Thursday, August 5, 2010

WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #38 - May 1988

Moving Up

Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Alex Saviuk (penciler), Keith Williams & Mike Eposito (inkers), Rick Parker (letterer), Janet Jackson (colorist)

The Plot: Hobgoblin demands work from the Arranger, who sends him after Spider-Man as busy work. Meanwhile, Peter and MJ throw a goodbye party for their friends at their Chelsea apartment. When Peter hears word that Hobgoblin is wrecking havoc across town, he skips out of the party. He finds Hobgoblin, but soon notices that his reflexes are impaired. He figures out that the punch was spiked, as he tries to fight Hobgoblin. An electrical flash damages Hobgoblin’s cybernetic control, forcing him to retreat. Peter returns home and learns that his landlord’s spouse, Barney Muggins, spiked the punch.

The Subplots: None.

Web of Continuity: Peter and MJ are moving out of the Chelsea Apartments, where Peter’s lived for years. As of Amazing #300, they’re moving to the Bedford Towers condo.

I Love the ‘80s: Spuds Mackenzie is at the party. Mrs. Muggins wants to know why a dog is drinking beer.

Review: I believe this is Fabian Nicieza’s second professional work (following a fill-in on a New Universe book). It doesn’t read like something a novice would write, as it’s well-structured, quite funny, and has a great hook. A drunken Spider-Man fights the Hobgoblin. What’s not to love? Spidey even gets off the “Peter Parker wouldn’t do that!” hook because the punch was spiked. Nicieza also has a handle on the various characters in Peter’s life, so the party scenes are fun to read. Although we’ve entered a stretch of issues without a regular writer again, this actually doesn’t feel like a fill-in. A few of the ongoing plot threads are acknowledged (new villain Tombstone even makes an appearance, throwing Hobgoblin out of a window at Kingpin’s headquarters), and the issue serves as a goodbye to the long-standing Chelsea Apartments location. Peter has some moments with his neighbors, and (while still under the influence) even gives the vile Mrs. Muggins a kiss goodbye. A strong debut from Nicieza, who should’ve done more Spidey work over the years.


Bizen 247 said...

I originally read this issue when it was reprinted in one of those "Best of" Spider-man trade paperbacks back in the 90's.

This was when the format was starting to take off and the comic companies would throw randomly connected issues into a collection. Not really their fault of course...comic arcs weren't written in six issue blocks then.

Matt said...

I loved this issue when I was a kid. I've probably re-read it too many times over the years. I love when Hobgoblin drops Spidey on the hood of a car, Spidey says something and leaps away, and a little kid in the car wails, "Mommy, did Spider-Man just burp?"

If memory serves, Peter moved into his Chelsea apartment in the early '70's, so he must've lived there for a good 15 years in publication time! I think it's a safe assumption that place must be his longest-lived dwelling.

I wonder what the second longest would be, though. I figure it's either the apartment he shared with Harry, or the apartment he and Mary Jane lived in for much of their marriage -- above Harry and Liz (and rent-free, too, if I recall correctly).

Although, when you consider that he lived at Aunt May's for the first few years of Amazing and then for a while after being evicted from Bedford, plus two or three years after Aunt May "died", it could be that house.

Hmm, that was a weird digression.

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