Amazing Spider-Man annual #19
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man annual #19
The issue is written by Louise Simonson and drawn by Mary Wilshire, and while MJ never gets into a Spider costume as teased on the cover, it is nice to see MJ as the star in an action-oriented book produced by two women. MJ is a captive of Alistair (along with her aunt) for most of the issue, but she still manages to stay level headed, delaying him and doing what she can to attract the attention of Spider-Man and/or the police.
Spider-Man does arrive in the end to battle Alistair.
This probably wasn't coordinated but in this year's Web of Spider-Man annual, Spider-Man ultimately defeats the guy in the exo-suit by using a water tower to short circuit the suit, which (being built by an adolescent science whiz), wasn't insulated. In this annual, Spider-Man tries the same thing against Smythe's spider-slayer, but it is insulated.
I have a lot of faith in Spider editor Jim Owsley, but i'm fairly certain that if that was intentional there would have been footnotes. Still a cool coincidence.
I managed to miss Alistair Smythe's appearances in realtime, but when i was in college, i watched the 1994 era Spider-Man cartoon (don't judge me!), and in the cartoon Alistair was a clean-cut articulate guy in a wheelchair. So imagine my surprise when i find him here to be a perverted, overfed, long-haired leaping gnome.
As you can see, the Kingpin terminates his relationship with Alistair in this issue, unlike their long partnership in the cartoon.
I've noted before that i like Wilshire's art but she didn't do a lot of in-continuity stuff. Her biggest runs were on Barbie and Red Sonja. But this issue shows that she could do superhero action...
...something there was less opportunity to show in her Firestar mini and her Power Pack guest appearance. Next up is a 3 issue run on New Mutants, but not much after that. I wonder why she didn't do more Marvel universe stuff.
We see a different side of Aunt May while she's alone with Anna and Mary Jane.
It seemed a little out of character to me at first, but i reasoned we don't often see Aunt May just talking with other lady friends.
I do love that Aunt May thinks Spider-Man is stealing her hat here.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Amazing Spider-Man #270-271.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAlistair Smythe, Aunt May, Aunt Watson, J. Jonah Jameson, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Kingpin, Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man
The reason why Smythe is in a wheelchair in the cartoon is because when Smythe appears next, he's in a wheelchair and has lost a lot of weight. We learn that when Peter lured Smythe into the power lines at the end of this issue,enough of the voltage got through to cripple him.
Posted by: Michael | August 21, 2013 8:01 PM
I watched that Spider Man cartoon too! I was only a senior in high school when it started though, so that's not quite as bad, right? heh
I was surprised by Alistair Smythe's portrayal in the comics too.
Posted by: Chris Kafka | August 21, 2013 8:14 PM
Before Marvel, Mary Wilshire had also done comics for National Lampoon magazine and some feminist-themed underground comix. Mary was lated quoted in Back Issue as saying that Jim Shooter's sexism was "legendary", so maybe she quit Marvel over him?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 24, 2013 2:27 PM
A bunch of very blatant Romita Sr redrawn faces in this issue.
Posted by: George Gordon | October 5, 2014 7:11 PM
I was a little kid when the Spider-Man cartoon came on and it was our religion at the time. Pretty flawed these days and I think Spectacular is the best Spidey cartoon but boy they did Venom right in that show too.
Posted by: davidbanes | October 5, 2014 8:22 PM
The 90s Spider-Man cartoon is one of the main reasons I am such a Spidey fanboy. I used to run home from the bus stop every day to watch it. I've never seen Spectacular Spider-Man, but I've heard good things.
Posted by: TCP | October 6, 2014 8:56 AM
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