It’s the thrilling(?) conclusion to TAC 42. Someone’s written “3-4” on the front in pencil. Behind that cover by Al Milgrom and the legendary FF inker Joe Sinnott, we have Bill Mantlo continuing his story, and to my surprise, art by John Byrne, Sinnott and colorist Ben Sean. I just kind figured this would be a whole fill-in issue team, but the regular FF artists of the period are on deck. We pick up on a rainy night with most of the Frightful Four hovering near The Baxter Building in what is basically a flying donut while Trapster scales the building dressed as Spider-Man.
“Wise-off.” There’s a super-brief recap of TAC 42, and then the flying donut pulls away as Trapster-as-Spider-Man taps on Johnny Storm’s window to wake him up. But the building’s security systems finally kick in, zapping him off the wall. Lucky for him, he’s got a dopey approximation of Spidey’s webshooter, and is able to keep from falling to his doom, and then Johnny pokes his head out the window to see what’s going on. Climbing in, Trapster tells him how “he” was attacked by The Frightful Four at the Statue of Liberty.
Then Trapster manages to easily take Thing out, by tricking him into punching some machinery and electrocuting himself! Trapster is WAY too lame to be doing this well, are you serious, Bill Mantlo?? Half of the FF downed, Trapster lets his buddies into the building. Soon, Sue hears groaning from Johnny’s room and gets attacked by The Sandman. She easily escapes his clutches using a force field, but when the rest of the evil FF show up, she tries to turn invisible and make a run for it, and forgets her nightgown won’t turn invisible with her. No, really.
WHAT? Rock hard electrocarbon atoms? This is like a 50s DC Comic! While Spidey tries his escape plan, inside, the assembled Frightful Four attack and subdue Reed Richards by having Trapster glue him to a computer console and Electro run current through it. Things are looking grim until Spider-Man smashes through the ceiling.
My copy of this issue is very poorly printed. A lot of the dialogue is barely legible. Spidey proceeds to stunt on the evil FF like they’re nothing in spite of, you know, the entirety of an issue and a half of them being portrayed as super dangerous. Within minutes, he’s taken out The Wizard and tricked Sandman into freeing Reed. And then The Wizard just bails on his goons, which is pretty hilarious.
What, no callback to ASM 5? It’s a literal retread. Spidey easily takes out Electro by wrapping him in a rubber hose and kicking him in the face, so Trapster tries to make a break for it and runs right into the rest of the real FF, very perturbed by the evening’s events, who literally scare him so bad he faints.
And that’s that. Pretty silly stuff, really. Wizard’s plan didn’t require Trapster to dress up like Spider-Man to work, and if they were actual bad people instead of costumed goofballs, Trappy coulda just put a bullet in Johnny’s head. And what’s with The FF barely doing anything in this issue? Ah, well. They can’t all be winners. Next time we return to our regularly scheduled programming, with the return of The Black Cat.