Friday, April 01, 2005


Here’s a story from the “black costume” era, when the editors thought Spider-Man’s traditional costume wasn’t cool enough.

Stupid editors.

I liked the black costume okay, but it just didn’t feel like Spider-Man to me. How did he get the black costume? I'm glad you asked. During the Secret Wars crossover, Spider-Man gets this inky black alien symbiote costume that is like an oil slick that responds to his mental commands. When he comes back from the Secret Wars, he keeps the costume. The thing goes crazy and tries to possess or kill him or something, so he gets rid of it. Spider-Man thinks the design is fabulous so he makes some replica costumes with the same design. Meanwhile, the alien costume grafts on to a psychotic felon named Eddie Brock, and the super-villain Venom is created to bore a new generation of Spidey fans.

I’m getting a little ahead of myself. This issue guest-stars The Black Cat, Spidey’s hot ex-girlfriend, who gets beat up by a bunch of “thugs” with Mohawks and headbands. I'm sure this scene served as grist for more than one masturbatory adolescent power fantasy. Anyway, guys like these thugs only appear in comic books and Jackie Chan movies. “Those bikers look tough! They use colored hair spray, listen to ‘rock’ and ride ATVs!”

Writer Peter David had a good run on Spectacular Spider-Man before moving on to The Incredible Hulk. His Spider-Man comics were a nice mix of light-hearted adventure and crime drama – a psycho named the Sin-Eater killed a major supporting character. Peter David is fond of puns and wisecracks (Some might say overly so: Remember "A brush with Death?" in the Hulk?), and so is Spider-Man, so the two were a good match.

Bad guys for this issue are The Foreigner, a Peter David villain who I always kind of liked because he was such a droll wise-ass, and Wolverine’s nemesis Sabretooth, who really goes out like a chump in this issue. Spider-Man shoots Sabretooth in the face with webfluid, covering his face with webbing. Sabretooth freaks out like a little girl and tears the webbing off - with his claws! He screams something like "AAAGH! MY FAAAACE!!!!" instead of "AAAGH! My healing factor!"


Mr E said...

I'm reading this in 2006 and see you didn't get so many comments back in the day.

As this comic is from my favourite Spiderman run (admittedly not much competition from the early 80s on) I thought it deserved at least one comment.

I love that Sabretooth wasn't so invincible when he first cropped up. Even Black Cat nearly took him. I always wished Spidey would appear in an X-book in the dry Lobdell/Niceiza years later and whoop Sabretooth's ass, leaving Wolverine saying "so that's how you do it..."

Felicity Walker said...

I’d like to see a scan of that Sabretooth sequence!

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