Amazing Spider-Man #231-232
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #231, Amazing Spider-Man #232
However, a mysterious bulky figure busts through the construction zone where the Juggernaut was recently buried. We're meant to think it might be the Juggernaut, but it's really Mr. Hyde.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man's been moving up in the world as well. He's made himself two new Spider-Man costumes after his recent ones all got destroyed, including in last issue's fight with the Juggernaut. He's added back the "web pits", i.e., the webbing on his costume that ran between his arms and his sides in the earliest issues of ASM.
J. Jonah Jameson has Ned Leeds investigating the Brand Corporation because of the time when the Killer Shrike kidnapped Marla Madison for Brand, and Ned's wife Betty is worried about Ned going into a rough neighborhood. Peter decides to look after Ned as Spider-Man.
Ned is there to hear from an informant called Nose Norton about Brand.
But the Cobra is also a contact of the Nose, and he thinks the Nose is selling him out to Leeds. So he attacks, and Spider-Man jumps in.
Spidey wins pretty easily, but the Hyde shows up to extract his vengeance on Cobra.
Spider-Man's ankle is injured and Spider-Man has a hard time protecting the Cobra and saving surrounding bystanders from Hyde's attacks...
...so eventually he has to break off the fight, with Cobra in Hyde's possession.
Luckily he slipped in a spider-tracer, and he's able to track them back to Cobra's apartment later...
...where he stops both of them after a really tough fight.
Stern has been really good about putting Spider-Man through really tough battles. He does a great job depicting Hyde's menace (he's clearly had a goal of raising Mr. Hyde's status since he used him in Captain America, and of course he'll go on to use him in his Masters of Evil story in Avengers). Plus he's managing a lot of classic style Spider-Man soap opera stuff. And JRJR's art is great as well. It's just a really good run.
Quality Rating: A-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): show
A Spidey classic. Continuity wise dere's nothing really going on here dat's important for future reference or that you couldn't otherwise skip. That said Stern puts together a story that hits just about every note a Spidey story should and has a lot of fun in the process.
Posted by: JC | February 13, 2016 6:42 AM
I think Stern/JRjr is probably unparallelled. Why was it so short! And why don't they give Stern a book of his own, he still has it.
Posted by: PeterA | February 13, 2016 6:45 AM
Stern was essentially forced off the book by new incumming Spidey editor, Danny Fingeroth.
Agreed that Stern still has it. His Spidey one off specials are as strong as any monthly being written today. I'd guess it has to do with poopularity and hype constantly favoring the next new thing.
Posted by: JC | February 13, 2016 6:59 AM
I do not understand why the editors would not allow such a genius writer to just do his thing. It seems like he got messed with on ASM, Avengers & cap, at the least. As for popularity and hype, you'd think being Stern would be enough. His work on Superman was also the best thing to happen to that franchise in the past three decades. Boo comics for not putting Stern on the biggest books, or in charge as chief creative envisioner.
Posted by: PeterA | February 13, 2016 11:27 AM
My sentiments exactly regarding Stern.
I wrote to Marvel about replacing Mackie withStern; we got JMS and Jenkins instead.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | March 30, 2016 3:40 PM
Was Stern deliberately pushed out? What I've read is that he really didn't like Fingeroth as an editor as he felt they weren't on the same page and he was having to explain everything to him all the time and it was driving him crazy. Then Romita quit over the balck costume (he thought it would provoke a fan backlash and he didn't want to be associated with it) and that was the final straw. He didn't know who would be taking over on art so he quit too. He said that if he'd known it was going to be Ron Frenz then he'd have stayed longer.
Well, that's what I read in an interview with Stern anyway. Sorry, I can't remember where it was to link it.
It's a shame he left then anyway. He was great on Spider-man and I much prefer Frenz to JRjr, so I'd have loved Stern/Frenz on the alien costume era comics.
Posted by: Benway | March 31, 2016 7:03 PM
I read he left so he could work on Avengers, but who knows.
A striking aspect of Sterns run is that Pete is such an adult. As a kid, I responded more to this version than I think I would have to the "younger" Pete that we've had pretty much since the Byrne reboot.
Posted by: MindlessOne | April 22, 2017 8:20 PM
Fnord, I just referred to your rules link and it looks like the issue writeup in question is the proper place for stuff like this so: you don't have Phillip Chen listed as a character appearing, even though he's in the last scan you include here.
Posted by: Dan H. | July 6, 2017 12:24 PM
Between Stern's use of Cobra in this issue and PPTSSM#46 and Mantlo's use of him later, I wonder if the intent was to make Cobra a Spidey villain before Gruenwald ended up grabbing him for Captain America as part of the Serpent Society. Cobra's power set is very appropriate to a Spidey level villain. I've always liked the Cobra, but this period where the Cobra-Hyde dynamic overpowered everything was really killing the character. It was the same story over and over. Years later, Grunewald would thankfully resolve this and allow Cobra and Hyde to move on to be their own characters.
Posted by: Chris | July 6, 2017 2:12 PM
Added Phillip *Chang*. Thanks Dan.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 20, 2017 2:44 PM
This Stern run was incredible.........the darkness and posturing of the characters was right on point.
Posted by: Cinque | June 28, 2018 11:22 AM
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