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1981-09-01 01:00:10
Fantastic Four #234-235
Box 17/EiC: Jim Shooter/1981
Thor #312-314

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #58

Issue(s): Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #58
Published Date: Sep 81
Title: "Ring out the old, ring in the new!"
Roger Stern - Writer
John Byrne - Penciler
Vincent Colletta - Inker

I've been complaining about the art on this book (two issues of Jim Shooter!), but this one has John Byrne, so that pretty much makes up for everything.

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+

Historical Significance Rating: 3 - Beetle gets his classic 80s costume

Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A


  • The Ringer and the Beetle meet at the Tinkerer's base, which has been guarded by police since Spider-Man "busted it up" in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #53. They're both sneaking in to grab the updated costumes the Tinkerer has been working on.
  • The Ringer previously appeared in Defenders #51.

Cross-over: N/A

Continuity Implant? N

Reprinted In: N/A

Characters Appearing: Beetle, Debra Whitman, Foolkiller II, Marcy Kane, Morris Sloan, Phillip Chang, Ringer, Spider-Man, Steve Hopkins

Fantastic Four #234-235
Box 17/EiC: Jim Shooter/1981
Thor #312-314


Characters on bottom of first page: Crazy Harry from "Funky Winkerbean" and Zonker Harris and Mike Doonesbury from "Doonesbury".

"They're both sneaking in to grab the updated costumes the Tinkerer has been working on."
So the police guard the place but didn't impound the hardware in it? Why would they leave all that valuable stuff just lying around? At the very least, it would be considered evidence in the Tinkerer's criminal proceedings.

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