Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man annual #5
Issue(s): Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man annual #5
Jean DeWolff is also called onto the scene.
The issue takes a more serious look at street gangs than we've seen before, but the focus is really on "Ace", a former member of the Reapers.
His brother, Lorenzo Spencer, is still in the gang and is implicated in the murders.
Peter is teamed up with reporter Joy Mercado, recently recruited away from the New York Times. Mercado previously appeared in Moon Knight #33; this is her first appearance in the Spider titles, where she'll be a mainstay supporting character. The prosecutors need Ace to testify as a witness at the trial, and Peter faces off against Ace as Spider-Man. It turns out Ace has super-powers: he's fast and agile...
...and in some way is able to short out Spider-Man's spider-sense.
During the fight, the Dragons show up to retaliate against the Reapers. Ace declines to get involved, even to stop the gang violence, and one of the Reapers is shot. Ace decides to testify even though it means putting his brother in jail.
It's a well written story, but the plot is actually a bit thin. The art is a little more unstructured than i like. Moody and atmospheric, but not clear on the action (between that and the fact that every member in both gangs seems to be wearing a green jacket, it's a bit hard to tell who got shot). One thing's for sure: Mark Beachum sure liked drawing people's butts (i'm only giving you a small sampling).
To be fair, Beachum gets in real close on Spidey's butt, too.
I think this was meant to be a bit more momentous than it turned out, but it's still a good issue.
I also find it amusing being reminded that in the 80s, a tough black gang member would be depicted as looking like Prince (and i've read that Ace was based on what M.D. Bright really looked like) .
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this after Spidey's appearance in Avengers #258. Definitely takes place before the death of Jean DeWolff.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
Mark Beachum tended to be criticized in the Comics Buyer's Guide reviews column for his "obsession with the female rump". It would get much worse.
This annual was cited by Wizard magazine as a "Famous Worst" due to the villain's Michael Jacksonishness.
Did they ever determine how fast Ace was supposed to be? Spider-Man is obviously much faster than the average person, and it seems to me he'd catch up to Ace eventually(even with telepathic advanced warning).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 14, 2012 6:03 PM
When this story was first announced as a regular issue of Peter Parker, Golden/Beatty was the art team.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 2, 2013 1:17 PM
Peter David later stated that Ace was based on a poster of Prince in Jim Owsley's office.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 10, 2014 6:46 PM
What on earth is Jean DeWolff wearing there?
Posted by: Berend | March 6, 2014 12:08 PM
Mark Drummond's comment makes a lot a sense of the art. I looked at the images of Ace and it seemed like half of them were supposed to be Michael Jackson and half of them were supposed to be Prince.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 29, 2015 9:51 PM
Ace also has his own version of 'spider-sense' as during the fight Spider-man notices that he's beginning to dodge his attacks before he could possibly see them coming. He's an anti-spider-man in several ways. I guess he's supposed to be what Spider-man would have been with a different upbringing and experiences, so that instead of learning that "With great power comes great responsibility" he met a Vietnam war vet who taught him that great power using force to butt into other peoples' fights is wrong.
Posted by: Benway | April 7, 2016 10:08 PM
Was DeWolff on her way back from prom?
Posted by: MindlessOne | May 6, 2017 7:26 AM
As you'll see if you look at the References, in Spectacular Spider-Man 136, it's explained that she was wearing it for her date with Stan Carter.
Posted by: Michael | May 6, 2017 11:32 AM
As he drove out through the front door
Posted by: Mortificator | May 8, 2017 4:07 PM
Considering that this issue came out in 1985, the year of Prince's "Purple Rain", where he famously rode a motorcycle and wore purple jackets, it seems obvious to me that the motorcycle-riding, burgundy coat-wearing Ace is based on him and not Michael Jackson. Especially since he sports a moustache, like Prince did in 1985, whereas MJ never had one.
Posted by: Tuomas | April 5, 2018 6:49 AM
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