Credits: Peter David (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Armando Gil (finishes), Phil Felix (letterer), Bob Sharen (colorist)
The Plot: Inside a dream, Spider-Man is pursued by the Hulk. He answers a call for help and realizes that Nightmare is actually the Hulk’s target. Nightmare convinces Spider-Man to protect him, which leads to Spider-Man pushing Hulk out of the dream world. After Nightmare refuses to send Spider-Man back home, Hulk’s arm reaches out of the void and grabs him. Spider-Man allows Hulk to take Nightmare away, realizing that Nightmare would never send him home. Peter Parker awakens in his apartment, surrounded by police sent to investigate his screaming.
The Subplots: None, it’s a fill-in.
*See _________ For Details: Nightmare explains that Dr. Strange sent Bruce Banner’s unconscious mind to pursue him in Incredible Hulk #299.
Review: This is possibly the first Peter David Spider-Man comic, and perhaps even his first Hulk story as well (assuming you count dream forms as official appearances). Sal Buscema is a great choice for fill-in artist, given his history with Spider-Man and the Hulk, and David’s work already shows the personality and humor he’ll soon be known for, so this is far from a dull fill-in. While most of the issue is spent on Spidey’s fight with the Hulk, David still uses the dreamscape to work in a bit of introspection. After arriving at the Daily Bugle nude, Peter muses that his greatest fear and desire is to be exposed as Spider-Man, perfectly summing up one of the classic conflicts of the character in just a few pages. And, of course, no Peter Parker dream sequence would be complete without a flashback to Uncle Ben’s death, and a few panels of him questioning which of his loved ones are next. Having Spider-Man switch costumes in-between panels for no reason plays into the idea that we’re seeing his unconscious, but it’s also a gentle mocking of the character’s current status quo (which had him switching between his original and black outfits based on the time of day, as if Spider-Man would actually care). Everything comes together, and even if this is a fill-in, it's the best issue so far.