The Small Lebowski:
Web of Spider-Man #13
Issue(s): Web of Spider-Man #13
It turns out the guy was a con artist and a criminal that just got scared when he saw Spidey. Ben Urich eventually ferrets that out. But before the new information gets to J. Jonah Jameson, Spider-Man decides he's had enough with the bad press from the Bugle, so he confronts JJ.
Spider-Man backs away when JJ tells him that if he punches him, he'll be as bad as JJ says he is. So Spidey leaves. And when Joe Robertson shows up with the info from Ulrich, JJ agrees to run a retraction. He then says that because he runs the retractions, he's not as bad as Spider-Man claims.
Jonah's justification falls flat to me, and so does the overall effort from Peter David to make this a matter of perspective. Maybe it's because we know Spider-Man so well that we'd never accept a version of him where he's deliberately chasing people to their death. But also just the way the story is structured, Spider-Man is shown trying to stop the truck that's about to hit the guy, and it's nearly impossible to twist that into anything else (the article says "Some say he used his 'webline' to pull the truck... to make certain Corbett was struck" but that just doesn't make sense).
I'd love to see a story entirely from the perspective of someone who didn't know Spider-Man and genuinely thought he as a criminal, but PAD doesn't fully commit to telling that kind of story so this doesn't entirely work.
I'll also note that this story continues the period where Spider-Man is enraged (and wearing his black costume here), despite last issue's seeming desire to revert him to a buttoned-up "normal".
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this before Secret Wars II #7 and the Puma tie-ins in Amazing Spider-Man #273 and Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #111.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): show
The unobscured background on the cover appears in Comics Interview #36.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 5, 2014 1:34 PM
Spidey saved Jonah from the Kingpin during the Kingpin's first appearances (ASMs #50-52). I originally interpreted the "heart attack" reference to be a callback to ASM #70, but that heart attack was not fake, and it was also not the most recent time Spidey and Jonah have had it out.
Posted by: TCP | August 1, 2014 11:49 AM
Thanks TCP. I've added the reference to ASM #51-52.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 2, 2014 1:34 PM
It's pretty weird for a newsperson to think that correcting false information - that they're responsible for - is optional, and that they should be commended for it. People pay far less attention to corrections than headlines.
Posted by: cullen | August 2, 2014 4:52 PM
A story about some jackass who out of nowhere attacks Spider-Man -- shooting at him as he swings by in public, or assaults him while he's trying to save lives, causing a big distraction -- would be interesting. A sort of inside-out version of CIVIL WAR's Stanford Incident, with civilians causing a catastrophe rather than a super-hero being to blame.
Posted by: AstroCitizen | April 16, 2017 1:20 PM
Publishing horrifyingly damaging bullshit about groups and individuals, and then skimping on the corrections is absolutely a real-life phenomena. JJJ is perfectly realistic faux-objective asshole who thinks of himself as champion of free speech. IRL, many of his ilk are way worse, and even more cartoonish. Google f ex "Hillsborough + Sun" if you really want to be depressed.
Posted by: Catherine | April 25, 2017 5:33 AM
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