Monday, June 24, 2013
SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #12 - January 1997
A Matter of Respect
Credits: Todd Dezago (writer), Josh Hood (penciler), John Lowe (inks), Gregory Wright w/GCW (colors), Richard Starkings and Comicraft (letters)
The Plot: The Trapster brutalizes two mob strongmen who harassed him in the past. The next day, the Daily Bugle reports that Spider-Man was responsible. Incensed that Spider-Man received the credit, Trapster decides to bolster his reputation by killing Spider-Man. After leaving a trail through the city, Trapster eventually catches Spider-Man in a trap. When he finally escapes, Trapster is gone.
The Subplots: J. Jonah Jameson tells Peter Parker he should focus on more serious stories, such as global warming. He announces that he’s sending Peter to the Savage Land to photograph the impact of melting glaciers on its environment.
*See _________ For Details: Trapster apparently had an encounter with the same two hoods in Silver Sable #26. He claims he had to feign weakness in front of Sandman, which I’m assuming ties in somehow with their past together in the Frightful Four.
I Love the ‘90s: Trapster declares he’s going to have the biggest comeback since John Travolta. Later, Jonah Jameson blames ozone depletion above the South Pole for global warming in the Savage Land. I haven't heard anyone blame the hole in the ozone layer on anything in years.
“Huh?” Moment: Peter Parker is bizarrely given orange colored hair throughout the issue.
Review: This reads as a typical inventory story, except that 1) the final page leads directly into the next issue, and 2) the idea of the Trapster’s glue being mistaken for Spider-Man’s webbing will turn up again months later in the “Spider-Hunt” and “Identity Crisis” crossovers. As Sensational’s first issue in the post-clone, please-stop-hating-us, Wizard era of Spider-Man, it’s a bomb. There’s no strong gimmick, none of the jokes are that great, and Peter Parker is given nothing to do except get yelled at by Jonah Jameson. But the most egregious offender is the art. This is wretched stuff; an unsightly mix of bad manga clones and bad Jim Lee clones. Josh Hood’s Spider-Man occasionally looks okay (even if the eyes are always excessively big), but his human figures are just awful caricatures that are painfully distracting. One of the worst aspects of the post-clone era is the multitude of subpar fill-in artists. There is some legitimately ugly stuff being published between 1996 and 1998, and that seems inexcusable when you consider that everyone from Ron Frenz to ChrisCross was probably available to do a fill-in.