And now, Spider-Man’s going to meet The X-Men for the first time. But we’ve seen him meet them for the first time in X-Men 35, pretty definitively, so this isn’t going to make any sense. And he’s gonna get in another fight while he was meant to be glued to Aunt May’s bedside and too scared to fight anyone for her sake. This is just terrible. I’m really disappointed things have gone so off the rails on what was otherwise a fun series. This is actively detrimental to the original series instead of just adding new adventures. We open on Menace, a self-professed mutant robbing a bank with his matching blue skinned, pointy eared “Mutantmen.” And that’s just the beginning.
I mean, I don’t remember this at all, but I bet this guy turns out to just be using mutant hysteria for profit.
The reading order said all this is before page 3 of ASM 18, which is where we see Aunt May starting to do better. I guess the premise is Peter hadn’t become afraid to fight crooks until now, so last issue was ok. Doesn’t work for me.
While Betty’s being Betty, Peter and Liz have a very grown up conversation about their very different upbringings, Liz saying since her folks split up, her dad never seems to have time for her. Then, her choice, they go to a beatnik coffee house, and that’s where…
This doesn’t play too very well with the eventual revelation that Iceman is gay, but hey, being a teenager is a confusing time. Jean’s hair isn’t terribly red. Also, who eats coffee and fries??
A guy escapes Menace’s attack, and just as Liz is asking Peter if he’s still dating that older woman (Who Peter says isn’t THAT much older than him despite Stan saying she’s younger in the ASM 12 letter col), that guy runs into the coffeehouse yelling for help. The X-Men clear out to go help, and so does Peter, thinking he needs the money from photos despite… you know. Liza grumbles that Flash would never run out in the middle of a date as our man takes off. The X-Men send Menace’s goons packing just in time for…
So, the heroes burst in on Menace torturing a guy trying to get a safe open, and his goons reappear, so it’s fightin’ time. Spidey crawls into a vent as Menace retreats into the next room, hoping to catch him off guard, but instead catches him dropping his act.
Meanwhile, Flash & Jason come to pick up Liz, and she spots his Spider-Man costume. She warns him not to do anything crazy, Jason talks about what a coward Spidey is, Flash gets mad. None of this is really adding much to what Steve & Stan did. Back at the fight, Busiek finally gets ‘round to trying to line up with the original books…
Spidey throws Menace through the wall into the X-Men’s fight, and when Beast gets a look at his electronics, he tells Spider-Man to smash Menace’s wrist controls. Then all the Mutantmen short circuit, because they’re robots.
Spider-Man first met the X-Men very briefly in X-Men 27, when they invited him to join the team and he said no. Then of course, they all fought in X-Men 35. Both of those are well after this, but I guess this can sort of get by, largely because their meeting in X-Men 27 was so rushed they didn’t have time to make a big deal out of it. Still seems pretty weird. Well, now Spider-Man’s afraid to fight like he was in ASM 18, so how’s he gonna fight the Scarecrow? I guess we’ll see.