Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #21
Issue(s): Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #21
It doesn't (seem to) work, but it does (seem to) heal him and make him stronger, so he goes after JJ again while Peter happens to be at the Bugle looking for work.
During the fight, Spider-Man concludes that the Scorpion's problems and newfound strength are all in his head.
Mantlo continues to keep a focus on subplots, with Peter and MJ talking after Peter's recent rejected proposal, and Holly Gillis refusing to talk with Hector Ayala after learning that he's the White Tiger. We also see Peter actually focusing on school, an apparent reaction to complaints that not enough time was spent on Peter himself in a book nominally devoted to him.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Considering the reference to Rocket Racer costing Spidey his sleep, this must take place during or soon after the run of Amazing Spider-Man #182-185. Peter is shown taking classes in this issue, which would suggest placement before his near-graduation in ASM #185. It's for this reason that the Index and MCP place the second story in ASM #185 after PPTSSM #21-23 and Marvel Team-up #72.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showFlash Thompson, Glory Grant, Holly Gillis, J. Jonah Jameson, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Mary Jane Watson, Scorpion, Sha Shan, Spider-Man, White Tiger
On the lower right corner of the front cover, somebody(probably Terry Austin) added a figure dressed like Kid Colt. It's miscolored on the regular comic, but you can see it in the Essential version.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 11, 2016 9:42 PM
I remember being struck by the scene in Ms Marvel 1 where the Scorpion says "This isn't a costume! It doesn't come off!" Very dramatic, but I was pretty sure it was not literally true. I think this entire issue was written just to refute that one word balloon.
Posted by: Andrew | November 21, 2016 5:42 PM
I haven't read this issue Andrew, but there were lots of abandoned Scorpion-related plot threads for Bill Mantlo to sew up after the Ms. Marvel issues #1-3. It looks like he did a pretty decent job.
In Ms. Marvel #1, in addition to the dialog you quoted, the all-knowing narrator (presumably Gerry Conway) says on p. 16, as The Scorpion is being "inundated by seething acid," that the Scorpion's costume is "grafted-on." Then exit: Conway, enter: Chris Claremont for Ms. Marvel #2-3.
Claremont doesn't seem too interested in Scorpion. Ms. Marvel beats him up in #2 and sticks him on the top of a statue, as visually misrepresented on the cover. Then she gets in a fight with Claremont's villain, the Destructor, completely forgets about Scorpion and abandons him there. We don't see what happens to him in #3, or again until here, in Peter Parker #21, where it's up to Mantlo to clean up the mess.
Both Conway and Claremont appear to have really believed that Gargan was stuck in a "grafted-on" costume, for what reason I don't know. It might be from a hasty reading and subsequent misunderstanding of Amazing Spider-Man #20, where Gargan refused to take an antidote without which he'll "never be able to change back again." Or it might be from ASM #29, where Gargan was seen escaping from prison while wearing his Scorpion suit (!) probably due to careless plotting by Ditko-- with a flimsy explanation provided by Lee that Gargan "outsmarted them by pretending to crack up."
Posted by: Holt | March 20, 2018 8:40 PM
Conway definitely didn’t think Scorpion’s costume was grafted on; Gargan is shown reclaiming the suit after being released from prison in Spider-Man 145, which Conway wrote.
Posted by: Andrew | March 20, 2018 9:28 PM
Posted by: Holt | March 20, 2018 10:38 PM
Comments are now closed.
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