This is one of the most unintentionally funny Spider-Man covers of all time. Hammerhead legit doing spooky ghost hands! What a crazy one. I guess it would certainly entice you to buy it just to try to figure out what’s going on. Inside, Spider-Man continues his plummet to his doom from last issue. It’s his specialty, after all.
I’ve been jumping around the timeline a lot as I write this, but I feel like I JUST read a Team-Up story where Spidey fell out of an aircraft like this. It’s all kinda blurring together. When did Spidey read about hang gliders? How long’s he been waiting to do this? Anyway, Spidey glides back down to New York in his goofy web glider, but he’s going so fast he’s gonna fall right in the ocean, so he lets go, falls some more, webs a cornice, and splats into a dumpster, gross but alive. The next morning, he’s sitting on the floor of his apartment, listening to the police band in hopes of hearing a lead on Doc Ock and repairing his damaged costume, when someone knocks on the door.
Peter’s neighbor Glory Grant hasn’t appeared in these pages for over a year, I do believe.
You’d almost suspect Glory is a superhero too based on her impressive height. It’s only just occurred to me to wonder what MJ does for a living. When does she officially become a model? She’s currently skipping a semester of college according to the last Conway block, so… how does she pay rent? Does meeting Glory give her the idea to become a model? I guess we’ll see. At work, Robbie tells Peter their main competitor, The Daily Globe, has a new publisher, a mystery man called KJ Clayton that Robbie’s never heard of in spite of all his years in the biz, who’s trying to hire away top Bugle talent. Robbie is wondering if Peter’s been contacted. KJ Clayton! As you may recall, we’ve seen that mysterious figure’s deal, but due to the out-of-order posting here, that’s 2 writers and more than 4 years from this issue. Wow. Also, JJJ is not having a good experience with his new secretary, filling in while Betty is on vacation, and who looks just like Deb Whitman, but isn’t.
Oh, hey, a plot development! Switching to Spidey, Peter doesn’t even bring his camera. This is no time to try to make money off his alter-ego. Meanwhile, at the aforementioned Brookhaven National Laboratory, a SWAT team has surrounded the whole compound, and a guy is demanding Doc Ock send out his hostage. His hostage is super-ok with being there, tho, and proceeds to remember to him their helicopter ride to the Lab, where possible ghost Hammerhead manifested, and Doc Ock had an epiphany about nuclear energy, directing the pilot to this place and telling HH he’ll be doomed if he follows. As Ock seems to be constructing something with his arms, Aunt May sits in a chair chatting with him like nothing weird is going on. This is really stretching credibility. This lady normally faints if she sees a mouse, but she’s pretty much an accessory here. Spidey makes his way into the facility just as Hammerhead once again appears, so now it’s a particularly weird 3-way battle, with two participants trying to save Aunt May from each other.
Spidey gets completely distracted worrying he may have inadvertently caused Aunt May to be hurt, and Doc Ock used that opportunity to chuck him out a window. The cops outside immediately open fire, of course, but Spidey just swings back in. As he does, he finds Hammerhead is back, and Ock has finished his machine that’s supposed to do something about it, but Spider-Man starts wrecking it, not really knowing what’s going on.
This dialogue is… something. Octavius is legit trying to protect May, this is so weird. When Hammerhead begins to menace Aunt May, Ock finally convinces Spidey his machine is the only way to stop him, so they quickly work to reassemble it. But as Hammerhead cheerfully runs right into it, Spidey realizes what’s about to happen. Ock swats him away, though, so, inevitably…
I have no idea:
- How Spidey could have guessed this outcome.
- Why a dummy like Hammerhead seems to have expected this outcome.
- Why a genius like Doc Ock didn’t see this coming if both of them did.
- How I shall forget the hilarious look on Doc Ock’s face there.
Maybe we’ll get some answers next issue. Wein’s Spidey has been less of a jerk here lately than he was in MTU and will be again before Wein’s out of here, and I like it. In the letter column, one impassioned fan is desperate for Marvel to definitively say the Superman Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man special didn’t really happen in Spidey canon. Editorial throws the topic open to the readers, dodging nicely. Why not, tho? What would be so bad about that? Nothing actually happened that would have a lasting impact on either franchise. People will complain about anything. Meanwhile, it is revealed in the Bullpen Bulletins Page that the final Marvel Value Stamp of the 2nd run, #100, was only printed in one title this month. I don’t know which it was, but I know it wasn’t Amazing Spider-Man.