Friday, March 18, 2011

WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #77 - June 1991

Home Is Where the Terror Is!

Credits: Terry Kavanagh (writer), Alex Saviuk (penciler), Keith Williams w/Bud LaRosa & Kevin Tinsley (inks), Rick Parker (letterer), Bob Sharen (colorist)

The Plot: After dismantling a bomb left by Dr. Octopus in the sewers, Peter joins MJ and his friends at a party sponsored by the Daily Bugle. The event celebrates the city’s refurbishing of the Poseidon Hotel as a homeless shelter. The party is disrupted by a group of Morlocks who wish to reclaim the hotel as their home. Spider-Man investigates and learns from Anna, a homeless teen who lives at the shelter, that the Morlocks mean no harm. Suddenly, Firebrand attacks the party. Spider-Man, Anna, and the Morlocks are crushed by the falling ceiling.

The Subplots: Cloak and Dagger are looking for their friend, Anna. They track her to the Poseidon Hotel just as Firebrand attacks. At the party, a man named Munson tells the mysterious Broxtel that he shouldn’t be there. When Firebrand emerges, he claims to be Broxtel.

Web of Continuity: The Morlocks introduced here are Mother Inferior, Ent, Pester, and a little baby. Ent, who’s super strong but also mute, and Pester are the baby’s parents. Mother Inferior can command rodents.

Following the final issues of Gerry Conway’s Spectacular run, Jonah Jameson and Robbie Robertson are back at the Bugle. Flash Thompson, Betty Leeds, and Felicia Hardy mistakenly believe the party is a masquerade ball and arrive in costume. Felicia dresses as the Black Cat, which leads Peter to question why she’s jeopardizing her secret identity. I believe Felicia is actually publically known as the Black Cat, which is a continuity point used in her future breakup with Flash. (Was it ever explained how Spidey kept his ID secret while living with Felicia, or was her identity still a mystery at this point?)

*See _________ For Details: Spidey faced Doctor Octopus in Spectacular Spider-Man #175 & #176. Anna knows Cloak and Dagger and Spider-Man from The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger #17-#19. (Actually, I think “Mutant Misadventures” had been dropped from the title at that point, but I like using it.)

Creative Differences: Anna’s explanation that these Morlocks fled to the abandoned hotel during the Mutant Massacre has been re-lettered.

Review: It’s now Terry Kavanagh’s turn for a few fill-ins, and he begins with a follow-up to one of his early Cloak and Dagger stories. I only vaguely remember the existence of a late ‘80s Cloak and Dagger book, and had no idea Terry Kavanagh was one of the writers, so who knows where this is heading. I will say that Kavanagh has worked a lot of story into these twenty-two pages, and he’s revived some forgotten supporting cast members like Randy and Amanda Robertson, along with Aunt May’s former boarders, the perennially unhappy Rose and Victor. Some fill-ins just feel like generic superhero stories, while others give you the sense that you’re actually reading what could be an issue out of someone’s regular Spider-Man run. This falls into the latter category, as Kavanagh uses the supporting cast well and draws upon the tiny amount of spider-continuity he’s built so far to begin a new story. There isn’t a lot to say about the villains, but I do like the sheer randomness of the Morlocks and Firebrand sharing a story together. The various corners of the Marvel Universe should collide more often, and why not use a Web of Spider-Man fill-in to bring these disparate elements together?

1 comment:

Matt said...

I've always felt Terry Kavanagh's use of continuity and characters from all stretches of the Marvel Universe was a great thing. It's just too bad his stories never really grabbed me! I didn't mind his scripting, usually -- I just found that his plots tended to fall flat.

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