Web of Spider-Man annual #7 (Rocket Racer)
Issue(s): Web of Spider-Man annual #7 (Rocket Racer story only)
Speed Demon's lawsuit against Rocket Racer has been dismissed, and Speed Demon is unhappy about that. So he shows up and threatens to kill Racer in ten minutes.
So Rocket Racer flees, with Paris Cullins' art doing a good job depicting the speed of the race...
...but Speed Demon catches up to Racer and confronts him at the Radio City Music Hall.
Cullins' art makes a lot of use of two-page layouts. Not full page splash panels, just sequences that stretch across the scene. Again, it works really well at depicting the speed of the battle, but i have to compress the scans so that they'll fit on the site.
Rocket Racer gets a surprise hit in thanks to his Rocket-Punch.
Racer winds up knocking Speed Demon off a balcony. Racer finds that he's not sure if he's relieved or not that Speed Demon survives.
Rocket Racer's manager at Silver Sable's organization, Ernie Sluganski, tells Rocket that he's impressed with him, and gives Racer, who is worried about a "round three" with Speed Demon, a little pep talk. And Racer agrees, noting that he has the intelligence to upgrade his equipment to deal with whatever is thrown at him.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This can't take place too soon after Marvel Tales #242, since Speed Demon broke his leg in that story and needs time to recover. But i imagine it takes place before Rocket Racer starts working with Silver Sable's "Outlaws" in Excalibur #36. So i've pushed it back in publication time a bit.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Rick Remender has spoken before about working on a Rocket Racer story in which he goes up against some of Kingpin's men. He seems quite enthusiastic about it, actually... Having already had some designs done of Rocket Racer and describing himself as a bit of an old skate punk himself.
Of course, in my opinion, Rick Remender seems to be fond of using C-listers. His Dark Reign Punisher series saw Scourge of the Underworld victims resurrected and revamped to deadly effect, several of whom would survive into his Venom series (which I've always found interesting, seeing that Flash Thompson was almost a Scourge victim himself).
Posted by: Max_Spider | October 5, 2015 4:35 PM
It really does seem like Tony Isabella was at least soemwhat serious about a Rocket Racer series, too: he sets up a supporting cast with Sluganski and develops that relationship across the stories, and Speed Demon seems like he's being developed as the Racer's archfoe.
But this is the end of the Rocket Racer shorts, so either there was no desire to keep going in titles like Marvel Comics Presents, the "Outlaws" idea superseded this by making the Racer a "big-time" Sable operative instead of the stringer he is in Isabella's stories, or Isabella wasn't aiming for a series, but was committed to doing a professional job even with these throwaway backup strips.
Still, I like the idea that Isabella leans in to the Racer's C-List status within the Spider-Man corner of the MU, and the way the Racer is played as a relatively working-stiff kind of character, less a Luke Cage-style "hero for hire" than a sort of superhero subcontractor getting the jobs that are beneath the bigger names.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 5, 2017 8:38 AM
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