The Small Lebowski:
Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #58
Issue(s): Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #58
This issue features the Ringer as the main bad guy.
He's forcibly drafted by the Beetle to attack Spider-Man.
The purpose of the attack from the Beetle's point of view is simply to record data on Spider-Man's fighting style, but the Ringer doesn't know that. The Beetle is treated as a real top-level villain in this issue, at least relative to the Ringer, who is depicted as a joke.
The Ringer previously appeared as an anti-capitalist thief who tried to steal from Kyle Richmond. He's just a high level thief and he knows it and he doesn't want anything to do with super-heroes. He's only attacking Spider-Man because the Beetle is forcing him to. Still, it's quite funny to see Spider-Man fighting someone that he can handle so easily. Spider-Man even takes a break from the fight to go on a date with Debra Whitman.
He's finally mending his relationship with Debra and treating her like a human being.
The Beetle previews his new costume this issue. His original was so bizarre that it's kind of a shame to abandon it, but the new one is definitely more practical. I didn't realize that John Byrne was responsible for its design (at least i assume that's the case).
Also in this issue, Peter Parker gets a new student. Greg Salinger. He's actually the Foolkiller, so his complaints about the "fools at registration" are a concern.
And there's a coda to the plot with Marcy Kane and the head coverings, as the other TAs and their professor pass judgement on Steve Hopkins for exposing her secret.
Fun stuff. This book goes from a "good, but..." to a top quality book when John Byrne is added on art.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBeetle, Debra Whitman, Foolkiller (Greg Salinger), Marcy Kane, Morris Sloan, Phillip Chang, Ringer, Spider-Man, Steve Hopkins
Characters on bottom of first page: Crazy Harry from "Funky Winkerbean" and Zonker Harris and Mike Doonesbury from "Doonesbury".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 28, 2014 6:32 PM
"They're both sneaking in to grab the updated costumes the Tinkerer has been working on."
Posted by: clyde | March 15, 2015 8:05 PM
Byrne's Spider-man was just so bloody good in the 80's!
Too bad he never got Roger Stern to work with him on Chapter One - maybe it could have been what Ultimate Spider-Man became.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | June 25, 2015 11:54 AM
The Ringer still feels a little like the sort of human-interest villain the Defenders used to fight; how many other baddies would complain about the dangers to their dental work in the middle of a fight scene?
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 2, 2015 10:30 AM
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