Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #19-20
Issue(s): Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #19, Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #20
The original Ox was killed after a bizarre series of incidents where a Dr. Karl Stragg did a body swap with the original Ox, and eventually both Stragg and the original Ox died. It's not said here where the new Ox comes from, except that he's brought in by the Lightmaster. Saying that Lightmaster created the new Ox by working off of Stragg's notes might have made sense, but it's eventually revealed (i guess in a Handbook?) that this Ox is a twin brother of the original.
The Lightmaster has figured out that Spider-Man must be someone from ESU, so he sends the Enforcers to bust up the local coffee shop.
When Spidey shows up, Hector Ayala decides to stick around in case the White Tiger is needed, but that turns out to not be necessary.
However, since the Lightmaster doesn't see Spider-Man enter or leave the building, he concludes that Hector is Spider-Man.
That evening, Spider-Man listens in on the police interrogation of the Enforcers, but learns nothing, and unfortunately his bathroom ceiling caves in from leaving his skylight open during a thunderstorm.
The next day, Flash introduces Peter to Hector and Holly, and Holly makes some moves on Peter (her deal is that while she's interested in Hector, she doesn't want to be tied down, so she considers herself free to flirt with other guys).
Then the Lightmaster shows up to kidnap Hector.
Hector leaves his amulets behind, and he starts exhibiting withdrawal symptoms.
But Spider-Man is able to track the Lightmaster down and passes the amulets back to Hector. So when the Lightmaster tries to reveal to the world that he's got Spider-Man, he instead outs Hector as the White Tiger.
Spidey and the Lightmaster get into a fight, but the Lightmaster traps Spidey in a giant lightbulb, so the Tiger leaps to the rescue. By the art alone you'd think that the Tiger killed the Lightmaster, but according to the script the Lightmaster was the victim of a power overload.
Mantlo is actually doing a good job playing off of various elements of this series. Using the Lightmaster, focusing on the White Tiger (granted, his own character), and developing a supporting cast including Flash Thompson, Sha Shan, and Hector's not-quite-girlfriend Holly Gillis... it's all done fairly well. Mantlo does use the annoying device of saying that Peter didn't actually manage to get any pictures of the fight with the ex-Champions last issue, causing JJ to get mad at him. But besides that, all the downtime scenes are pretty good. I also like the use of the Enforcers as minor thugs for a bigger villain. It would have been nice to get an explanation for the new Ox - and why he looks just like the original - right off the bat, however.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Amazing Spider-Man #180-182 (#181 was an out-of-sequence fill-in).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): show
The Official Deluxe Handbook of the Marvel Universe from 1985-1987 is where the Enforcers real names and the Oxes' (Oxen?) real identities are confirmed. I think.
Posted by: mikrolik | April 30, 2015 5:13 PM
In #20, Holly Gillis identifies herself as Holly Jackson.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 11, 2016 9:39 PM
The Enforcers whole shtick is supposed to be that they're minor thugs for a bigger villain; the Big Man, Green Goblin, Sandman, and Lightmaster here. For some reason, people seem to see the Enforcers in a vacuum; just the three members against Spider-Man. Fancy Dan, Montana and Ox don't do stuff on their own; they work for a bigger guy (at least, if they're written properly, IMHO).
Posted by: mikrolik | March 9, 2017 7:00 PM
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