Julianna Ferriter swaps in on colors as we pick up right where we left off last time. We have an extremely brief, one-page recap of Spider-Man and Black Cat’s entire history, mostly focused on the Blaze thing and last issue. Then Peter rips his own front door off in anger.
Every time one of these guys drops in a random Romita, Sr. Peter Parker or somebody that doesn’t fit their style at all, I scratch my head. Carter pointed out a man who can bend prison bars doesn’t need a key, and suggested Tork investigate Keating. And now he is. Meanwhile, Peter and Flash arrive at Betty’s by taxi. Peter isn’t believing any of this until Betty answers the door and says Ned will be home soon.
Awkward. Awkward that Peter just leaves, too. Quick cut to Felicia going to see Foreigner and them making out. Quick cut to Peter going to the police precinct to see Keating, hoping he might slip and say the wrong thing. He’s not in, tho. Peter asks to wait for him, and when his phone rings, Peter answers it.
Seems unlikely, given the build up, Spidey. Cut to Silver Sable returning less than half JJJ’s money, saying she had a change of heart, and then leaving again. Kinda breaks up the flow, but I guess David thought it was important, and he’s running out of room for cutaways.
Alrighty. Foreigner has escaped ito a trap door under the bed, into a private gym, which Spidey follows him into. They face off, and then Foreigner seemingly vanishes, only to appear behind Spider-Man and swinging.
Alrighty. Cops are zooming toward this fight, and Silver Sable sees them from the back of her car, and tells her driver to follow. Spiey and Foreigner keep at it, Spidey webbing his foe’s hand, then Foreigner using that to appear behind him and start choking him to death.
There’s a splash of the significant number of police helicopters, cars and snipers now arrayed around the alley.
That is absurd. I don’t buy that at all.
The photos show Keating ripping the bars down in Blaze’s cell. How? We may never know. Spider-Man’s clear now, but Felicia has disappeared. Spider-Man looks for her, but then just goes home. Changing in his bathroom, he hears activity in the living room.
I was hoping David could bring his own story in for a better landing the the Hobgoblin one, but this sucked, too! I have to assume a lot of rug was pulled out from under him. The fact that TAC ran so much filler, the fact that there are 4 issues by other people between him and his last 3 issues on this title, and the fact that Peter had already proposed to MJ when this came out, probably really messed up his plans. But even so, yuck! A grim assassination of Silver Sable’s character out of nowhere! She didn’t deserve that. Felicia’s flip flop routine at least ties up the loose ends, but not in a way that’s terribly satisfying. I guess it does give Michelinie a LITTLE to work with when she comes back in ASM 316 and gets so upset to find Peter married that she vows revenge, but not really, that plot still rankles me. I guess this is just a time for disappointments in the Spider-Titles. Never has this line been in such free fall. This is nuts. A quick look at the stretch of a year’s worth of issues around this Gang War thing tells the tale.
Spectacular 119-130: Peter David has his Black Cat/Foreigner plot spinning up, but there are 5 fill-in and 2 unrelated one-off stories by David in these 12 issues. More than half this year’s worth of books is off topic.
Web 19-30: David Michelinie is doing the briefly mandated globe trotting adventure of this title, but only for 5 issues, with a fill-in in the middle, followed up 4 fill-ins and then Priest doing 2 issues of clean-up after Gang War. 5 fill-ins and 2 issues just trying to make sense of the ridiculous developments in ASM during this year’s worth of books.
ASM 281-292: 3 issues of the DeFalco run, then he’s fired and Priest scripts 6 issues for fill-in artists, then Peter David brings The Hobgoblin thing to a crash landing, then Michelinie appears to hurry through the recently mandated wedding of Peter & MJ. 4 writers in 12 issues, the main one not getting to finish his long-running story.
And then, as we know, Kraven’s Last Hunt and The Mad Dog Ward take over all 3 books for 4 months, derailing what was going on in ASM and preventing the other 2 books from finding their footing. Web doesn’t have a regular creative team again until issue 47! It’s the exact same length of time Adjectiveless Spider-Man goes without a regular team in the 90s and almost the same numbers, even, from 25 to 47 vs 24 to 46! The patterns you see doing this are crazy. But, with this, we’ve completed the 80s. Now it’s only early 60s and mid and late 90s left to cover, which is a pretty wild spread of time. Next time, we return to 1993 for some… probably very weird comics…