Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #56
Issue(s): Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #56
Jack O'Lantern breaks out of a prison hospital ward...
...that also contains Nitro and the Vulture.
He takes over the entire hospital with some of his henchmen. Aunt May calls Peter because Nathan is at the hospital, but instead of heading over there to comfort her, he heads in as Spider-Man and takes out the Jack O'Lantern.
Aunt May is very upset that he doesn't make it over to her until much later, and they don't part on good terms.
Jack O'Lantern has a pretty similar MO to the Green Goblin, including using a little version of a hover-pad similar to the Goblin's glider. He goes on to become one of the Hobgoblins, and then the Demogoblin.
This issue also contains the conclusion to the subplot about Marcy Kane's sudden decision to wear head coverings. It turns out she's just not a natural blond. Kind of a weird little character arc for Peter's teaching assistant supporting characters.
Shooter is good with basic storytelling layouts but his art is serviceable at best. Although due to what i presume were deadline issues i'm sure this wasn't his best work. The "Jack O'Lantern in the dark" panels were pretty cool, but i guess that's more an inker/colorist thing.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue starts with Jack O'Lantern being rushed to a hospital, so it must not take place too long after Machine Man #19. This issue takes place during a downtime interval in Amazing Spider-Man #218 according to a footnote in that issue. Due to that and some other similar references, i've got Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #54-56 occurring concurrently with Amazing Spider-Man #216-218.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAunt May, Chris Keating, Debra Whitman, J. Jonah Jameson, Jason Macendale, Marcy Kane, Nate Lubenski, Nitro, Phillip Chang, Spider-Man, Steve Hopkins, Vulture
I didn't even know Jim Shooter was an artist.
Posted by: EHH | August 19, 2012 1:11 PM
Shooter also penciled some early issues of Valiant under the name of Paul Creddick.
Posted by: Chris | February 26, 2013 11:07 PM
For someone that isn't really a proper artist, that's some decent art by Shooter
Posted by: JSfan | March 16, 2015 8:19 AM
I wouldn't rave about the art here, but it's quite serviceable, and one can recognise who Peter, Aunt May and so on are, they're drawn 'on model'. Certainly not a case of Shooter doing the art solely because he was the boss, he did have some artistic ability. Maybe he'd have been better for pencilling Secret Wars II than Al Milgrom. He couldn't have done much worse...
Posted by: Harry | June 22, 2015 8:05 PM
One of the first Spider-Man issues I ever read. The fight scene with Jack is probably the most fun example of Spidey completely outclassing an opponent, who's bewildered and then terrified by his speed and strength. I can see that would get dull if it happened a lot, but I do equally get a little annoyed when Spidey has too much trouble with a lame opponent. (Come to think of it, Stern and Shooter both wrote Spidey as about as powerful as he'd ever seem, maybe throw DeFalco in there too for the going-a-bit-too-far-in-the-other-direction defeat of Firelord.) Having since read the Conway, Wein + Wolfman runs, where Pete often seems barely superpowered at all, Stern's return to a more powerful Spidey seems very welcome. On a different subject, I never got the Marcy Kane subplot either, but my best guess was they wanted to change her from blonde to make her less obvious a Gwen Stacy sequel. (Both were introduced as icy blondes who saw Pete as a coward.)
Posted by: Jonathan | July 18, 2015 7:52 AM
And rather oddly, DeFalco then turns around and treats Jack O'Lantern like he can stand up to Spider-Man in a straight fight. Jack was his co-creation, of course.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 2, 2015 9:12 AM
I think you have Phillip Chang incorrectly tagged as Philip Barnett here.
Also, I believe you're right about the subplot with Marcy Kane originally being planned as her having lost her hair to chemotherapy. Even this issue with the big reveal looks like the artwork may have been done when that was still the plan and her natural hair was just slowly growing back.
Posted by: Dan H. | July 6, 2017 12:33 PM
Fixed Phillip's tag. Thanks Dan.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 20, 2017 2:46 PM
Shooter has redesigned Jack'O'Lantern's mask to make both eyes the same size. The original mask design in Machine Man #19 had asymmetrical eyes.
Posted by: Holt | April 27, 2018 8:01 PM
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