Thursday, January 27, 2011

WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #71 - December 1990

Fortune’s Fury!

Credits: Danny Fingeroth (writer), Dave Ross (penciler), Keith Williams & Andy Mushynsky (inks), Rick Parker (letterer), Bob Sharen (colorist)

The Plot: Spider-Man runs across Dominic Fortune, who is still searching for Baron von Lundt, a.k.a. Simon Steele. Silver Sable is also hunting the ex-Nazi, which aligns her with Spider-Man and Fortune. Fortune learns of Steele’s location and charges after him, ignoring Sable’s warning that it could be a trap. Fortune is indeed ambushed by Steele, who also has Fortune’s former love Sabbath and her adult daughter on his side. Steele traps Spider-Man, Fortune, and Silver Sable in his hideout and detonates an explosion after he escapes.

The Subplots: None.

*See _________ For Details: Dominic Fortune’s son briefly took on the identity and was killed by Simon Steele in Iron Man#213. Another footnote points towards Marvel Team-Up #120, Spider-Man’s first meeting with Fortune.

Creative Differences: The letters page says that Gerry Conway will return with issue #76 after a few fill-ins by Danny Fingeroth, John Byrne, and Tony Isabella. The return doesn’t materialize, due to Conway’s commitments on The Father Dowling Mysteries.

Review: You might remember Web of Spider-Man #10, which was clearly intended to be the first part of a storyline centering on Dominic Fortune. You might also remember that the early issues of this series were surrounded by behind-the-scenes turmoil, which likely explains why that storyline was dropped after the first issue and subsequently ignored. Even if he couldn’t finish it during his initial Web run, Danny Fingeroth apparently never forgot about the story. He revived the idea again in an Iron Man fill-in, and five years after the story began in Web, he returns to wrap it up in a filler arc. Iron Man fans complained that this story didn’t exactly belong in that character’s book, and it’s hard not to feel the same way about Spider-Man’s involvement. Fingeroth briefly connects Fortune’s guilt over his son’s death with Spider-Man’s guilt over Uncle Ben’s, and perpetual guest star Silver Sable does show up, but this still feels like a generic story that could’ve starred whichever Marvel hero needed a fill-in that month. Dave Ross did a lot of fill-in work for Marvel during this era, and while not every page is great, I’ve always enjoyed his interpretation of Spider-Man. I first saw it in a Punisher War Journal fill-in, and was impressed with his ability to merge the distorted McFarlane Spider-Man with a more traditional look. I also liked the way he played around with the black area around Spider-Man’s white eyes in order to create the illusion of facial expressions, which doesn’t make any literal sense, but it looks cool.

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