Wednesday, February 24, 2010

WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #6 - September 1985

Gold Rush!

Credits: Danny Fingeroth (writer), Mike Harris (layouts), Zeck/Layton/Simons/Mooney (finishes), Phil Felix & Rick Parker (letters), Bob Sharen (colorist)

The Plot: A solid-gold building created by the Beyonder collapses, leaving Spider-Man to rescue the people inside. Kingpin is awakened in the middle of the night with news of the gold building. He makes a deal to help the federal government dismantle the building and cover up the story, lest the global economy collapses. Spider-Man is told to evacuate the building by a federal agent. He continues to save the occupants, avoiding shots from the Kingpin’s men. When Spider-Man learns that the Kingpin is being paid for his services with golden typewriters, he steals a golden notepad from the trashcan.

The Subplots: Nathan Lubenksy reveals to Aunt May that he told Peter about her financial problems. Mary Jane questions if she should’ve accepted Peter’s marriage proposal years earlier.

*See _________ For Details: This story follows the events of Secret Wars II (I have no idea which issue because there’s no footnote), and is continued in Amazing Spider-Man #268.

Review: Priest wrote stories about the global economy collapsing in Black Panther, didn’t he? Maybe I’m looking too hard, but it seems like he could've influenced at least this aspect of the story. I do like the focus on a realistic response to a fantastic event like a golden building, although I question if this could ruin the global economy. It would obviously drive down the price of gold, but the “gold standard” isn’t necessarily the global standard. America’s currency is worth something because the government says it is, and not because it’s backed by gold. The real conflict in the story comes from Spider-Man’s decision to take the golden notepad. It’s not a bad moral dilemma to explore, especially since the story is structured so that any qualms Spidey could have about taking it are philosophical ones. One gold notepad won’t harm the price of gold, it had already been thrown away, and Spidey is already in a bad mood after getting shot at for doing the right thing. Plus, Aunt May is in danger of losing her home, and we all know that Spider-Man does irrational, horribly misguided things when that old broad is involved. (Ahem. Sarcasm.) Visually, this is an inconsistent rush job, the kind where Spider-Man’s eyes are occasionally different shapes within the same page. However, Mike Zeck and Jim Mooney produce some lovely pages, so the majority of the issue looks fine.

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