Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WEB OF SPIDER-MAN Annual #3 - 1987

Credits: Danny Fingeroth & Roger Stern (writers), with numerous artists, colorists, and letterers

The 1987 Amazing Spider-Man annual told the story of Peter and Mary Jane’s wedding. The Spectacular Spider-Man annual detailed their honeymoon. What does Web bring us this year? A series of profiles on Spider-Man’s supporting cast, along with a gallery of Spidey’s “forgotten foes.” Most of these losers are one-time Marvel Team-Up cannon fodder; although Black Cat is thrown in there for some reason (maybe the reasoning is that people “forgot” she was originally a villain). These aren’t even Handbook entries, they’re pin-ups of throwaways like Moondark with a few lines of text thrown in. Some of these villains are so ridiculous I’m happy to see them for the first time, but I still can’t believe Marvel published an annual that consisted entirely of annual back-ups. It’s obvious the books were having scheduling difficulties at the time, but Web really caught the worst of it. Web’s already endured months of fill-ins, and now this? The abundance of filler sends readers the message that this book is a low, low priority, which is a reputation you don’t want the third book in your franchise to receive. Couldn’t the filler annual be assigned to Spectacular, so at least the honeymoon story could show up here?

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