Spectacular Spider-Man #149
Issue(s): Spectacular Spider-Man #149
...and becomes a second Carrion.
Also in the journal, we learn that what had been described as a fatherly love previously was really a different kind of love altogether, which makes the scene from Amazing Spider-Man #149 where we see Warren having a naked Gwen Stacy clone all the more creepy.
Mary Jane is perturbed by Peter delving into all of this. She sees it as Peter still being obsessed with Gwen's death, and that obsession is the thematic hook of this issue.
Since this is a new Carrion, Spider-Man recognizes him but the reverse isn't true.
But despite having fought a Carrion before, Spider-Man is taken unaware by this one's red dust...
...and he's taken to the graveyard so that "Profesor Warren" can get his revenge on Spider-Man for killing Gwen.
Spider-Man defeats Carrion by leading him to the grave of Miles Warren. Surprise! You're dead!
Peter recognizes Warren and Carrion's obsession with Gwen...
...and takes it as a lesson for himself.
I don't think it was obsessive to search out the inconsistencies in the High Evolutionary's explanation, but i guess he knows he's still been harboring feelings (including guilt) for Gwen.
He also says he's going to "drop Carrion at The Vault" (in Colorado?), but you can see him walking off into the sunset without Carrion at the end.
It's nice to see Peter getting some closure on Gwen after old wounds were reopened due to the resurfacing of her "clone", but of course the main purpose of this story is to double down on the fact that Warren wasn't creating clones in the proper sense at all. I don't really understand why this was such an important thing to hammer home, especially since Mark Gruenwald's Saga of the High Evolutionary in the Evolutionary War annuals showed that someone (named as Phaeder, Maelstrom's father, in the Handbooks) was providing super-science help to various scientists. But i suppose we should thank Conway for trying, since if this had stuck it would have meant no Clone Saga in the 90s.
Also in this issue, the attacks from the Lobo Brothers on the Kingpin's operations continues, and this time we see an actual wolf is involved.
And Joe Robertson's trial has started, and it's not going well for Robbie.
Maybe he should have plead guilty the way he really wanted to?
A note on Sal Buscema's art. I like to watch Our Pal Sal's style evolve since he's been with the company for so long. So far with his Spectacular run i've been saying that it seems like a little bit of a regression compared to his Thor run. I've still been enjoying it and i think that it's great that Marvel had this as an alternative to Todd McFarlane's work; very different styles available on Spider-Man according to your preference. And it's not really a regression, per se; one thing that stands out in this issue is that, perhaps since Sal is inking himself, he's experimenting more with shading and depth. You can see it working pretty well in the wolf panel above, specifically the goon on the right. This splash with Peter daydreaming at his desk is interesting; almost a McFarlane-ish amount of detail on the pants.
And sometimes it doesn't work so well, like this panel with Glory Grant, which kind of hits that uncanny valley where the amount of realism is just enough to make it look wrong.
It's still nice seeing Buscema's art continuing to evolve, and i think it works more often than not.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Peter and MJ are staying at Aunt May's house, placing this after Amazing Spider-Man #314.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAnne-Marie Baker, Arranger, Carrion II, Cynthia Bernhammer, Eduardo Lobo, Evan Swann, Glory Grant, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Joy Mercado, Kate Cushing, Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man, Tombstone
Cynthia Bernhammer should be listed as a character appearing.
Posted by: Michael | September 13, 2014 3:43 PM
Thanks Michael. Wonder why the MCP doesn't track her.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 13, 2014 3:49 PM
the original Carrion knew that Warren was dead when he came after Spidey, why wouldn't this one? (Rhetorical question, of course).
Plus this Carrion was much wimpier, getting beaten in a single issue.
It does make more sense to have Warren in love with Gwen. Makes him seem more nuts.
Posted by: kveto from prague | September 13, 2014 4:05 PM
I think the idea is that the original Carrion had been awake for weeks when he came after Spidey, so he had plenty of time to find out Warren was dead. This one was only awake for a few hours.
Posted by: Michael | September 13, 2014 4:11 PM
There are actually a few lines in ASM#149 that strongly sound like Warren was in love with Gwen. But yes, there are other lines in the very same issue that declare it to be "fatherly". That issue was a horrible mess.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 13, 2014 5:53 PM
Kinda cool to bring the new Carrion to life (under Conway's pen, at that) in #149, like a call-back to the death of Miles Warren in ASM #149. I dropped comic books for the most part around this time...no longer available in my neighborhood. I keep buying Hulk after a year or so like that. The McFarlane Spider-Man issues are some of my last comics in high school the next year, as well as some JLI back issues. I'd never read the origin of Carrion II, and it's cool to see this evolved Sal Buscema work, too. By the time of the Clone Saga of '94 I'm coming back to some Marvels, and Sal's hitting on all cylinders by then!
Posted by: Cecil | September 14, 2014 3:24 PM
I agree with you about how it was nice that Marvel was providing more traditional alternatives at the time for Spidey fans while Todd was doing his thing over at ASM. I was a kid at the time but was much more into Web & Spectacular than Amazing. Part of that was the art but mostly it was because everytime I picked up Amazing it was something like Mary Jane has a stalker or the Christmas eviction issue. Not exactly superhero action-heavy stuff that would appeal to kids.
Posted by: Robert | September 14, 2014 5:35 PM
Great story, great execution, fantastic storytellling.
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | September 16, 2014 11:02 PM
I get a little bit of Frank Miller from this era of Sal.
Posted by: MindlessOne | May 29, 2017 9:46 PM
Carrion notwithstanding (since he was created by Bill Mantlo), I find it strange that Gerry Conway would be the one to retcon all this clone stuff, since he was the one who created it in the first place. Usually, I would expect Roy Thomas or Steve Englehart to be the ones doing the retconning.
Posted by: GreggM | April 3, 2018 9:23 PM
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