Spectacular Spider-Man #176-177
Issue(s): Spectacular Spider-Man #176, Spectacular Spider-Man #177
The cover of issue #176 asks "Who -- or what -- is Corona?" and the answer is not a brand of beer imported from Mexico. Corona is in fact the sister of a scientist, Dr. Cedric Forrester. Cedric and his sister, Dagny (a name that makes me immediately think Ayn Rand), are from Europe, but they have expanded to a facility in the United States.
Peter Parker tours their cutting edge facility with reporter Joy Mercado, and Peter observes a document detailing an experiment with radiation that would require way too much water to safely perform. Corona (not yet revealed to be Cedric's sister) then attacks the facility.
When the guards find a way to subdue her and seem to be unduly rough with her, Peter steps in as Spider-Man to help her. She leaves, and Spider-Man follows, and she tells him that she is indeed Dagny Forrester, Cedric's sister, and claims that he experimented on her, turning her into what she is now. She claims now to just be looking for a cure.
Despite her sympathetic story, she doesn't come across as too sympathetic, due to the fact that she's a spoiled rich kid at heart.
Afterwards, people across the city, including Mary Jane and little Normie Osborn, begin to pass out after drinking tap water. Peter doesn't immediately make the connection to the notes he saw, but he does team up with Carona to attack the Forrester facility again, helping her get an antidote. However, when it turns out there is only enough antidote to either use it for her or analyze it to find a cure for everyone, a scuffle breaks out and the antidote is destroyed. And Corona mutates further.
Corona is again driven off by Cedric's security forces (with Spider-Man not being able to handle her). Cedric claims he's not able to make any more of the antidote due to lack of a rare ingredient, but Spider-Man brings Harry Osborn to the Forrester facility. Harry can theoretically create a synthetic version of the missing ingredient.
There's no direct indication one way or the other about Harry knowing Spider-Man's secret ID. But Harry acts very familiar with Spider-Man, especially after Spidey starts showing signs of illness. Spidey refuses to go to the hospital, and sticks around to fight Corona again while Harry and Cedric work on the antidote. During the fight, Spider-Man continues to treat Corona like a sympathetic victim, and makes a promise to her that if she'll help find the antidote, he will make sure that she isn't harmed or imprisoned. She agrees, but she is again repelled by Cedric's security team when she arrives at the building. Spider-Man chases after her, but his illness is taking over. The last thing we see is him making a phone call before he passes out next to the already passed out Corona. He wakes up to Harry Osborn administering a cure, and then Mr. Fantastic and the Human Torch show up.
Mr. Fantastic says that he'll try to help Corona, but Cedric shows up with a court order remanding her to his custody. His connections with the city, and the fact that he supplied the antidote, have ensured that there won't be any charges against him and Spider-Man, at least with Mr. "We don't buck the government" Fantastic around, can't stop him from taking Corona.
Despite being mostly a standalone fill-in, Kurt Busiek (or his editors) incorporate elements that reference the previous status quo (Spider-Man regrets that the billboards that Puma put up around the city while he ran the Daily Bugle are no longer in place, and public opinion is turning against him again) or set up future storylines (Harry Osborn is hearing voices).
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Mr. Fantastic is initially said to be unavailable but obviously shows up later; his and the Human Torch's appearance can take place in any break in their series. Henry Pym is also said to be unavailable.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBen Urich, Cedric Forrester, Corona, Harry Osborn, Human Torch, Joy Mercado, Liz Allan, Mary Jane Watson, Mr. Fantastic, Normie Osborn, Roger Hochberg, Spider-Man
I think you spell Corona's name wrong more often than right in this write-up.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | September 28, 2015 5:31 PM
Posted by: fnord12 | September 28, 2015 5:40 PM
The surprisingly rare miss from Busiek, I'll just go ahead and blame Danny Fingeroth.
Posted by: JC | October 7, 2015 8:49 AM
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