Characters Appearing: Dominic Fortune, Elena Von Lundt, Kate Cushing, Sabbath Raven, Silver Sable, Spider-Man, Wolfgang Von Lundt
Web of Spider-Man #71-72
Issue(s): Web of Spider-Man #71, Web of Spider-Man #72
For these two issues, Danny Fingeroth returns to Dominic Fortune, who has been the subject of two of his prior fill-ins.
The Nazi Wolfgang von Lundt, alias Simon Steele, has his organization assassinating witnesses that can tie him to his Nazi war crimes. Among a pair of ordinary citizens, one of the targets is Dominic Fortune. Peter Parker runs into Fortune outside the cemetery where Fortune's son is buried. Fortune has bodyguards that protect him from the assassination attempt. Fortune wants Peter to access the Daily Bugle's records to look up information on Steele, but Peter refuses because he believes that Fortune will kill Steele and he doesn't believe in vigilante killing.
But Peter does look into Steele and winds up at the house of another one of the witnesses. He takes out some of the assassins.
But before he can go after the rest of them, he finds that Silver Sable and the Wild Pack are on the scene.
Spidey tags along with Sable as they go to another location, where Sable's mercs are defending Dominic Fortune from more assassins.
They interrogate one of the assassins to learn Steele's location. Dominic Fortune uses a smoke grenade to slip away from Sable and Spider-Man to get there first. He's distracted by Elena von Lundt, whose story is complicated and i will get to later.
Fortune draws a gun to kill Steele, while Spider-Man yells at him to not resort to killing. And Silver Sable pulls a gun on Fortune because she wants Steele alive (her organization's primary purpose is to hunt down Nazi war criminals, and she wants to interrogate Steele). Fortune hesitates, but Sable still seems like she's going to shoot, so Spider-Man knocks the gun out of Sable's hand. Dominic Fortune's old love, Raven Sabbath, then reveals herself, distracting everyone so that Steele can cause a plexiglass barrier to drop and escape with Elena and Sabbath.
It turns out that Sable was only going to use a tranq gun on Fortune, although with a man his age that may just as well have killed him. But Spider-Man's interference earns him the usual recriminations for being an amateur and she sends him away (Fingeroth's handling of Sable is actually very good).
Spider-Man then camps Times Square, trying to find a criminal to vent on, but he's defeated by improving crime rates.
Meanwhile, there are some fun shenanigans where Fortune is taken to a hospital and his bodyguards are seemingly distracted and he's assassinated, but it turns out to be all part of his plan to draw out Steele. But Peter hears about the shooting and thinks that Fortune really is dead, so he goes to Sable and eats crow, begging to join her on their final attack against Steele. And she agrees.
But Fortune gets there first, and he confronts Sabbath. Now here's all the background. The mystery behind this has been built up throughout Fingeroth's stories, where we first thought Elena was Sabbath and then wondered how Sabbath could have a daughter with Steele. Now we find out what's been going on. Right as World War II was starting, Dominic Fortune and Sabbath Raven had an argument, and when the war broke out they didn't have a chance to reconcile. During the war, Sabbath met Steele's brother, Heinrich von Lundt. Unlike Steele (Wolfgang), Heinrich was an anti-Nazi resistance fighter. So she fell in love with Heinrich. After the war they got married and they had a daughter, Elena. Heinrich was later assassinated by Nazis, possibly on Wolfgang's orders, and then Wolfgang married Sabbath, convincing her that it was best for Elena. Elena has since been raised as a sociopath while Sabbath retreated into her own misery.
Thanks to the intervention of Silver Sable and Spider-Man...
...Fortune gets Steele on the ropes again, but he decides not to kill him. But then Elena shoots her mother...
...and Fortune nearly changes his mind...
...until it turns out that Spider-Man caught Sabbath, who is ok.
Steele and Elena are arrested, and Fortune tells Sabbath that they can slowly try to bring Elena around. And in the end we see that Silver Sable does have respect for Spidey.
It's common for a fill-in story to bring in another character to focus on instead of the actual protagonist, but Fingeroth's use of Dominic Fortune is definitely better than, say, introducing a long lost friend of Peter's, and i like how it's been an ongoing story that he's been working in wherever he gets the chance. Some of the emotional impact is probably lost on someone like me that didn't read Dominic Fortune's actual appearances (since they take place outside the scope of my project) but it works well enough, and these issues also make good use of Silver Sable.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
fnord I bet you never thought you'd be mentioning Father Dowling Mysteries here...or pretty much anywhere.
Posted by: Robert | June 26, 2015 2:53 PM
I've always liked Dominic Fortune, even though I've only read his modern-day appearances.
Posted by: Thanos6 | June 26, 2015 3:08 PM
"Father Dowling Mysteries"! When I was a teen, I fancied the red-head nun from that show :)))
Posted by: Piotr W | June 26, 2015 3:57 PM
Elena Von Lundt has got to be the most incompetent henchwoman ever. In the Iron Man story she was punched out by a noncombat nerd and here she was defeated by an 80-year old.
Posted by: Michael | June 26, 2015 5:50 PM
So there's at least some historical establishment for when Slott has Sable fall for Peter during Ends of the Earth.
It'd certainly be a fun relationship to see play out. I don't recall Peter seriously dating a hardass before but it plays well off his moar laidback attitude when you think about it.
Posted by: JC | February 26, 2016 3:42 PM
Comments are now closed.
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