Thursday, May 12, 2011

WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #85 - February 1992

Three the Hard Way

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

The Plot: The Parkers return home and discover the dead body, and Peter’s exposed costume. Later, they’re attacked by the Triad Brothers. As Spider-Man, Peter chases them away. Nick Katzenberg witnesses the fight and harasses Peter and MJ when it’s over. MJ responds by punching Nick out. After Aunt May and MJ head to a friend’s mountain home for safety, Spider-Man tracks down the Triads. When he slightly cuts one of them, he realizes he’s gone too far and leaves. Soon, Deathwatch appears, expressing his disappointment to the Triads.

The Subplots: The Kingpin is aware of the Rose’s return and is keeping tabs on Richard Fisk. Richard meets with the Rose, and after discovering that Spider-Man is “protecting” Peter Parker, declares he must die. Meanwhile, the Hobgoblin receives a rose in prison.

Web of Continuity: Deathwatch is a villain from Howard Mackie’s Ghost Rider run. He’s apparently working as an emissary between the Triads and the Rose.

*See _________ For Details: Hobgoblin has been shifting back and forth between his human and demon forms ever since Ghost Rider #17.

I Love the (Early) ‘90s: As Peter and MJ try to catch a cab: Likely we’ll get a taxi in the rain -- NOT!

Review: And here is the first indication this story might not deserve six issues. Last issue already established that Peter Parker's life is in jeopardy, along with Richard Fisk’s plot against his father, so Spider-Man’s battle with the Triads and the conspiracy scenes with Richard and the Rose aren’t adding anything to the story. Mackie does get some material out of Peter and MJ’s reaction to the underworld invading their life, and the Hobgoblin is brought closer into the main story, but there’s nothing else going on. I might be more charitable towards this issue if the Triads weren’t terrible villains. Three Chinese (?) brothers with berets, elaborate ponytails, glowing swords, and poor English skills…they’re really just asking to be killed off during a crossover tie-in, aren’t they?


Matt said...

That's now two times that Mary Jane has decked Nick Katzenberg! She also did it one of Gerry Conway's Spectacular issues when he showed her the photo of Peter in his Spider-Man costume.

I was recently inspired by your Web reviews to re-read all of Conway's run on both Web and Spectacular, and I kind of miss Nick. He was a fun professional foil for Peter, filling that role way better than longtime non-entity Lance Bannon ever did. But it sems like after Conway departed, only Mackie made use of Nick with any regularity, and then one day (spoiler alert) Michelinie decided to kill him off in Amazing to drive home an anti-smoking message. Too bad, because he was a fun character in a love-to-hate-him way.

j said...

Howard Mackie really liked the Hobgoblin didn't he?

G. Kendall said...

For the record, I'm not trying to delete anyone's comments. Blogger for some reason ate this post overnight, so I'm reposting it. Regarding the comment left about Nick Katzenberg -- David Michelinie did give him cancer, but I believe it was a later writer who killed him off during the clone fiasco. Maybe it even happened in Web of Spider-Man...?

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