Amazing Spider-Man annual #23
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man annual #23
The basic plot here is actually pretty cool, involving Ghaur separating Tyrannus from the Abomination (after Llyra breaks him out of the Vault). The main goal was to add Tyrannus to the ranks of Ghaur's leadership team, but they also hoped to make use of the Abomination. Instead the Abomination goes out of control and Spider-Man and She-Hulk wind up having to fight him.
Before that, though, Spider-Man goes to the Daily Bugle to sell some pictures, but instead finds out that his wife has been replaced by some sort of giant haired contortionist.
I share Peter's astonishment over how she's able to get both of her boobs on display under her left arm while hugging him and also "smiling" at the camera.
She-Hulk also happens to be in the building.
I'm not sure whose behalf She-Hulk is here on. Would the DA's office send a representative to get JJ to apologize for an editorial that is in poor taste?
Homelessness is a sub-theme in this issue. It really won't have anything to do with the main story, although it very very weakly ties in to Tyrannus's schemes for future parts of this crossover.
Ghaur and Llyra perform the separation of Tyrannus and the Abomination, and the re-merging of Emil Blonsky into the Abomination, underneath the former site of Avengers Mansion. The theory was that the wiring there could handle a large drain of power. But that theory proves incorrect, and it causes a blackout in the city that causes She-Hulk and Spider-Man to go into action.
Like Mary Jane, She-Hulk is sporting about 30 pounds of hair on her head, and she's also got a costume that is one twitch away from a wardrobe malfunction.
Ghaur, Tyrannus, and Llyra slip away while the Abomination begins his rampage and She-Hulk and Spider-Man arrive on the scene.
I joked about Liefeld's storytelling abilities. They actually aren't that incoherent...
...but it's weird how he intersperses the fight scenes with just random stuff. Like maybe the plot said that Aunt May should be in the issue, so here she is for no reason.
And this similar garbage waste of space cutaway to the Kingpin, who is also not relevant to this story.
If you squint at those weird vertical panels, you'll see that in the first two, Ghaur has developed an interest in She-Hulk, so he follows her unnoticed, and when she gets knocked out during the fight (she's pulling her punches to avoid knocking Abomination into the crowd of onlookers)....
...Ghaur puts the mark of Set on her.
Spider-Man has to hold off the Abomination alone for a while...
...but She-Hulk eventually wakes up and unloads a gas tanker on him.
I love that they both just stand there and watch while the poor people on the boat that they threw the Abomination at struggle to swim to safety. And then there's She-Hulk's final line, which is boggling. She's not hurt as badly as some of the battered wives that she's counseled. Does that mean she's not hurt badly? That battered wives don't get hurt that bad? If the battered wives can take it from their husbands, she can surely take from Abomination... it's just a really weird comparison. And i won't even get into when she's supposed to have counseled all these battered wives. She's only very recently returned to law. I guess before she became She-Hulk?
Anyway, lost in the battered wives comparisons, she neglects to look into the odd snake-shaped bruise that Spider-Man points out. As Spider-Man swings away, there's a final reference to the homelessness with a Save Our Society billboard and then we cut away to Tyrannus helping Viper get out of jail.
Starting with the next part of this story, Save Our Society will be a front for Tyrannus to convert people into snake men, but he targets drug addicts, not homeless people. I guess they were actually doing both. The few comments about homelessness here still feel out of place. It's fine to raise awareness of the issue, and i guess that was all it was about, but it's weird how it doesn't tie into anything or come to any kind of resolution.
A lot about this story is weird, actually. The scripting is a mess and the art is pretty atrocious, worse than what we'll see / have seen from Liefeld on his next couple of assignments on X-Factor and X-Men. As far as a She-Hulk / Abomination fight goes, it's actually not that bad, though. And it's fun seeing Ghaur legitimately wanting to add to the ranks of his upper management with Tyrannus and Viper. There's no great story here but the pieces are moving along.
A ton of back-ups. First, a retelling of Spider-Man's origin from Amazing Fantasy #15 written as a lab report by a young Peter Parker trying to objectively deal with the death of Uncle Ben (but breaking down at the end).
Then, a description of Peter's Spider-Sense. A few potentially contentious points, including the idea that the sense does react to both non-active dangers and dangers from normally friendly threats (the latter a direct contradiction of Amazing Spider-Man #114 when Aunt May knocked out Spider-Man from behind).
There's also the idea that the Spider-Sense works like a radar, which wasn't really the case when Spider-Man was blinded and needed help from Daredevil in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #27-28.
It also confirms that the spider-sense should warn him if his secret ID is in jeopardy.
The next feature is a silly little story about Nick Katzenberg considering taking a room at Aunt May's boarding house.
He's really there to see if he can figure out how Parker always gets the good pictures of Spider-Man.
Aunt May eventually figures out he's not on the up and up and sends him away.
There's also a Spider-Man's Top 30 Villain feature and also a Spidey verses J.J.J., both by Fred Hembeck
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part four of Atlantis Attacks; part five takes place in Punisher annual #2.
Crossover: Atlantis Attacks
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
This is another of the Atlantis Attacks books I bought and the only one I liked. This is despite my disappointment that John Byrne didn't draw the interiors (he did the cover).
Posted by: Robert | October 17, 2014 3:07 PM
Is Venom #1 on that Spidey villain list? Or Doc Ock or Green Goblin?
As someone said at Spidey fan it's always neat whenever Mysterio or some other villain makes illusions of Peter's enemies show up. Usual it's the most popular ones/recently used with a few odd ones thrown in. So I'm thinking of that poll in context of the time period.
Posted by: david banes | October 17, 2014 3:39 PM
Green Goblin & Hobgoblin are joint #1's. Doc Ock is #2. Venom #8. Oddly, Dr. Doom is #4.
Posted by: Robert | October 17, 2014 3:47 PM
I get the feeling Liefeld just wanted to throw in a random panel of a morbidly obese Kingpin. Kind of similar to how McFarlane had been putting his own spin on the established Spidey rogues in ASM.
Posted by: TCP | October 17, 2014 3:57 PM
I really liked the cover, drawn by John Byrne and was disappointed to find Rob Liefeld did the interior art. However, it is interesting to see his take on non-mutant characters, since he seemed confined to the mutant corner of the Marvel U from this point onwards.
I do find it funny that the She-Hulk's skirt changed length from panel to panel. Unstable molecules, I guess? ;)
Posted by: Bill | October 17, 2014 4:34 PM
I'm sure I'm not the first to say this, but holy crap that art is bad. While I'm no Macfarlane fan, at least his art has a sense of proportion. I didnt expect to see art this bad till the mid 90s and thereafter.
Posted by: kveto from prague | October 17, 2014 4:38 PM
Didn't Dr. Doom appear a lot in the 80s Spider-Man cartoon? Could be why he took a such a rank up.
I mean if there was a poll in the 90s I think Kingpin would be really high up due to being the big bad of that cartoon. Well, Venom and Carnage would be #1 and 2 for sure.
Posted by: david banes | October 17, 2014 4:48 PM
The Doom appearance was just for the joke that went 'you can't really be a major superhero if Dr. Doom isn't in your list of top ten villains.'
Posted by: ChrisW | October 17, 2014 8:21 PM
During this issue, Ghaur uses his powers to force a Deviant who was careless into a molten vat. When I first read the issue, I assumed he was using his Celestial powers. It wasn't until after I read the FF Annual that I realized he was supposed to be using his powers to control the Deviant and force him to jump into the vat. It doesn't help that Liefeld's art made it look the guy was being telekinetically thrown, not mind-controlled into jumping in.
Posted by: Michael | October 17, 2014 9:32 PM
She-Hulk looks a bit gaunt. I know that readers were thinking that she was getting slimmer so it's a bit worrying! Man, I'd love to see Jim Shooter's notes to Liefeld if he was still EiC. I bet there'd be blue pencil marking all over the page.
Posted by: JSfan | October 20, 2014 7:25 AM
Am I the only one who thinks its funny that the guy noted for his overblown muscularity can't even get She-Hulk right?
Posted by: Ataru320 | October 20, 2014 10:56 AM
MJ doesn't have both boobs under her left arm; the lower one is actually an ineptly drawn ribcage.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 20, 2014 12:07 PM
If you say so! ;-)
Posted by: fnord12 | October 20, 2014 12:24 PM
The worst part is, the narration or dialogue says that the worker Ghaur punished is Lemurian, not Deviant!
Posted by: Thanos6 | October 20, 2014 8:02 PM
Spider-sense has to be among the most misrepresented superpowers. I like to think of it as a replacement for the six extra eyes of a spider, but it always ends up coming across more like radar or low-grade ESP. And, of course, there's the question of how and when it triggers at all...
Posted by: TCP | February 17, 2015 3:56 PM
Admission: the first pic of She-Hulk in this annual isn't that bad...for Liefeld anyway. The hair being pulled back and the high heels seem to obscure his typical problems. But aside from that, its just more of a mess, with him trying to copy the McFarlane/Larsen "huge hair-huge lips" for the girls and somehow making Abomination into a furry...as if that was even possible for a gamma being.
Posted by: Ataru320 | July 18, 2015 7:40 PM
I know it's just a joke, but it seems out of character for Jameson to make that homeless editorial; he seems consistently politically liberal.
Posted by: MikeCheyne | November 23, 2015 2:25 PM
Liefeld's art in this issue is... mostly bad. I like the fight scenes and it's early enough in his career that we don't see too much hidden feet/huge muscles weirdness yet, but the characters all look weird. They have too many small lines on their faces. It's like they're wearing plastic masks of their faces. That's my personal Most Terrible Liefeld Flaw. Even She-Hulk isn't immune to that. (the rest of her is pretty ok though compared to everyone else) There's a panel where the Abomination is horribly out of proportion, with a head that's way too big. I liked the story, though.
Posted by: Nate Wolf | September 1, 2017 5:01 PM
Liefeld had previously drawn the figures for the Zodiac entry in the OHOTMU Deluxe Edition's final "Book of the Dead" issue. (For that matter, Jim Lee penciled the Eel's entry in an earlier Book of the Dead Handbook issue.)
Posted by: Omar Karindu | September 1, 2017 7:51 PM
Liefeld drawing my favorite character, She-Hulk, awful. Just awful. How can that guy have been PAID for this? I will never understand it.
Posted by: will | December 10, 2017 1:02 PM
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