knowing that Roxanne DeWinter will ruin his life with her exposé, he takes a gun out of his deskdrawer and briefly considers murdering her. However, he can’t bring himself to take a human life and decides to find some other way.

Elsewhere, Ludlow travels through a nearby swamp, confident that nobody will find him here. Looking at his reflection in the water, Grimes begins to think back to the events of the past year. He remembers how his wife thought he was a monster since he got his powers and kicking him out of his own home. He went to the local church for guidance, but the priest insisted that his powers were the product of the devil and shunned him. Soon, a lynch mob was out searching for him forcing him to flee into the wilderness. For a whole year, Ludlow lived off the land. One day he happened upon a newspaper article about the Smithville Thunderbolt and became jealous how he was respected and treated as a hero with his powers. Grimes then came up with his plan to kill the Thunderbolt and take his place so that he could be considered a hero. This all brought him to Hopkin’s home and his clash with Spider-Man. Later, as rain begins to fall over the town, Roxanne DeWinter drives the Smithville Gazette news van to the printers. Still intending to try and convince Roxanne to drop the story, Peter has changed back into Spider-Man and is hitching a ride on the roof of the van.

As they drive down a country road, they are spotted by a downed tree to block the road. When Roxanne is forced to stop, her car won’t move and rocks begin to tumble down toward the road. As Spider-Man leaps into action, Roxanne tries to flee, only to be carried to safety by the Smithville Thunderbolt. Unfortunately, Spider-Man discovers that the rockslide was fake, another one of the Thunderbolt’s fake rescues. Before the heroes can remove the tree, they are ambushed by Ludlow Grimes. As Roxanne slips into her van and tries to get away. However, when Spider-Man tosses Ludlow, it strikes the van knocking it over the side of the road and down a cliff. Seeing that the van is caught in some tree branches, the Thunderbolt overcomes his fears to climb down and try and save Roxanne. While Grimes and Spider-Man battle it out, Frank manages to save Roxanne, who is grateful that he had done so, even without his powers. By this point, Ludlow has knocked Spider-Man out and is annoyed to hear that Hopkins has no powers. Ludlow is about to lambaste Frank but sees how frightened he looks and realizes that they are the same. By the time Spider-Man recovers from Grimes’ beating, the situation has defused itself.

The next day, the life of Ludlow Grimes takes a fortuitous turn, as he is enlisted by S.H.I.E.L.D. Finally finding a place to belong, Ludlow is finally happy. After witnessing this, Peter Parker is about to head out, when he sees that Roxanne still published the story about the Thunderbolt’s true identity. Furious, Peter goes down to the Gazette office and confronts DeWinter over this revelation. She still doesn’t care as she is confident that this will boost her career. Suddenly, they hear a mob heading toward Hopkin’s home, thinking it is a lynch mob, Peter rushes to see what he can do to stop them. However, much to his surprise, the townspeople have come to celebrate their local hero. Roxanne is about to gloat about how her story caused no harm she is suddenly silenced by the sound of a gunshot. Peter forces the front door open and discovers that Frank Hopkins committed suicide. Sadened by this turn of events, Peter Parker walks away without saying another word. Roxanne DeWinter, however, pulls a camera out of her handbag and takes a picture of Smithville’s fallen hero.

Ahhh yes, I had really forgotten just how political and left leaning most comic book artists were and are. The Government defines what is right and wrong, as they are the Highest Authority. Gawwwwww, that really chaps my britches. There is a scene in Issue #6 where Spiderman is going to rescue a man who is weighed down with gold items (that were his own before getting transformed to gold) and Spiderman lectures him on how it is now ALL the Governments because they said so and so he can’t take it with him because that would be illegal. It was so mind boggling wrong that I couldn’t enjoy the rest of the issue. It was also a cross over issue within the larger Secret Wars II series. They did a good job of bringing me the reader up to speed in one page, but the FOMO (fear of missing out) being produced for the rest of the comics books dealing with Secret Wars II was almost palpable. 2 stars for hypocrisy by artists who were at the forefront of the dammed commie led hippie revolution.

Issue #7 was a dream/nightmare sequence where Nightmare drags Spiderman into the Nightmare realm to save him from a manifestation of the Hulk that Dr Strange sic’d on him. It was obviously filler and made almost zero sense but I just rolled with it. The funny thing was at the end of the issue the land lady had called the cops because Peter had been screaming in his sleep and she’s in his apartment along with 2 cops and 3 chicks in their nightwear and Peter’s lounging in bed with only briefs on and everybody’s totally cool with it all. Only in comicbook land. 3 stars for blondes in nightgowns though.

Issue #8 begins a multi-part story about some bank teller who touches a space blob and gets super strength. For a while. Then as it fades he begins faking things to keep up the appearance so people will still say nice things about him. Peter is sent on assignment to cover it and another local writer is involved. Peter finds the fake guy and right at the end of the issue some super brawny guy busts through the wall of the house claiming to be the real Smithville Thunderbolt. It was sad and pathetic. 2 stars for an old man who want the adulation of the unwashed masses.

Issue #9 is where I mentally checked out. The same goop infested some other guy who was a farmer. His ignorant wife rejected him when he accidentally tore a whole in the wall. A priest calls him an agent of Satan. The villagers chase him down with torches and pitchforks. I kid you not. Then “comic book logic” and next thing you know he’s working for S.H.I.E.L.D. and the original Thunderbolt commits suicide because his identify was revealed in the local paper. 2 stars for big city bias and poor story quality.

This was some very poor story telling. It felt like everything was an idea the writers jotted down on a napkin at the tail end of a very short lunch. I realize that top quality story telling is almost impossible for a monthly comic book but my goodness, this stuff was bad. One thing is that Louise Simonson wasn’t involved and I think she was the guiding hand on the first few issues. I am super glad I am not reading these individually. I couldn’t handle just one a month. As it is, I’m going to be discussing with Dave the future of this buddy-read. These 4 issues really make me question if I actually want to read more, sigh.

Here is Dave’s review of Web of Spiderman #6-9.


Web of Spiderman #2-5 ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress & Blogspot by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Web of Spiderman #2-5
Writer: Louise Simonson, Danny Fingeroth
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 93
Words: 8K

From Marvel.Fandom.com


Following their defeat at the hands of Spider-Man, the Vulturions return to their hideout. They are both furious and confused, as Spider-Man kept on talking about his costume being alive. After their first foray, Honcho has decided that they will need weapons in order to equal the playing field against Spider-Man. He orders Sugar Face to open one of the crates. Inside, Sugar Face finds blowguns and some darts. Gripes thinks the idea of using blow darts against Spider-Man to be ridiculous. However, Honcho asks Sugar Face to use a dart on Gripes. One single dart causes Gripes to black out and collapse onto the floor. Honcho explains that the tarts include a toxin that relaxes the muscles until ultimately the victim dies. Honcho briefly considers letting Gripes suffer this fate but applies the antidote instead.

A week later, Spider-Man is web-slinging across the city, thinking about how he narrowly avoided defeating the alien costume that wanted to bond with him and is glad that it is gone.[Continuity 1] Along the way, the wall-crawler stops a mugger from picking a pocket. As he continues on his way, Spider-Man thinks about his clash with the Vulturions and wonder why they are and why they are after him. Needing to buy a birthday gift for his Aunt May, Spider-Man sneaks into a store washroom and changes back into Peter Parker.[Continuity 2] Searching the store, he finds a hat that he thinks will be perfect for his Aunt May. Meanwhile, the Vulturions rob an armored car, using their new blow darts to incapacitate security guards.

Later, Peter Parker pays a visit to the Daily Bugle to show off his Aunt’s birthday gift to Joe Robertson in the hopes that it helps fix their strained relationship.[Continuity 3] Suddenly, J. Jonah Jameson enters the room, excited about reports of the damage caused by Spider-Man’s battle with the Juggernaut.[Continuity 4] Joe tries to quash this editorial, pointing out that as the new editor-in-chief of the Daily Bugle, he would be presenting balanced stories.[Continuity 5] Seeing an opportunity to make money off the photos he took of the fight, Peter pretends to agree with Jonah, much to Robertson’s disappointment. Jameson tells Joe that he missed a perfect opportunity and explains that he is starting a news magazine so he can publish his own stories and intends to take Parker with him. As Peter Parker tries to explain himself to Joe, they are interrupted when a copy boy informs them of the Vulturions’ attack at the bank. Joe assigns Peter to get photos of this story. Peter then goes up to the roof of the Bugle Building where he changes into Spider-Man. Spider-Man is looking forward to a rematch against the Vulturions, but has to go to the hospital to see Harry and Liz Osborn’s with Mary Jane first.

Back at their hideout, the Vulturions gloat over their recent haul, Honcho suggests that they need to convince the Kingpin that he should hire them to be his chief assassins by killing Spider-Man. The group then head out to search for the wall-crawler. Elsewhere, Spider-Man swings across the city, a job made more difficult by the hat box that he is carrying. As he heads for home, he thinks about Mary Jane and how her recent revelation that she has known he was Spider-Man affected their relationship.[Continuity 6] On the way, Spider-Man is stopped by the Vulturions who begin to follow him. When the wall-crawler gets close to his apartment, he notices that his neighbors, Randi, Candi, and Bambi are on the roof varnishing a dresser. He tries to hang back, but when one of the women spots him, he is forced to head uptown. Spotting this, the Vulturions continue their pursuit of the masked hero.

While at the Kingpin’s tower, the head mobster is watching Singin’ In The Rain with his catatonic wife, Vanessa, hoping that she will wake up.[Continuity 7] A henchman tells him that the Vulturions are planning to kill Spider-Man outside of his building. The Kingpin recalls how Spider-Man had recently interfered in his business and struggles with seeing his wife recover, or witness the destruction of Spider-Man.[Continuity 8] Witnessing the wall-crawler swing by, the Kingpin notices that the hero is carrying a hat box and wonders why. Suddenly, the hero is ambushed by the Vulturions. His spider-sense warning him of a barrage of poisoned darts, he uses the hat box to shield himself. Swinging into his action, Spider-Man exposes his belt camera so he can snap photos for the Daily Bugle. Although the hero manages to down one the Vulturions, another manages to tag him with one of the blow darts. As Spider-Man struggles to stay conscious, his thoughts are on making peace with his Aunt May. Meanwhile, in Queens, Aunt May is worried about the bills that are mounting on her home. Her fiancee Nathan Lubensky suggests that she go to her nephew Peter for help. However, Aunt May is still angry at Peter for dropping out of school and refuses to tell him of their troubles unless he decides to go back to school.

Back in the city, Spider-Man begins to feel the effects of the dart but knocks out another one of the Vulturions. The ribbon keeping the hat box close is cut open causing the hat to blow away, which puzzles the Kingpin. strange. When his wife begins to become agitated, the Kingpin assures her that there is nothing going on. Because the Vulturions have disturbed his wife, the Kingpin decides to support Spider-Man in the battle. The hero manages to recover the hat but is struck with another dart and begins falling to the ground. As he falls, he thinks about how his ex-girlfriend the Black Cat hated him being Peter Parker and how Mary Jane hates him being Spider-Man.[Continuity 9] While at the hospital where Liz Osborn just recently gave birth to her son.[Continuity 10] Noticing that Mary Jane is pacing the room waiting for Peter, Liz tells her to relax but also wonders why she keeps watching the skyline.

By this time, Spider-Man is still trying to avoid the Vulturions and keep the hat he bought for his Aunt May safe. However, although he managed to knock out the rest of the Vulturions, he was struck by additional darts and falls into a trash-strewn alley and the hat drifts away in the wind. In the aftermath of the battle, the Kingpin was impressed with Spider-Man’s performance, but is still confused as to why the hero was so focused on protecting the hat, as he could have won sooner otherwise. Seeing that the hat is still blowing in the wind, the Kingpin orders a helicopters to take off and recover it. When Spider-Man wakes up, the Vulturions are gone and he realizes the hat is missing. Trying to find it, the hero swings up to the rooftops where he spots the helicopter lowering the hat box nearby. He recovers the hat and finds a note from the Kingpin, thanking him for defeating the Vulturions

Vulture is as Vulture does:

From his prison cell, Adrian Toomes reads the latest newspaper reports about the Vulturions and is furious that they would steal his technology. Having secretly rebuilt his wings in his prison cell, the Vulture flies again, vowing to prove his superiority by killing everyone. Although a prison helicopter tries to follow him, the Vulture manages to get to Manhattan and escape through the subway. Elsewhere in the city, Spider-Man nabs a pair of purse snatchers. After recovering his camera and the hat that he bought for Aunt May’s birthday, but decides to go to the Daily Bugle to try and sell his photos first, deciding he has enough time to have the present express mailed to his Aunt May. As Spider-Man changes into Peter Parker, the Vulturions attack Rockefeller Center and rob a jewelry store in a flee the scene. The group gloats over how easy their robberies have been since getting their wings. As they plot getting revenge against Spider-Man, they are unaware that the Vulture has been watching for them and is preparing to strike.

Back at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson turns down the pictures that Peter has taken are useless as he only wants photos of Spider-Man looking bad. As Jameson walks away, Peter is greeting by Mary Jane who has come from their lunch date. Before they can go, she hears a radio report about the Vulture escaping prison over her headphones.[Continuity 1] At that moment, the Vulturions return to their hideout only to be ambushed by the Vulture. He knocks out all of the Vulturions except Honcho, whom he takes off with Honcho, demanding to know how he managed to steal his technology. At that same moment, Peter and Mary Jane are sitting down for lunch. Peter complains about the how much time he has left to mail off his present to Aunt May. Mary Jane assures him that there is plenty of time.[Continuity 2] Mary Jane suggests that Peter reveal his secret identity to his Aunt May.[Continuity 3] Suddenly, Peter’s spider-sense begins going off. Looking skyward, the pair spot the Vulture battling with the Vulturions. When one of the Vulturions comes crashing through the skylight, Peter insists that he has to do something before someone gets hurt. Mary Jane is upset with him because the last time he battled the Vulturions he was almost killed.

Meanwhile, in Queens, Aunt May and Nathan Lubenski are preparing for May’s birthday. They are also concerned about their money troubles, and Nathan once again suggests that May talks to Peter about it. However, May is still mad at Peter and refuses to tell him. When they hear a radio report about the Vulture’s attack in the city. The couple recall how they previously met Adrian Toomes when they were living in the nursing home together.[Continuity 4] Nathan jokingly suggests that he take Toomes up on his past offer to join him as a partner in crime to solve their money woes. Back in Manhattan, the Vulture has lured the Vulturions into Times Square, where his superior flying skills are an asset among the massive billboards and neon signs. As the Vulture begins to trounce the Vulturions, Spider-Man arrives on the scene. He is chastising himself for going off and leaving Mary Jane to worry. When he stops the Vulture from killing one of the Vulturions. Seeing his longtime foe prompts the Vulture to flee the scene. When Spider-Man snags Toomes with a web-line, the villain begins trying to knock him loose by flying through the massive billboards. During the fight, Spider-Man is struck by one of the Vulturion’s darts. Although Spider-Man manages to get to safety before blacking out from the dart, the Vulture manages to escape. Before the darkness takes him, Peter notices it is after 5 pm and he is too late to mail Aunt May’s birthday present.

The next morning, Peter is woken up by Mary Jane knocking at his door. Mary Jane was worried about Peter and is glad he is okay. She gives him his Aunt May’s present, which he left behind when he went off to be Spider-Man. When Peter tries to talk to her about their relationship, Mary Jane insists that she can’t be involved with him romantically as long as he continues to be Spider-Man. She tells her that her own cowardice keeps her from being with him, but asks Peter what is keeping him apart from his Aunt. Later, Aunt May checks the mail and finds only bills. Nathan Lubenski is surprised to learn that there isn’t even a present from Peter. Nathan scoffs at this, telling May that she has more than enough gifts to from others. However, Spider-Man leaves the gift outside and rings the doorbell and hides. When May opens the gift she whispers a thank you to her nephew, who watches her joy from up in a tree.

Arms and the Man

Spider-Man is staking out a warehouse where he observes a gang stealing crates full of fur coats. Using the cover of darkness, Spider-Man manages to ambush the thugs, taking down many. However, he loses the advantage when he gets tangled up in a rack of coats. He is dogpiled by some of the thugs but fights them off. The last of the gang tries to run over Spider-Man with the delivery truck. The wall-crawler is briefly blinded by the headlights but dodges it at the last moment. The truck smashes through a wall and tries to getaway. Unfortunately for him, Spider-Man manages to leap onto the roof of the truck and forces it to crash. However, the drivers now stuck in a traffic jam get upset with the wall-crawler. Spider-Man pulls the wrecked truck off the road and when the police arrive he web-slings away. Having taken pictures, Spider-Man goes to the Daily Bugle building where he changes into Peter Parker. He stops briefly to say hello to Betty Leeds before heading in to try and sell his photos to Joe Robertson.[Continuity 1] Unfortunately for Peter, Joe Robertson isn’t interested in more pictures of Spider-Man. On his way out, Peter bumps into J. Jonah Jameson, spilling the pictures on the floor. Jameson likes the photos and asks to use them in his revived Now Magazine. Once more, Jameson asks Peter to join his team, exclaiming that Now Magazine is going to be big. As he leaves, Peter thinks that becoming a photographer for Jameson’s magazine he could pull in a lot more money than usual and considers taking some photography courses.

Meanwhile, at the Brooklyn Psychiatric Facility, Doctor George Jefferson is in a session with Otto Octavius, the criminal known as Doctor Octopus. He tries to get Otto to open up about his childhood, but Otto can’t bring himself to talk about it at that moment. Jefferson understands and as he walks Octavius back to his room. He assures Otto that they will work to finish the work started by Mister Fantastic.[Continuity 2] He promises that they will get over his fear of Spider-Man and make him a productive member of society again. Otto decides to take a nap before lunch, and as Jefferson leaves he thinks about how people claim that Doctor Octopus can’t be cured, and vows to prove them wrong. After a troubled sleep, Otto wakes up and sees a spider has made a web in the corner of his room and begins to panic. He remembers the last time he was defeated at the hands of Spider-Man, one of his most humiliating defeats.[Continuity 3] This is followed by memories of his return home from the Secret Wars, how the sheer power of the Molecule Man drove him to the brink of insanity.[Continuity 4] Suddenly, Doctor Octopus begins to hallucinate that he is being swarmed by a swarm of spiders.

This mental distress affects the mental link that Doctor Octopus has with his mechanical arms, which are stored in a facility deep below Manhattan. The arms begin to flail around in the holding cell, but this is dismissed by the guards. Suddenly, Otto’s fear turns into rage and he crushes the spider in his room. This also commands the mechanical arms to break free and begin burrowing their way up to the surface. As Doctor Jefferson and the orderlies enter his room to sedate Otto, he has had another mental break. Without the conscious mind of Doctor Octopus controlling them, the mechanical arms go on a rampage through the city. Even with special equipment provided by SHIELD, the NYPD are unable to stop the arms. Peter Parker hears the reports of the rampage from a radio in an electronics store where he is purchasing a new lens for his photography.[Continuity 5] Grabbing a portable police band radio, Spider-Man follows the reports to the source of the rampage.

Spider-Man arrives just as the mechanical arms have broken Doctor Octopus out of his cell. Cradling the sleeping body of its master, the mechanical arms damage the foundation of the mental health facility. Spider-Man is forced to hold rescue those trapped inside, allowing the mechanical arms to flee with Octavius. Otto wakes up in one of his hideouts and realizes that his mechanical arms had freed him. Thinking of all the battles over the years with Spider-Man, and all the humiliating defeats, Doctor Octopus puts on his mechanical arms once again and vows that this time, he will destroy Spider-Man.

The Enemy Within

As the newspapers scream with headlines about the escape of Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man scours the city searching for his foe.[Continuity 1] Spider-Man thinks about their last encounter during the Secret Wars and recalls how they never fought directly and wonders if his old foe is really afraid of him now.[Continuity 2] His is briefly distracted when a scaffold holding a pair of men putting up a billboard advertisement breaks. He quickly catches them and places them safely on a nearby rooftop and swings away without a word.

Meanwhile, in the secret hideout of Doctor Octopus, some of his minions put the finishing touches on a Spider-Man robot. Worrying that Octopus isn’t in his mental facilities after his jaunt into space. They then unleash the robot on their leader, Doctor Octopus savagely battles the robot and destroys it. Even though Doctor Octopus triumphantly boasts over this victory, his minions are still not certain if he could manage to battle the real Spider-Man. The next afternoon, Spider-Man returns home from another fruitless search for Doctor Octopus, although he did manage to help the Rocket Racer.[Continuity 3] Returning to his apartment, Peter changes out of his costume and decides to call his Aunt May, relieved that they have finally settled their differences.[Continuity 4] The phone is answered by her fiancee Nathan Lubenski, who tells Peter that Aunt May is out shopping. He takes the opportunity to tell Peter about their financial problems. Peter assures Nathan that he will do everything he can to help. After the call, Peter takes a quick shower and heads out hoping that he can find Doctor Octopus so he can sell photos to the Daily Bugle.

Peter pays a visit to the Daily Bugle offices and checks with J. Jonah Jameson about work for Now Magazine. Jameson tells him that he is busy setting things up and he will call him. Heading into the newsroom he goes looking for Joe Robertson for work. Joe stops Peter and tells him that there is someone he should meet. He soon finds himself in the office of the Bugle’s new city editor, Kate Cushing. Kate tells Peter that she is impressed with his work and asks him to try and get exclusive photos of a meeting at the Schavian Embassy. Peter stops at the bank to pull money out of the machine. Although he only has twenty dollars in his account, he is surprised when the machine gives him more money by mistake. However, his luck changes when Doctor Octopus and his minions launch an attack on the bank. Peter changes into Spider-Man and ambushes the armed thieves. Spider-Man deals with the minions and is about to go down and stop Doctor Octopus from raiding the safe. However, he notices that one of the tellers has been struck with a bullet. Unable to let the woman bleed out, Spider-Man is forced to take her to a hospital. By this point, Doctor Octopus learns that Spider-Man was there and is furious that his minions didn’t tell him. Suddenly, they hear some police sirens prompting them to flee. As they flee, nobody is aware that one of the minions has been tagged with a spider-tracer.

Later, Spider-Man arrives at the Schavian Embassy, where security is tight. However, this is no concern for the hero, as he climbs into the ventilation system. From there, he crawls down through the vents until he finds a grate overlooking the meeting. As Spider-Man begins snapping the photos, he overhears a guard discovering the open vent. He realizes that this will prevent him from leaving until after everyone has left. While Spider-Man is stuck at the embassy, Doctor Octopus and his minions come crashing into the Daily Bugle newsroom demanding Spider-Man. With Joe Robertson and J. Jonah Jameson out of the office, Kate Cushing is in charge of the office. He demands that Cushing call the authorities and tell them that he is taking the Daily Bugle hostage until Spider-Man faces him.[Continuity 5] An hour later, Spider-Man is finally able to leave the vents. Changing back to Peter Parker, he quickly finds a payphone to phone in and tell Kate Cushing that he finished his photo assignment. That’s when he learns about the hostage situation.

As Peter changes back into Spider-Man and rushes to the Bugle, Doctor Octopus begins to grow impatient. With his escape helicopter arriving, Octopus takes Kate hostage and flees. Spider-Man learns moments later to learn that Octavius will be contacting them soon to reveal where he has taken Cushing. When J. Jonah Jameson returns, he blames Spider-Man for the damage done to the office. Spider-Man takes this as his cue to leave, using his spider-sense to locate the spider-tracer he previously planted on one of Doctor Octopus’ minions. Spider-Man then ambushes Doctor Octopus. At first, Doctor Octopus thinks he is fighting yet another Spider-Man robot. However, when Spider-Man begins quipping, Otto realizes that he is fighting the real hero and begins to crack up again. Doctor Octopus enters a catatonic state. His minions consider attacking Spider-Man, but the hero points out that they owe Otto no loyalty and they stand down. That’s when the police arrive with Otto Octavius’ lawyer Michael Gerdes. When Spider-Man is about to destroy Doctor Octopus’ arm, Gerdes orders him to cease and desist as he has a legal order as his client has rights. Since he cannot convince the authorities otherwise, Spider-Man decides to depart. On his way out, he notices the Spider-Man robot that Doctor Octopus used and briefly considers using it himself but decides against it.[Continuity 6] As he swings away, Spider-Man can’t help but feel sorry for Doctor Octopus.

The next morning, Peter has a meeting with Kate Cushing, who is impressed that Peter was able to get those exclusive photos. However, she can’t use the photos because of the grating from the vent. As such she had to go with a photo taken by Lance Bannon. With this bit of bad news, Peter walks home, just as it starts to rain, wishing that he could have a happy ending for once.

With reading multiple issues, and ones that cross storyline arcs, it gets a bit muddy. But with the above synopses (and its like 6 pages long for 4 comics for goodness sake!(some comic geek had way too much time on his hands)), I don’t feel the need to talk about that particular aspect of things.

With this being a “new” series, the creators expect new people to read it and thus they have to introduce who people are within the already existing story arc from the other, longer running, Spiderman comics. In issue 3 I think they do an excellent job of it for both Spiderman and the Vulture. In about 4 panels, we get a 2 paragraph synopsis of who Spiderman is, how he came to be and what his powers are. We also get the same treatment for the Vulture. I really liked this abbreviated treatment. That way long time fans don’t feel like they’re being talked down to or spending a long time on things they already know. But new fans aren’t made to feel like they’re an outsider at a popular kids party.

The other thing I like is that each battle with a super villain isn’t stretched out to eleventy-billion issues. The Vulturions and the Vulture are dealt with in 3 issues while Doc Ock gets his in just 2. And Doc Ock having a mental breakdown and freezing so Spiderman doesn’t even have to fight him, while a bit too convenient for my taste, makes the villains more human, thus side stepping the issue of power creep (ie, Spiderman having to become more and more powerful to keep up with the villains, ala Cosmic Spiderman)

Overall, this has the feeling I am looking for in a comic. The universe isn’t at stake. Peter is worried about his Aunt May not having enough money while he himself can barely pay his own bills. His relationships are on the rocks or not happening. He is human first and Spiderman second. I feel like new comics (and the movies precipitated this in my opinion) make the Superhero a superhero first and a human a far second.

So keep up the good work, Web of Spiderman, you’ve hooked this reader for now.

Savage Dave has joined me to buddy-read this series and I’ve included a link down below to all of his posts, as well as mine. Here’s the direct link to his thoughts on these particular issues:
Wordaholicanonymous: Web of Spiderman #2-5


‘Til Death Do Us Part! (Web of Spiderman #1) ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress & Blogspot by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: ‘Til Death Do Us Part!
Series: Web of Spiderman #1
Writer: Louise Simonson
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 25
Words: 2K

This particular Spiderman comic takes place after the Secret Wars (where all the super heroes went off world to fight for/against aliens and got lots of cool tech). Spiderman had gotten a black suit that enhanced his powers but once he came back to earth Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four found out it was a living symbiote and was trying to take Peter Parker over. Reed drove it off with a sonic gun and Parker thought they had it safely locked away.

All that info? They convey in 2 pages. TWO!!! No shilly shallying, no filler, just in your face info dump. That’s how it should be.

And with this comic the suit escapes and tries to take Parker over again. While he’s being attacked by a group of super villains. He fights off the villains but can’t make it to Reed Towers to get help from the Fantastic Four, so he manages to get under some really loud bells and the noise drives the symbiote away. It appears like the noise is enough to actually destroy it and that is where the comic ends.

This was originally published in 1985 or ‘86 which was when Spiderman was really beginning to take off as a comic book hero. He had several comics dedicated to him (Amazing Spiderman, Spectacular Spiderman and now this Web of Spiderman) and seemed to be doing well.

I enjoyed this even while it was just too short for my taste. But I definitely want to keep reading. How long I keep reading, well, that’s an entirely different question 🙂