Friday, November 4, 2011

WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #116 - September 1994

Live and Let Die Part Four - Crescendo

Credits: Terry Kavanagh (writer), Alex Saviuk (breakdowns), Don Hudson (finishes), Steve Dutro (letterer), Kevin Tinsley (colorist)

The Plot: Betty distracts Façade, giving Spider-Man time to recover and fight back. Façade escapes, but shortly after Lance Bannon’s funeral, he returns to the Daily Bugle. Spider-Man resumes the fight and rips open Façade’s armor. The electric shock temporarily knocks him unconscious, giving the man in the FACADE armor time to escape.

The Subplots: Betty vows to continue investigating Archer Bryce, who unexpectedly appears at Lance’s funeral. Jonah Jameson admits to Detective Chase that his son lied about leaving the Bugle with him the night Lance Bannon was killed, leaving John without an alibi. Later, Peter Parker arrives at the hospital to visit Aunt May. May’s mysterious friend arrives at the same time, and runs away when he spots Peter.

Web of Continuity: Spider-Man’s more consistent about calling himself “The Spider” this issue, although the speech pattern still doesn’t match “Shrieking” since he’s still telling jokes and doesn’t seem particularly angry about anything.

Façade visits Lance Bannon’s grave, and while his identity isn’t revealed, we do learn that he’s an adult male who refers to Bannon by his first name.

I Love the ‘90s: Façade calls Betty’s leather vigilante look “a true fashion statement for the nineties.”

Review: “Live and Let Die” concludes, awarding us with no resolution to the storyline’s central mystery, although we are treated to the return of Butch Betty. Not only does she keep a literal armory in her apartment, but she’s also concerned enough about her vigilante image to change into a different outfit before coming to Spider-Man’s rescue. That’s commitment, sister. Just think…about three months ago Marvel Time you were an emotionally broken cult member who couldn’t face the outside world, and now you’re in firefights with hi-tech armored killers. Who says ‘90s comics were dumb?

So, again, the “mystery” turns out to be a waste of trees and the continuity tie-ins with the “Important” Spidey story of the moment don’t work. Façade’s destined to be a joke amongst the few fans who remember him for years, but at least next issue we’re getting the Spider-clone, and that’s not going to make anyone mad at all. What is significant about this issue is that it’s Alex Saviuk’s last one, which is a shame. His work didn’t mesh with Stephen Baskerville’s finishes at all, but thankfully he’s been paired with the more simpatico Don Hudson for the past few issues. Saviuk certainly isn’t going out on the best story in Web’s history, but that’s not his fault. The art is clear, the characters look like themselves, the fight scenes are energetic, and Spider-Man himself has a nice Romita look, even if his eyes are huge now. Saviuk’s art was often the highlight of this title, and his loyalty to the book is certainly admirable. Actually, his loyalty to Spider-Man himself is remarkable, given that he left Web to pencil and ink Spider-Man Adventures, and then moved on to the syndicated newspaper strip. As far as I know, he’s still drawing the Sunday strips.


wwk5d said...

I'm shocked Facade didn't become the Hobgoblin of the 90s.

Jeff said...

Facade made his triumphant return in this week's Amazing Spider-Man! He gets beat by Spidey in one panel and is going to reveal his identity but Spider-Man claims he doesn't have time and just swings off. There's also an editorial box that begins listing what FACADE stands for, but gives up and says "Who cares?" It got a pretty big laugh out of me.

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