Web of Spider-Man annual #4
Issue(s): Web of Spider-Man annual #4
Peter Parker is in Florida as part of the tour for his Webs photobook. The housekeeper at his motel sets off his spider-sense...
...and he sets off something equivalent in her.
Meanwhile, the High Evolutionary has sent some of his Eliminators down to the Everglades to deal with the Nexus of Reality, but they accidentally set it off in a bad way.
This affects the Man-Thing, too.
The reason the Evolutionary has his troops there is because he says sometimes genetic pollutants make their way into our world through the Nexus, and that while most of the time they just die in Earth's biosphere, sometimes they adapt or find a host form and act as a mutagen, altering the composition of its symbiote host, "and, conceivably, even that of the symbiote's offspring".
So that's our origin for Poison, the housekeeper. Her real name is Cecilia, and note that she has a son named Carlos. The creature inside her is sentient and her name is Ylandris.
There's also a drug dealer in this story named Mr. Santo. And he's paid a visit by the High Evolutionary's Purifiers, and they sterilize him.
So i originally assumed that he was Carlos' father, but we'll see that's not the case below. After Mr. Santo, they move on to Poison.
Or try to.
After that, Ylandris decides she's going to go home, leaving Cecilia changed.
Another player in this story is the Slug. The Kingpin contacts him about the drug shortage they are having in New York. You have to love the Slug saying "I can asphyxiate a man in the folds of my flesh -- and have -- for less than that." The character is just ridiculous.
Here he is actually doing it.
The goal is to access the drugs that were being used as part of Project: Glamor in Steve Gerber's Marvel Comics Presents story. It seemed like all the drugs were burned up in that story, but there's actually some more stored in a locked refrigerator in the swamp.
Spider-Man's in the swamp fighting a combination of the Slug's goons and the High Evolutionary's Eliminators...
...when he sees Poison fly overhead to the Nexus.
But besides that, they don't interact while in their super-identities.
But Spidey does team-up with the Man-Thing, as much as one can.
At the end of the story, Mary Jane shows up at Peter's motel. Colorist Janet Jackson has apparently been ordered to engage in some de-nudification of MJ's too sexy string bikini, but couldn't she have picked a better color than grey?
Since Ylandris was able to go home, it's clear that the High Evolutionary's men's locking up of the Nexus was a bust, and of course they failed to sterilize Poison, too. So it's another bust for the Evolutionary that nonetheless has no bearing on his long term plans.
A back-up story delves further into Poison's background. Prior to coming to America, she was a Cuban student at Havana university. But she fell in love with a Soviet soldier named Vassily, and got pregnant. And that got Vassily in trouble with his superiors and he signed, or was forced to sign, statements saying that Cecilia seduced him and made him give her money and other favors. And that got her put in prison. She was bonded with Ylandris while she was pregnant.
We find her now tracking down Vassily, thinking she might kill him, but ultimately deciding not to.
Considering her origin, power set, and hooker's outfit...
...i can't say i'm too sad or surprised that she's only had a couple of appearances outside of Gerber-written issues. I'm also not sure why she's called Poison, since her powers are basically levitation and super-strength as far as i can tell.
Overall, definitely not a triumphant return of Steve Gerber or an important part of the Evolutionary War. Just basically an average comic.
I cover the Saga of the High Evolutionary back-up in a separate entry.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part eight of The Evolutionary War; West Coast Avengers annual #3 is next.
Crossover: The Evolutionary War
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showCarlos Cardinale, High Evolutionary, Kingpin, Man-Thing, Mary Jane Watson, Poison, Slug (Crimelord), Spider-Man
Marvel Age 64 announced that this would be the debut of a superhero named Bantam. He was eventually introduced in a Captain America Annual.
Posted by: Michael | July 31, 2014 9:16 PM
Could've used a lot more Slug.. and a lot less Poison. Nice art, though.
Posted by: RikFenix | June 6, 2016 4:40 PM
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