Friday, October 28, 2011

WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #111 - April 1994

The Savaging Part Two - Scales of Justice

Credits: Terry Kavanagh (writer), Alex Saviuk (penciler), Stephen Baskerville & Sam De La Rosa (inkers), Dutro/Krol/Maley (letterers), Nel Yomtov (colorist)

The Plot: Spider-Man reaches the Everglades shortly after Warrant and his superior Reynard arrive with Billy. They find the Lizard at the abandoned Spanish fort he seized years earlier, which is now being renovated for commercial real estate. Spider-Man rescues Billy and faces both Warrant and the Lizard. As the fort collapses, Spider-Man tries to save Lizard from quicksand, but is stopped by Warrant. When the authorities arrive with Dr. Kafka, the fighting ends. The construction crew attempts to rescue the Lizard, but Spider-Man fears he’s already gone.

The Subplots: MJ is upset that Peter hasn’t spent enough time in their new home, and even attempts to shut off a news report about the Lizard before Peter can see it.

Web of Continuity: This story is supposed to be taking place simultaneously with the “Lifetheft” storyline in Amazing Spider-Man, which just isn’t possible since Peter doesn’t discover that a crazed fan drew a gun on MJ until after he’s transformed into an old man (if you haven’t read “Lifetheft”…yes, that happens). The story can’t take place after “Lifetheft” since that arc leads directly into “Pursuit,” which is the crossover that intersects with the next issue.

Review: So, “The Savaging” turns out to be a typical Lizard story, with some gratuitous bloodshed and obnoxious new characters thrown in. Oh, yeah -- and MJ is becoming an increasingly unlikable and erratic shrew with every issue. It’s amazing to me that the creators of this era didn’t realize that the readers of these titles want to like the lead character’s wife as much as they want to like Spider-Man. MJ was always a popular supporting cast member, probably because she wasn’t a neurotic mess and actually liked to have fun. Her extroverted nature and cheerful attitude played off Peter Parker’s anxious personality very well (and, as later writers revealed to us, masked her own set of personal issues), enabling her to rival sainted Gwen Stacy as a romantic interest. Now, MJ’s stuck in an annoying “cop wife” persona, dragging down every scene that features her. And you can’t blame the marriage on this; the first five years or so of the marriage emphasized MJ’s good nature and willingness to support her husband. This is just cheap, fake drama that doesn’t work.


wwk5d said...

I have a feeling Joe Q. never read the first 5 years of Peter and MJ's marriage. Or he just has selective amnesia.

Anonymous said...

It's probably telling that I remember having this comic but I can't remember a thing about it.

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