Characters Appearing: Betsy Beatty Potter, Gladiator
Marvel Comics Presents #98 (Gladiator)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #98 (Gladiator story only)
Someone comes into his costume shop asking for a version of the Gladiator suit, except in all black, and with working blades. Gladiator makes costumes for costume parties and the like, so he refuses.
But the encounter has Gladiator feeling upset. Gladiator is married to Betsy nowadays, so he sees a different therapist. The therapist advises him to not try to make any further contact with the guy trying to buy his costume, but Gladiator finds himself unable to take the advice. He has the guy's address from his customer mailing list, and he sneaks into his apartment and finds clippings of crime reports as well as pin-ups of Gladiator and Daredevil. He later confronts the guy (and that's when the art gets weird).
The guy, unstable and depressed, goads Gladiator into nearly killing him, but Gladiator remembers himself at the last minute and goes home to Betsy.
It's not a bad idea to use these short stories to check in on villains and especially reformed characters like Gladiator. I wouldn't even complain that there isn't much of a story here; it's fine for this to just be a "day in the life" kind of thing. But the story isn't well-written or well-drawn, and it's weird how a mentally unstable, suicidal and potentially murderous Gladiator copycat is left on the loose by the end. It's worth noting that Gladiator has already had one copycat, in Daredevil #173. It's amazing how Gladiator of all villains inspires copycats.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Must be the spikes.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | February 9, 2017 1:56 AM
In fairness, the guy from Daredevil #174 wasn't a copycat, just a horrifying criminal sadist and rapist who happened to look exactly like Melvin Potter.
As to this Gladiator copycat, I suppose there's some logic in it, since Potter got his start when he decided that a good costume was all it took to become a supervillain and was sort of a "super-person copycat" himself.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | January 20, 2018 9:28 AM
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