As this one opens, Spidey is hitching a ride on top of a semi truck when a kid in the car in front of him spots him and yells to the driver. Spidey recaps last issue real quick while letting us know that he got a tracer on Chance last night, and this truck is setting off his Spider Sense, and then a cop gets involved.
Those are the exact same Spidey eyes Mike Zeck was doing during Kraven’s Last Hunt, yet McFarlane will be hailed as the guy who made the eyes huge. He swings home frustrated, only to find a note on his skylight saying there’s a “skylight repairman, please use front door.” He’s been hiding some clothes in an alley for situations like this, so he gets changed and heads up to find MJ’s brought in her usual cleaning lady, and put the note up to avoid trouble. Peter’s feeling down about losing Chance, so MJ suggests they go to a party to cheer him up. We check in on Chance, being wheeled unconscious into a facility Drake called “Sanctum Maximus,” before… this…
Oh man, that’s hilarious. Also: comically tiny hands in close-ups like that one of Paul Schaefer are one of McFarlane’s Achilles Heels. While Peter enjoys his trip to the world of the rich & famous, something sinister is happening in New Jersey…
GET IT? Later, Peter is still fretting over Chance instead of sleeping, and the next day, he goes to The Bugle to read up on Carlton Drake in the morgue.
Thus, Peter heads to ESU for the first time in like 4 years, where he sweet talks Administrative Assistant Annie Deitz into letting him look at some records like they’re old friends, even though we’ve never seen her before.
So, he’s found where they’re building “Sanctus Maximus.” Time for Spider-Man to go check on that. But first, Peter Parker hitchhikes to New Jersey! I guess he was too cheap for a cab. He gets dropped off on the side of the road and then wanders into the woods, where he spots armed guards around a fenced compound and gets in his Spidey gear. He sneaks in sticking to the bottom of a truck (Having learned his lesson about being on top of a truck), and then his Spider Sense starts picking up his tracer again, so…
What is that hand gesture? Chance explains the rich folks want to replicate his wristblasters to be able to protect themselves from their own guards if things go weird post-apocalypse, and says he might’ve bought into this scheme if they’d just asked. True to his word, Spidey frees Chance, but also sets off an alarm in the process. So the two forge a brief alliance to fight their way out.
McFarlane must’ve really liked that picture of Chance from last issue, since he basically replicates it here. Bas guys defeated, Chance makes it clear this won’t impact any future encounters they have, but offers to give Spidey a ride back to Manhattan as a thank you.
MAN that’s an awkward drawing! Venom is LUMPY. In 2018, Marvel slapped some contemporary color on this and made it a variant cover. Like, of all the pictures of Venom in the world…! But, yeah, here he is. Could David & Todd have any idea what they were unleashing here? Probably not. Come back next time to learn all about him.
Believe it or not, this is not the last we’ll see of Carlton Drake’s Doomsday Condos. This story made me think Chance was, like, a regular when I was a youth. I can only think of one appearance by the character after this issue off the top of my head, though.