Amazing Spider-Man #161-162
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #161, Amazing Spider-Man #162
Practicing with Colossus and Wolverine in the Danger Room, Nightcrawler reads an article in the paper about the death of a former colleague from the circus. Wolverine destroys his paper, and acts like a really out-of-character ass.
Well, i say out-of-character, but this is technically (one of) Wolverine's creator(s), Len Wein.
Nightcrawler heads out alone to investigate the murder.
Peter and MJ are on a date at Coney Island when a second murder takes place. Peter ditches MJ, half-heartedly mumbling something about taking some pictures as he leaves. MJ is not happy.
Spidey sees Nightcrawler and they have their Misunderstanding Fight.
Then the Punisher shows up and the Misunderstanding Fight goes three-way.
The misunderstanding sorts itself out when a fourth party starts shooting at them. Nightcrawler goes his own way and Spidey and the Punisher Team-Up to investigate. They all meet up again at at local block party, which is threatened by a guy named Jigsaw.
Jigsaw was a thug that the Punisher once threw through a window, and now he's out for revenge. The Punisher says he doesn't even remember the guy. Despite the fact that Spidey gets himself captured, it's really not an even fight - two guys with super-powers plus the Punisher vs. a bunch of armed thugs. Nightcrawler and the Punisher disappear immediately after the fight is won.
Issue #162 is also the first appearance of Marla Madison, scientist co-conspirator against Spidey and eventual love interest for J. Jonah Jameson.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Uncanny X-Men #97-98. Pushing this back in publication time to allow ASM #163-164 to sync up with Marvel Team-Up #52.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Tales #214, Marvel Tales #215
Inbound References (3): showColossus, Flash Thompson, Harry Osborn, J. Jonah Jameson, Jigsaw, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Liz Allan, Marla Madison Jameson, Mary Jane Watson, Nightcrawler, Punisher, Spider-Man, Wolverine
FOOM#16 announced upcoming Spider-Man stories by Len Wein that Len never got to do--a return of Dr. Octopus, and a revamp of the Human Fly as the "Fearsome Fly" with an insect invasion. Marv Wolfman did bring back Octopus for an annual and he brought back the(unchanged) Human Fly, so I have to wonder if Marv was given permission to use Len's unrealized ideas.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 31, 2013 7:21 PM
Wait, Spider-Man teams up with a random character and they have a misunderstanding fight before teaming up? How is this not an issue of MTU?
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 15, 2015 1:40 PM
The whole thing is worth it for "goofy laughing Wolverine"; my dad had a copy of this (actually he had a huge run of Spidey from the mid-late 70s he kept somewhere that water ended up destroy most; had the death of Gwen Stacey, the original Clone Saga and everything) and it was probably one of the highlights of picking up the pieces of what remained of his comic collection.
Posted by: Ataru320 | March 15, 2015 10:20 PM
So we come to the absolute nadir of Len Wein's awful run on Spider-Man. Not sure why he despised the main character of the book so much, but this is essentially a Marvel Team-Up issue in which Spider-Man does absolutely nothing. He can't take down the Punisher (which is preposterous), he gets beaten and chained up by a couple of run-of-the-mill thugs (and everyone thought the Hobgoblin getting taken down by 4 trained mercenaries was bad...how come Len Wein gets a free pass? These two thugs could have garroted Spidey if they so desired), and then can't even take down the main villain in the end. None of the villains in this piece have superpowers, yet Spidey has trouble with all of them. What a piece of crap. I was so happy when Wein moved off the title, little realizing it would only get worse (Wolfman) before it finally got better (Stern).
Posted by: irh13 | October 13, 2015 12:41 AM
I suppose this is an indication of how Wein saw the All-New, All-Different X-Men characters, and it's also Wein indulging in some cross-promotion in the Mighty Marvel Manner. He gets some criticism in the letters pages for ignoring the limitations he and Claremont established for Nightcrawler's powers
Posted by: Omar Karindu | December 7, 2015 6:29 AM
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