Friday, September 9, 2011

WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #106 - November 1993


Judgment Day

Credits: Terry Kavanagh (writer), Alex Saviuk (penciler), Stephen Baskerville (inker), Steve Dutro (letterer), Bob Sharen (colorist)

The Plot: Spider-Man joins the Goddess’ team and fights against the “unenlightened” heroes. When Jean Grey threatens to “mind-sear” the Thing, Spider-Man jumps in-between them, just as the sun goes nova. A “final rapture” purges the universe.

The Subplots: Betty leads Jonah to believe that she and Robbie are having an affair in order to cover their investigation into Project: Sandstorm.

*See _________ For Details: Thanos says that he and Silver Surfer (who’s turned against the Goddess) have a “diversion” planned for the Goddess’ team. A footnote points to Infinity Crusade #4. Following Infinity Crusade #5, Rogue owes Hercules for a “sucker punch,” and the Thing is recovering from Gamora’s nerve-blow. The conclusion to this story can be found in Infinity Crusade #6

Review: More mindless hero vs. hero fights, and a cliffhanger that isn’t even concluded in this title. I feel sorry for the hardcore Spidey and/or Infinity Crusade completists who were stuck buying this stuff. Is it really so hard to guess why sales of comics began to plummet after 1993?

Since the story is virtually nonexistent, I’m left to discuss the art. We’ve now entered the third phase of Alex Saviuk’s work on Web of Spider-Man. Saviuk originally drew this title as a loving Romita homage, then switched over to a McFarlane-esque Spidey when that became the standard look (although his actual drawing style never imitated McFarlane’s, just the basics of his costume revamp), and now we have…this. I’m sure Saviuk’s original pencils haven’t changed at all, but the addition of Stephen Baskerville as inker brings a conspicuous change to the title’s look. Basically, it seems as if Baskerville has been given the edict to “Liefeld it up,” and boy is it Liefeld-y…


Now, my major issues with Liefeld’s work have to do with his bizarre anatomy and weak storytelling (his inking certainly looks dated now, but I didn’t mind it so much as a kid), so there are worse ways the Extreme look could’ve been introduced into this book…but man, I miss the days of Keith Williams.

The Killing Ground

Credits: Terry Kavanagh (writer), Bill Wylie (penciler), Timothy Tuohy (inker), Steve Dutro (letterer), Bob Sharen (colorist)

The Plot: Nightwatch finds Deathgrin in the sewers and defeats him. He vows not to lose himself to the Nightwatch persona the same way Daniel Davis was consumed by Deathgrin.

The Subplots: None.

Review: Nightwatch beats up a guy wearing a goofy mask in the sewers and vows not to turn into him. Okay. What a waste of eighteen pages this turned out to be. If the goal was to entice readers into picking up Nightwatch’s solo book, that makes this effort even more embarrassing.

5 comments:

√Āgoston NB said...

To be honest I've seen worse than these pages. I Don't think they are THAT bad.

Matt said...

Stephen Baskerville was one of the first cases where I realized what a difference an inker can make. He worked with fellow Brit Andrew Wildman on both Transformers and G.I. Joe, and their work looked great together in both instances. I assume they'd worked together at Marvel U.K., and possibly knew each other, but for whatever reason, they were a penciler/inker combo that just felt right together (I think they possibly also did the Black Cat limited series around this time, too).

Then Baskerville came onto Web, and Saviuk's clean, clear work suddenly looked, as you said, Liefeldian. I saw Baskerville's name in the credits, remembered him from Transformers and G.I. Joe, and suddenly realized that an inker could make way more of a difference than I'd ever realized!

Adam Farrar said...

I am a big fan of Adam Warlock and so I read most of the Infinity Trilogy through good and bad but the Crusade had the worst problem: it was so bloated. If you wanted to just read the main storyline written by Jim Starlin, you had to read Infinity Crusade #1-6, Warlock and the Infinity Watch #17-22 and The Warlock Chronicles #1-5. Then think about the 31 crossover issues.

Infinity Gauntlet didn’t really have a lot of extra issues but War then crossed into the most titles, but Crusade only got into a 14 titles but stuck around. To contrast that, Gauntlet and War only got into one issue of Spider-Man each (#17 and #24 respectively) while as you said, this took up three issues of Web.

For what it’s worth, at least these issues depict what was happening in the main story and give Spider-Man something unique to do.

And it’s worth noting that none of these ever crossed into the X-comics (unless anyone considered Alpha Flight an X-comic by that point). Wolverine appeared in Gauntlet and everyone else was killed by Thanos and revived later. Then War was billed as being “The Infinity Gauntlet part 2, plus the X-Men!”

In case you want to know how this wraps up, the rapture is a fake constructed by Warlock and Thanos to make the Goddess think she’s won only so she drops her guard and they defeat her and let everyone go home. If memory serves, there were a couple of other issues that ended with the Rapture but I can’t confirm that offhand.

wwk5d said...

Cyclops was also in Gauntlet. He was the only member of X-factor that didn't "disappear".

I also remember picking up an issue of Incredible Hulk that was a Gauntlet crossover...

Adam Farrar said...

Oh yeah, Thanos puts Cyclops' head in a box.

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