Characters Appearing: Betty Brant, Flash Thompson, Harry Osborn, Kingpin, Liz Allan, Ned Leeds, Spider-Man
Amazing Spider-Man annual #17
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man annual #17
The story focuses on Peter Parker's high school reunion, but since we only really met Peter, Liz Allan, and Flash Thompson in the original stories, a lot of characters had to be made up for this story, and i guess i just don't like the retcons (Liz's husband Harry Osborn is at the reunion as well). The new characters just don't feel like they would have belonged in the old Lee/Dikto stories. There's a guy who was even nerdier than Peter Parker, a class comedian guy (who was apparently the inspiration for Spidey's wisecracks)...
...and a really sleazy insurance salesman guy who it turns out is trying to get noticed by the Kingpin.
The plot is about how the comedian guy is about to sign a contract for writing a children's show and the sleazy guy is blackmailing him over some sleazy stories that the comedian wrote earlier in his career.
The publisher of the sleazy stories also apparently had dirt on the Kingpin and a bunch of other people, so when he winds up dead a number of gangs go after his files. The dirt on the Kingpin apparently wasn't all that big, so when the files get destroyed the Kingpin isn't pleased with the sleazy guy since Kingpin would rather have had the files for leverage on the other people. The Kingpin sets up the sleazy guy for the publisher's death. But Peter is disillusioned by the comedian's selfish attitude.
None of the newly introduced high school alumni will ever be referenced again, and the dialogue is all a bit stilted, and the idea of a number of gangs fighting over the files of a soft core porn publisher strains credibility, so this really wasn't a great story.
We do have a scene with the Kingpin working out and there's just something about a naked sweaty Kingpin that i always enjoy.
I guess we ought to have at least one action shot of Spidey. Decent art by Ed Hannigan.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #85 and some time after the Hobgoblin raids on Osborn Industries. Beyond that, it's context-free.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
The Marvel annuals that year all had the same cover design: a shot of the title character surrounded by a thick black border. Most looked uninspired and Spider-Man's was really blah.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 26, 2011 11:04 AM
Is Kingpin wearing a thong in that scan?!? Of all his crimes, THAT may be the most horrible....
Posted by: Dermie | October 12, 2013 11:12 PM
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