Spectacular Spider-Man annual #10
Issue(s): Spectacular Spider-Man annual #10
Dan Cuddy - Assistant Editor
Instead, Ant-Man is gone from the picture altogether, and Spider-Man just goes home to Mary Jane.
So we're subjected to a couple pages of Honey I Shrunk The Kids gags to the tune of Stan Lee's scripting...
...and then Spidey requests that MJ take him to Harry Osborn.
Huh? Harry Osborn? I agree with the silhouetted Psycho-Man; i don't care how many Harry Osborns you throw at a problem; he's not going to solve it. I know Harry studied science in school along with Peter and Gwen Stacy, but i thought that was just to give him the basic skills he'd need to run his father's company. Harry is a (mentally unstable) businessman, not a scientist in a lab coat.
Ok, that shut me.
What about the secret identity issue, though? Does Harry even wonder why Mary Jane would be bringing Spider-Man to him? For that matter, does Psycho-Man now know Spidey's ID? I guess he wouldn't care.
Harry's investigation is cut short due to some unrelated nonsense.
Spider-Man helps with that...
...but the delay prevents Harry from doing anything to help Spidey (whatever that would have been), and Spidey winds up in the Microverse, which Harry apparently knows about. I guess to his credit he's been keeping up and read about it in whatever super-science journal Reed Richards published his report in.
Spider-Man continues to shrink as he enters the Microverse...
...and eventually becomes a prisoner of the Psycho-Man.
A complete waste of 25 pages, in my opinion.
The first back-up, when it was reprinted in one of my Todd McFarlane Legends trades, was described as being "rare". This comic was not rare (and you can buy it right now for $1.35 online, less than its $2.00 cover price without even adjusting for inflation), but i guess the story is rare in the sense that few people delved deep enough into this annual to find it here.
Nothing happens in this story. Hobie Brown, aka the Prowler, is taking tae kwon do lessons from his older brother Abe, but Hobie refuses to show his brother respect.
Then, with the construction job that Hobie's been working at having winded down (and there is no mention of the mystery from last year's Prowler story even though this is also written by Glenn Herdling), the Prowler decides to take Silver Sable up on a job offer she made to him earlier.
He has to fight the White Ninja...
...who turns out to be Hobie's brother Abe.
And the whole thing turns out to be a test set up by Silver Sable to teach the Prowler some humility.
The Prowler hasn't really appeared enough times, with enough prominence, for him to develop much of a personality, so his little character arc here doesn't feel all that significant. At first i wasn't too impressed to see him get beaten by his non-powered older brother, but i totally missed the fact that this is that Abe Brown, of the Sons of the Tiger. What a weird revelation. Thanks to Vin in the comments for pointing it out.
One thing is for sure: Todd McFarlane sure liked his costume design.
The next back-up continues the Sandman story. It begins with the Wizard and the Trapster showing up to recruit Sandman back into their group. Wizard really ought to prioritize getting that incredible shrinking helmet off his head; it's crushing his skull.
Sandman is not interested in rejoining, so the conversation quickly turns to whether or not the Sandman is going to turn on his former teammates.
Sandman agrees to look the other way. But the Wizard later tells the Trapster that when they're ready to make their big move, they'll call the police on the Sandman to get him out of the way anyway.
Meanwhile, the problems in the Cassada household, where Sandman is boarding, continue. Conveniently enough, the son, Carlos, has wound up in a situation where some friends of his are robbing liquor stores, and the police want him to help with their "investigation". Continuing the clumsy parallel, Carlos participated in one of the jobs a few years back. Sandman can't convince Carlos to decide what to do.
This causes Sandman to change his mind regarding his decision to look the other way for his former Frightful Four pals.
The Wizard tells the Sandman that if he turns them over to the police, the Wizard will reciprocate, but Sandman threatens him by saying that if that does happen, they'll wind up in the same prison and that wouldn't work out well for the Wizard. That's probably not true, since the Wizard and Trapster were sent to Ryker's while the Sandman would probably go to the Vault. But it does seem to do the trick. However, Sandman took too long in getting his own act together, because by the time he gets back to Carlos, tragedy has struck.
The story here was much weaker than the first part. Heavy handed, and without any of the fun banter between the Sandman and the Thing that made the first part fun (i do like Sandman's "Harry Hipboots" nickname for Petey, though). And the art is disastrous. But i still find the Sandman to be a more compelling character than anyone else in this annual.
The final story is about Rocket Racer, who starts off fighting some guys called the Pack Rats.
One of them disables the cybernetic connection between Rocket and his skateboard.
Rocket is on an assignment for Silver Sable. Thanks to a word from one of Silver Sable's administrators, the unpleasant Mr. Sluganski, Rocket gets some help from a local sheriff.
It turns out that the Pack Rats are after the weapons that were left outside the Bar With No Name right before the Scourge massacre.
The idea is that the villains that were killed by Scourge hid their weapons outside the bar before going in for the meeting. In the actual Cap issue where the massacre happened, we saw that they were scanning villains for weapons before they came in. The Cap scene actually made a point of saying they were really just trying to prevent people from bringing in guns, since that's what Scourge used and since it obviously wasn't possible to prevent people with inherent powers from coming in. But that doesn't preclude the idea that some of the villains would have hidden other weapons outside anyway.
The Pack Rats do get some weapons.
I guess one of the Rats' name is Hubie. For one brief second, i thought the guy was calling his partner "hubbie", and i was impressed.
I guess that's Cyclone and Bird-Man's powers we're seeing.
Rocket Racer, having protected himself against their ability to disrupt his cybernetics, is able to take the Pack Rats out.
The running theme behind the issue is that the Pack Rats are teens like Rocket, who also had some trouble with the law. But the Pack Rats are completely unsympathetic and one dimensional. Rocket still holds out hope for them.
Note that Rocket Racer's next appearance will be very prestigious, a back-up in a reprint book.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: For Spider-Man, continues directly from Amazing Spider-Man annual #24 and directly into Web of Spider-Man annual #6.
Crossover: Spidey's Totally Tiny Adventure
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAbe Brown, Carlos Cassada, Ernie Sluganski, Harry Osborn, Mary Jane Watson, Mindy McPherson, Paste Pot Pete, Prowler, Psycho-Man, Rocket Racer, Rosa Cassada, Sandman, Silver Sable, Spider-Man, Wizard
Isn't Abe Brown one of the Sons of the Dragon and one of the wielders of the jade amulets utilized by the White Tiger?
P.S. I still can't forgive BMB for killing Hector Ayala in Daredevil and then doing nothing with his replacement.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | May 1, 2015 2:35 PM
Wow, i totally missed that it was that Abe Brown, even as i put his name in. Thanks Vin. That does put a different spin on things.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 1, 2015 2:49 PM
In Web of Spider-Man 67, Harry remembers that Peter is Spider-Man, although Peter doesn't find out that issue. I always assumed this issue took place after Web of Spider-Man 67, and Harry had told Peter that he remembered by the start of this story.
Posted by: Michael | May 1, 2015 9:25 PM
Rocket Racer, Sandman, Prowler... these back-ups seem to be building up the characters Spidey will gather as a team in an upcoming story. Something with killer bugs and the Avengers, I think?
Posted by: Berend | May 1, 2015 10:14 PM
I don't normally point out the typos, but I the notion of the Silver _Surfer_ offering Prowler a job just tickled me.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | May 1, 2015 11:29 PM
Glenn Herdling had plans for Calyspo that Todd McFarlane would use in the upcoming Spider-Man book. As a thank-you he did the art for the next Prowler story.
Posted by: Tenzil | May 2, 2015 12:02 AM
@Erik - fixed it; thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 2, 2015 1:07 AM
Ross Andru did the art on that Sandman backup? Huh. Not much left of the style I liked so much on his classic Spider-Man run. Things change, I guess.
Posted by: JP | May 14, 2015 10:48 PM
This one was rough pretty much all-around. The Harry thing made no sense whatosever..the Rocket Racer story was terrible.. the Prowler stuff was interesting only for the McFarlane art/ Spawn connection.. I too probably liked the Sandman story the best but it is a drop-off from the dream team of DeMatteis and Zeck.
Posted by: RikFenix | May 28, 2016 5:16 PM
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