Tuesday, October 25, 2011

WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #108 - January 1994

The Eye of the Storm

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

The Plot: Tony Trainer emerges as Sandstorm, creating a fierce “grit-storm” that reflects his confused state of mind. Spider-Man rescues Sandman from the storm, while Quicksand convinces the erratic Sandstorm to join her side. After Spider-Man finds a piece of irradiated shrapnel and reverses its polarity, Sandstorm’s powers fade. Sandman stays by Sandstorm’s side as he’s arrested to make sure he’s treated fairly.

The Subplots: Amidst the chaos, Robbie and Betty save Jonah and Marla from falling off the ESU science building. Jonah offers Betty her job back. Meanwhile, MJ is dodging calls from Secret Hospital’s publicist.

*See _________ For Details: Amazing Spider-Man #385 has the long-awaited resolution to MJ’s riveting smoking subplot.

Creative Differences: A few word balloons are added to explain that Sandman and Quicksand can’t use their powers within Sandstorm’s grit-storm. Later, an added thought balloon has MJ resolving to stop smoking tomorrow.

Review: And, not surprisingly, the debut of Marvel’s latest sand-related villain whimpers out spectacularly. Aside from the white mullet, there’s nothing really objectionable about Sandstorm’s appearance on the cover, but once Stephen Baskerville’s inks get a hold of him, it’s full-on Rob Liefeld/Andrew Wildman/Marat Michaels '90s ugliness. The resolution to every cliffhanger in the previous issue is even more cliché than you might expect, right down to Betty Brant saving her job by rescuing her boss and his wife. Dull, pat, predictable…I’m almost ready for the clone to show up, and I hate the clone storyline.

Tainted Part Two

Credits: Carl Potts (writer), Jesse D. Orozco (penciler), Timothy Tuohy (inker), Steve Dutro (letterer), Bob Sharen (colorist)

The Plot: Cardiac escapes Scorpion, only to encounter him again while invading the offices of Tamco Pharmaceuticals. After disabling Scorpion’s tail, Cardiac kills Tamco’s CEO. He then purchases the company, saving the jobs of the honest employees and keeping Tamco’s beneficial drugs on the market.

Review: This is essentially the same as the previous issue, only now Potts is playing on the word “tainted” to describe the business deal that allows Cardiac’s civilian identity to purchase Tamco (its stock price is way down following the CEO’s death and the exposure of its bad drug shipment). That’s actually clever, so at least the ending isn’t as generic as the story’s premise. Potts is essentially writing Cardiac as the white-collar equivalent of the Punisher, and the story offers no judgment of Cardiac’s actions, so it actually becomes an unusual read in retrospect.


Matt said...

"...it’s full-on Rob Liefeld/Andrew Wildman/Marat Michaels '90s ugliness."

Hey, I like Wildman! I don't know who Marat Michaels is, but I don't think Wildman deserves to be lumped in with Liefeld. I loved his run on G.I. Joe, and his work on Transformers totally reignited my interest in the series.

However, as I said in my comments a few issues back, I believe that Baskerville, while a perfect match for Wildman, does not pair up well with other artists, including Saviuk.

G. Kendall said...

I remember Wildman's G I Joe and X-Men Adventures as prototypical '90s excess, but it's possible I was partially responding to Baskerville's inks. I've seen more recent work from Wildman that looks okay.

Matt said...

Yes, Baskerville added a ton of extra texturing and details to Wildman's art -- which I think served the work very well in Transformers, though I can see how it wouldn't be to everyone's liking.

Before Baskerville arrived on Transformers, Wildman's art appeared much cleaner. Likewise, I believe he initially had a different inker on G.I. Joe before Baskerville showed up there, too. There's definitely a big difference in both cases.

Anyway, I like the energy in Wildman's work -- there was always lots of dynamic poses and "overacting" from his characters. But unlike Liefeld, he mostly had a pretty good grasp of anatomy!

Adam Farrar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam Farrar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wwk5d said...

Sounds like the back-up story was more interesting than the lead. Which, is kind of sad, but given the state of the title, not too surprising, I guess.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...