This is maybe the least Sal Buscema-looking drawing since he stopped letting other people ink him. Very interesting. Inside, we pick up where we left off.
Spidey quickly learns even his biggest punches don’t bother these guys. The Shroud sets off a grenade in the van full of weapons, seemingly with him in it.
Shroud’s control of the masks only lasts a minute, and soon they explode out of his… shroud. You know what this is like? Cloak. Kind of redundant, these 2. Cloak’s a much more appealing character, tho. Anyway, it seems the masks have used up their hosts’ life energy to break loose, turning them into zombie skeletons, but then they completely run out of juice, and the masks start flying around looking for a new host.
I don’t get why the 3rd mask has gone dormant other than because there’s only 2 heroes. How’d Cloak, I mean Shroud get the mask off the 3rd guy? Ah, well, Spider-Man’s a bad guy now, and we cut away to Marla Madison on the phone with JJJ, who’s refusing to come home from work. The phone call ends in tears, and she calls someone else, saying she needs someone to talk to. Who could it be?
It’s funny how cyclical these things are. Once again, Spidey’s old news. Not that it’ll matter either way when Peter’s given up on life in a few months. Right now, he’s lost control of his life due to that mask, and while he’s shooting eye beams at Shroud, he gets pulled into the darkness. In his mind, various loved ones are mean to him, the usual, and there’s an oddly laced flashback to show us how this happened last issue. Spider-Man does a typical JM DeMatteis hallucinatory soul searching and triumph over despair in 2 pages instead of 6 issues and regains control.
“This isn’t glasses!” is pretty good. Spider-Man webs one mask into the other so they can’t possess Shroud, then takes off with the 3rd one, and the others chase him. He finds himself in a construction site, and ends up doing something not too dissimilar to his solution for The Juggernaut back in ASM 233.
Well, that’s ominous. The rest of this issue is yet another backup. I thought that would end with JJJ reintegrated into the main story. Maybe this is for Sal. We’re only 4 issues from him taking his only break on this title from 134-238, after all. Maybe he needed the break of not doing full issues, too. Well, this backup is drawn & inked by Malcolm Jones III and colored by Mike Thomas, and begins with Peter and MJ moving into their new place. They’re being helped (As much as they can, anyway) by Aunt May and his parents.
MJ wants Peter to see the attic has electricity and a skylight. It’s like a Spider-Man Cave.
I don’t think they can afford this. And yet, they do. MJ’s job dries up and Peter becomes “The Spider” and quits working and they don’t even lose the place. It doesn’t make any sense at all. They could only afford Harry’s place because he gave them a discount. Ah, well. Who cares, I guess. That’s it for this block. From here, it’s back to 1997. It’s crazy to me that it’s been over a year since the last visit. The Michelinie stuff maybe could’ve been broken up into 2 phases or something since it’s so very much longer, but that would’ve caused its own problems. Ah, well. Only one block of it left now. Hard to believe.