Characters Appearing: Captain Universe (Uni-Power), Dr. Doom, Dragon Man, Harry Osborn, Kingpin, Kristy Watson, Liz Allan, Loki, Magneto, Mandarin, Mary Jane Watson, Molten Man, Normie Osborn, Red Skull, Spider-Man, Wizard
Web of Spider-Man #61
Issue(s): Web of Spider-Man #61
He quits being Spider-Man, tossing his mask away.
The mask is found by the Wizard, who brings it to his Acts of Vengeance associates.
I see that Mandarin is wearing the ugliest of his many ugly costumes in this issue. Since he's still supposed to have amnesia (a point not raised at all during this crossover), i wonder if he's just finding these things in his closet and going "Well, I guess this is what I'm supposed to be wearing. Oh well."
Wizard decides that he's going to send Dragon Man after Spider-Man, with the idea that Dragon Man can sniff the mask and then hunt Spider-Man like a bloodhound.
Dragon man locates Spider-Man when he's in his civilian identity as Peter Parker, in the subway. Peter runs down the subway tunnel and is next seen in costume.
He could have just had a spare suit with him, but since he said he was going to quit that seems unlikely.
And we find out during the fight that Spidey can now rebuild a costume for himself from scratch.
Since he's cosmically powered, even the fight with Dragon Man is no big deal. But the surprising aftermath is that this time, the crowd of onlookers cheer Spider-Man instead of berating him.
Spidey, life wouldn't be such an emotional roller-coaster for you if you'd develop a little self confidence and not base your happiness on what other people think of you. But then i guess you wouldn't be Spider-Man.
The Wizard, observing this, worries that his cabal partners will find out that he's indirectly responsible for Spider-Man returning to action, so he slinks home.
Meanwhile, Dr. Doom is getting ready to use the energy he siphoned from Spider-Man last issue. The fact that he's talking out loud gives Lackey Loki a hint as to what he's up to.
Nice to see Doom getting a little respect by being called the villain that Loki felt was least easy to manipulate.
Later, Doom goes to actually transfer the power, but his machine has been sabotaged. If it wasn't for his forcefield he would have died.
Also in this issue, we see Kristy Watson for the first time in a while, still at a medical clinic but doing better with her eating disorder. And we also see someone trying to contact Liz Allan, to her dismay. It will turn out to be her step-brother, the Molten Man.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Spectacular Spider-Man #160 was the last Acts of Vengeance Spidey book. The next Spider-book is Amazing Spider-Man #329, but the MCP has Spider-Man's appearance in Quasar #7 prior to that. It's not necessarily a timing clue, but Spider-Man's gloves are still ripped at the beginning of this issue.
Crossover: Acts of Vengeance
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Doom talks about this Acts of Vengeance scheme like it's been a resounding success so far except where Spider-Man is concerned. Kingpin even backs him up. Are these guys really that delusional? As you've mentioned, the bad guys haven't been winning which is part of the problem with the crossover.
Posted by: Robert | April 6, 2015 3:02 PM
youre right. Acts of vengeance was massive failure for the villains. Not a single hero was killed as far as I know. In fact the only hero injured was Stingray getting knocked out.
Posted by: kveto | April 6, 2015 5:25 PM
What an odd reference to Nova Scotia!
Posted by: Mark Black | April 6, 2015 5:27 PM
Makes you wonder, could Acts of Vengeance have been done right in a way that was also a nice read? All the big bad guys teaming up and winning sounds like an awesome story, but slaughtering a host of B- and C-list heroes to up the stakes is not something I'd be very interested in.
Posted by: Berend | April 6, 2015 5:56 PM
I don't think it would have been necessary for them to murder people to make it a better storyline. That's more of the go-to for comics writers these days, not then. All they needed was to have the villains winning battles throughout most of the crossover, only to have the heroes win in the end. Sort of like the Masters of Evil attacking Avengers mansion story. As it is, the whole thing seems like an exercise in pointlessness. Do any of the villains come out of the crossover any better than they went in? Was anything gained? Was the reputation of any of the villains improved from this? There were some decent individual stories in the crossover but overall it seems like a wasted opportunity to elevate many lower-tier villains and to remind people why the upper-tier ones are noteworthy.
Posted by: Robert | April 6, 2015 7:51 PM
The problem is, the Masters of Evil wanted to capture Avengers Mansion. You can have them do that without killing. But the Cabal is specifically trying to eliminate heroes. Even if you do a whole lot of stories like the one where the baddies destroy the Hydrobase, or where Gravitron trounces Spidey, as long as the heroes make it out alive, the Cabal are still failing to achieve what they want.
Posted by: Berend | April 6, 2015 8:14 PM
Comparing Acts of Vengeance to the fourth Masters of Evil only show how much better that storyline was. While none of the Avengers did die, Stern did a great job building real suspense. Hercules, Captain Marvel, Black Knight, and Captain America were all knocked out, defeated, or almost killed at one point. The Avengers had to summon a lot of reserve members to hit back, and they still lost the mansion.
There was a real sense things were bad. In this crossover, the only time it seemed like things had gotten out of control was in one off comments and in Moon Knight.
Loki would have done better by pulling Zemo out of the volcano, promising to bring back his dad, and telling him to create a plan to go after all the heroes.
Posted by: Chris | April 7, 2015 12:28 AM
Perhaps the writers should've given the cabal a different goal. If they had wanted to make superheroes look bad in order to pass the Superhero Registration Act (Which they then could control thanks to having infiltrated the government or something like that) they could've had a whole bunch of wins, making them look much more impressive, without killing any heroes.
Posted by: Berend | April 7, 2015 12:35 PM
Most likely the artist (Alex Saviuk) just looked at the OHOTMU entry for the Mandarin for costume reference (which featured this costume).
Posted by: mikrolik | April 19, 2015 10:31 PM
@Robert said: "Do any of the villains come out of the crossover any better than they went in? Was anything gained?"
Well, I guess Chemistro benefitted from having his gun turned into some nifty palm-mounted blasters...but then Iron Man crushed his hands, so I guess that was a wash too.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 8, 2015 4:10 PM
Comments are now closed.
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