Credits: Richard Howell (writer & penciler), Keith Williams (inker), Rick Parker (letterer), Janice Cohen (colorist)
The Plot: Peter’s book tour takes him to Shriver Cove, Massachusetts. The locals have an irrational hatred of outsiders, which culminates in a mob attacking Peter’s hotel during the night. While investigating as Spider-Man, he learns that the Hatros Clinic is brainwashing the locals while allegedly treating them for stress. Hank Pym answers Spider-Man’s call for help, and the heroes soon face Nekra, High Priestess of the Hate Cult. Nekra escapes, but Pym is able to chemically counteract the locals’ hypnosis.
The Subplots: None.
*See _________ For Details: Wow, the issues footnoted in this issue include Vision and the Scarlet Witch vol. 2 #11, the West Coast Avengers arc that revived Maria Pym, Avengers #58, Spider-Woman #16, and most impressively, Shanna the She-Devil #5.
Review: Gerry Conway’s run officially begins next issue, so the title’s stuck with another one-off fill-in in the meantime. This is a story about Nekra brainwashing New England suburbanites into turban-wearing cultists as a part of her scheme to resurrect her lover, the Grim Reaper. With the exception of a few corny jokes and puns, this isn’t played for laughs, so we’re left with pure cheese. At the end of the story, Spider-Man and Hank Pym reveal that they actually feel sorry for Nekra since she can’t be with the one she loves, which I guess is supposed to tie in to the alleged theme of the story. If this is supposed to be a “love is stronger than hate” story though, why are the Hate Cultists saved by science, and why does Peter Parker spend the entire issue dealing with his annoying tour guide instead of thinking about his wife? This is all very forgettable, but thankfully this marks the end of the fill-in days.