The great Mike Zeck joins Bill Mantlo writing, Jim Mooney on inks and Janice Cohen on colors for this one. Mike Zeck before he was a big name, I think, in this comic from 1980, but only just. It appears a previous owner has written “K AT NY” over “Marvel Comics” in the banner across the top. I’ll never know. Peter Parker is late for a river cruise to Liberty Island with the ESU cast as we begin.
One assumes that’s one of the creative team, but I’m not sure who. So, Peter just strolls up to the gang, and Marcy rather reasonably asks how he got here, and he has no plan, but then Curt Connors wants to talk to him and he’s saved. Very smooth, Pete. With that question lazily dodged, the gang can begin celebrating their trimester break (I never had one of those in college). But there’s another boat headed to Liberty Island, and it contains The Frightful Four (Currently consisting of Wizard, Trapster, Sandman and Electro). They land their raft, and Sandman & Electro start bickering, and then some guards happen upon then and they scatter. We don’t know their scheme yet, but this guard jumps to a pretty insane conclusion…
Did… they practice individually harassing a jeep? Electro zaps it, rendering them unconscious, which really could have been step one, and they walk on to their destination, bickering inecessantly. Meanwhile, Peter is off brooding by himself as usual when he’s approached by Deb Whitman from ESU. Is this the first time they’ve talked? When’s the last time I even saw Deb at this point? Poor Deb thinks Peter is cute, but thinks she herself doesn’t have much to offer him or anyone. Peter is trying to reassure her she’s cool and appealing, but you know how it is with these 2, so…
Poor Deb Whitman. And poor Mike Zeck. Jim Mooney just smothers anyone he inks. He might as well have drawn this. But seriously, Peter couldn’t have said, “Sorry, I gotta go to the bathroom” or something? Sheesh. Spidey gets to the Statue of Liberty, but the message was written by the evil FF, and they put Electro in a firesuit to pretend to be the Torch. All this was just to lure Spider-Man into a trap? These guys just not have anything better to do on a Saturday night?
Electro has to have heard Spidey babbling about his Spider Sense like a million times by now, but this is one of the issues playing it a secret. Spidey hides with in the statue, hearing Electro say he’s got to warn the others, and begins to worry he’s up against The Sinister Six. And when Sandman comes after him, he reasonably assumes he was right, but then Trapster takes his shot.
That last bit of dialogue is legit hilarious. Almost as funny as Sandman pointlessly correcting Spider-Man about recent FF roster changes. But our man is unable to escape. The Wizard gets one of his anti-gravity discs on Spidey’s back, making it almost impossible for him to fight back, and then the whole gang just wails on him for awhile.
What? Really? That’s your plan? Why not just kill Spider-Man? This is some typically goofy Mantlo nonsense. And we’ll see how it goes in that FF issue, ‘cuz I picked it up after getting to the end of this.