Quasar! Quasar dresses like a 1940s Marvel character called Marvel Boy, but isn’t him? He’s Wendell Vaughan, head of security at Project PEGASUS and wielder of The Quantum Bands, intergalactic weapons. I don’t know a whole lot. I bet we’ll get more info from Mark Gruenwald, writing this issue for Herb Trimpe, Mike Esposito & Bob Sharen. Gruenwald was the keeper of continuity at Marvel for decades, a man passionate about the shared universe and keeping it running smoothly. He also wrote years and years of great Captain America comics, among others, and eventually a Quasar solo title in the late 80s/early 90s. This one opens with Spidey investigating an armored truck.
And so, Ye Olde Two Heroes Fight Over A Misunderstanding is avoided by someone showing their ID. How novel! Quasar’s investigation leads him to the campus of ESU, where he digs a big hole in their lawn with no permission or anything to discover a high tech facility. And once he’s inside, he’s attacked by a form of light which wraps itself around his Quantum Bands.
Oh boy, Lightmaster. Have we seen this lame yet? I don’t think we have, but obviously we will based on that recap! I can think of at least 2 appearances I’ve read since I started collecting all these back issues. Anyway, Peter Parker’s Spider Sense goes off in the middle of class, and he has to run out pretending to have a coughing fit. Soon, Spider-Man is on the scene, confronting a much bulkier Lightmaster who must’ve absorbed Quasar.
Spidey drops down on his foe and briefly manages to get him to release Quasar, but he’s soon smacking Spidey around with giant light constructs and reattached to his hapless host. Spidey gets belted way off into the distance, and when he comes back, Lightmaster is gone. With no idea where his foe went, Spidey just heads back to class, sure he’ll pop up later. And at the moment, Lightmaster has other things on his mind.
Lightmaster goes on a looting spree to steal the equipment he needs, but while he’s doing that, Quasar is finally waking up inside his Lightmaster-shaped prison. This gives him the chance to yell one of the goofier things any hero has every yelled:
Things aren’t going too well for ol’ Wendell. At his place, Spider-Man is feeling exhausted, but can’t let Lightmatser run around with Quasar under his control. He grabs some polarized lenses for his mask and swings out to look for trouble. As he sets up his stuff, Lightmaster flashes back to both previous appearances I’ve read before getting ready to try to… I don’t know, recreate his organic body somehow. He gets his old costume out to… put himself in… and gets ready to rock. But guess who sees the huge lightshow his machines are putting on and stops by?
Spidey’s in trouble, but then Quasar has the idea of turning his bands off. I didn’t know he could do that. With them shut down, Lightmaster no longer has their energy to syphon, and begins to weaken quickly.
Well, ok. Pretty unusual to have Spidey not like a guy like that. But plucking a rather obscure character out of the ether and putting him back in the toybox is an extremely Gruenwald move. It’s something he really enjoyed doing his whole time at Marvel.