Oh this cover confuses me. Why? Who said, “We’re doing a very silly story this month, let’s make the cover a direct reference to one of the most memorable, serious ASM stories of all time?” And yet, here it is, from the same art team that did the original. As this destined-to-be-goofy story begins, Spider-Man swings over a bunch of dude stealing some furs, and decides to get after them. People seemingly stole furs a lot back in the day. Not really something you hear about now.
As he flips over the car, Spidey doesn’t understand why his webshooters aren’t working, but that’s nothing compared to when he tries to climb a wall and can’t. Like on the cover! But unlike on the cover, the car stays on the ground, ramming the building and forcing him to fall off.
Ok, but how did The Tinkerer (Obviously) get Norman Osborn’s “make Spider-Man’s powers go away” gas? Unusually crisp action from Andru on this page. Spidey lands on a top of a police car, of all things, but before they can figure out what hit their roof, they spot his car, and light out after it, hoping to get a promotion for catching him. So he takes the chance to just leave. The car seems to vanish after it turns a corner, anyway.
When the penultimate milkshake? Peter’s done a variant of a joke about Aunt May doing crazy activites a billion times, but I think this is the only time I’ve ever seen Aunt May play along. Usually it’s just some version of “oh, you silly boy.” It’s a small thing, but I like it. Hang on, tho, JJJ is getting a momentous delivery:
Robbie is weirdly loving this secretary drama. “Mrs. Primm.” Really on the nose, Len! What’s depicted in JJJ’s photos? A plot thread that would utterly confuse me as a young lad, but that’s for later. Back at his place, Peter Parker tests all his powers and finds them working again, wondering how a gas could make his webshooters quit working, and also complaining of acid indigestion. Yes, the tendency to give Peter regular people problems has led to acid reflux. As Spider-Man, he heads out to try to find his errant car. Not just because it’s on a rampage, but because he still feels like he has to give it to Carter & Lombard to avoid being sued. I still wonder how they can sue a masked adventurer. Spider-Man stupidly dives into a mysteriously misty alleyway only to discover it’s that gas again, and then the car comes at him.
Running out of room to move and super powers, Spidey jumps for it And totally whiffs it, falling to his doom as he so often does, only to be webbed to safety by his own car. It whips him into the back seat and delivers him, all webbed up, to The Terrible Tinkerer, as anticipated. Tink hasn’t appeared in a Spider-Man comic since ASM #2! That’s a hell of a deep pull from Len. Tinkerer would go on to a relatively prominent villain role for Spider-Man and others from here, but right now, Spidey hasn’t seen him in 158 months, and last he saw him, he thought he was an alien.
Toy is easily one of the most uncomfortable ideas ever introduced in these pages. Officially making him a robot later helped a little, but… woof. As Toy is trapped in a pile of bricks, Tink tries to escape in the Spider-Mobile, but Spidey grabs the bumper and won’t let go.
Well, it’s nice that the car thing is finally over. Not much else to recommend here. The car having Spider-Man’s web was always dumb, and Tinkerer making anti-Spider-Man gas is a bit much. Ah, well. Tune in next time for an issue actually quite near & dear to my heart.