Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #75 - April 1991

Cold Hands Warm Art

Credits: Tony Isabella (writer), Alex Saviuk (penciler), Keith Williams (inker), Rick Parker (letterer), Bob Sharen (colorist)

The Plot: Spider-Man, along with numerous heroes, aids the citizens of New York during a sudden blizzard. When he’s attacked by Spark and Bora, he realizes that Bora’s mutant powers are behind the snowstorm. Bora freezes Spider-Man inside a block of ice, which completes the Painter’s vision.

The Subplots: Spider-Man attempts to check on Mary Jane during the blizzard, while she’s trying to keep the crew of “Secret Hospital” from panicking.

Web of Continuity: This story is presented as Spider-Man’s first meeting with the New Warriors. It’s also his first in-continuity team-up with Firestar (his other amazing friend, Iceman, makes a cameo as well).

I Love the (Early) ‘90s: Spider-Man refers to Iceman as the “original Vanilla Ice.” There are also references to former New York mayor David Dinkins, Siskel & Ebert, and (oh, yes) “Hammer Time.”

Forever Young: Spider-Man calls the New Warriors “kids.” He reflects on his own younger days as a hero before briefly wondering if he’s suffering from a “premature midlife crisis.”

Miscellaneous Notes: Two tourists, who look suspiciously like Lois and Clark, are honeymooning in New York. DC’s cold feet, combined with the Lois & Clark TV series’ postponement of the wedding, made this in-joke arrive five years early. Also, the Painter briefly transforms Spark and Bora into two classic comic strip characters. I think their names are Sally and Puggo. This guy seems to like them.

Review: Congratulations on reaching seventy-five issues, Web of Spider-Man. Here’s the mid-chapter of a fill-in arc. You’re not getting a regular writer until you bring those grades up, young man. Last issue’s cliffhanger revealed the Painter’s ambition to prove that mankind is “no more worthy of survival than the dinosaurs,” which of course means a massive blizzard is the next part of his scheme. A lot of the wackiness of the previous issue is gone, as the focus turns to the assorted heroes of the Marvel Universe fighting the weather. I do like seeing the various heroes interacting with normal people, but this storyline definitely feels like it’s starting to drag.

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