Spectacular Spider-Man #144-145
Issue(s): Spectacular Spider-Man #144, Spectacular Spider-Man #145
That's right, kids. This is going to be a gripping story about yachting, so hold on to your seats. To keep things more interesting, an Australian man (not Crippen) has hired Boomerang to interfere with the race. Boomerang is distracted by the fact that Parker is in town to promote Webs, but he's trying to keep his mind on the mission.
Peter goes to dinner with Tama, but we later see him on the phone with MJ, clearly missing his wife. So there's no hint of any kind of traveling infidelity. After talking with MJ, Peter goes out on a swing around town.
I normally complain when Peter gets into costume while traveling, but it's been established that Spider-Man has been invited to pop in for promoting the Webs book, so his appearances are more plausibly explained. Peter later says explicitly that promoting the book is why Spider-Man is in town, and there's people who still don't believe it's really him, since "Spidey lives in New York, dummy!".
While he's swinging around, an explosion at the boatyard brings him to Boomerang.
Spidey seems to have forgotten what makes a boomerang a boomerang...
...but i guess new readers should get to experience the thrill of the weapon's special returning property.
Boomerang flees the scene and Spider-Man has to flee the police when they try to arrest him on charges of suspected arson. The next day, Peter has lunch with Baxter to warn him about Boomerang. Crippen shows up too, and Spider-Man figures since they're both Australian, Crippen may have hired Boomerang. Then Boomerang shows up to attack again. Peter pulls Baxter to the ground, but Crippen takes a sonic boomerang right to the throat. Baxter's reaction to Crippen's death convinces Peter that their rivalry was purely promotional and the two are really friends, leading him to wonder who hired Boomerang. While he's thinking about it, he demonstrates his rarely seen aquatic abilities.
Boomerang manages to extract himself...
...but again stays on-mission and doesn't stick around to try to kill Spider-Man.
And we learn at the end it's really Baxter that has hired Boomerang.
Peter wakes up the next morning and comes to that conclusion himself. When he goes out to confirm his suspicion, though, he winds up with a mouthful of gassarang and wakes up to find himself in chains on a speedboat with Boomerang. The speedboat is rigged with explosives, and Boomerang points it at Baxter's yacht during the race, with the idea that it'll further the belief that Baxter was Boomerang's target. Boomerang then leaves the boat with his jetboots.
And now for the yachting.
At least it's a tricked up yacht with a smokescreen device.
Spider-Man eventually breaks free of his chains, snags Boomerang with his webbing...
...and makes him watch while the speedboat crashes into Baxter's yacht, destroying it. On top of that, it turns out Baxter wasn't going to win the race anyway.
Boomerang repeatedly makes the point that Spider-Man is out of his element on the water, since he's got no buildings to swing on and no way to dodge. And it's true. Boomerang should have done much better during this fight. But in fact Spider-Man still manages to win fairly easily, and on top of that the battle is pretty boring since there isn't really a lot for Spider-Man to do except either hang on to the boat or Boomerang. And it therefore makes it a really bad showing for Boomerang. Which is i guess what he deserves for doing a solo mission instead of working with the Sinister Syndicate.
In issue #144, we also have a scene where Joe Robertson returns to work at the Daily Bugle with the help of a walker, but is immediately arrested for obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact for not notifying the police about the murders Tombstone committed in the past. And in an interlude in #145, he decides he's going to plead guilty.
(As an aside, i'm sort of impressed to see a larger woman being depicted in a comic in a non-humorous or villainous way.)
There are two other interludes in #145. One with the Lobo brothers beginning to retaliate against the Kingpin for attempting to kill them.
And one with Mary Jane bumping into her cousin, Kristy.
I generally like Sal Buscema's art on this, but he sometimes seems to be reverting to his old bad habits, like drawing those weird lines off the mouths of his characters to indicate (i guess) cheekbones...
...and the weird circular lips.
For the most part, though, the art is fine.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBen Urich, Boomerang, Cynthia Bernhammer, Frank Farrow, J. Jonah Jameson, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Kate Cushing, Kristy Watson, Mary Jane Watson, Randy Robertson, Spider-Man
Actually I consider these issues Boomerang's best showing. He kicks spidey's butt two times in a row, only losing the final fight. Her also pulls off a pretty tricky assasination (pretending to aim for the other guy). Nice to see him treated as a credible threat.
Its interesting how overweight characters in the MU always have to be laughingly obease (Slug, Kingpin, this lawyer lady). nobody is just a bit overweight.
Posted by: kveto from prague | August 4, 2014 3:27 PM
Why do I tend to confuse Boomerang and Killer Shrike?
Posted by: BU | August 4, 2014 3:38 PM
Cynthia Bernhammer has several more appearances.
Posted by: Michael | August 4, 2014 7:45 PM
Added her. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 4, 2014 7:58 PM
kveto that's mostly true but there are exceptions. Foggy Nelson, Trickshot, Microchip, Dr. Octopus are all usually drawn as slightly overweight.
Posted by: Robert | August 4, 2014 8:02 PM
Lots of middle-aged characters: the Arranger, pre-1980s Jarvis, Arnie Roth in Cap... I'm fairly sure there are more overweight than obese characters.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 4, 2014 8:20 PM
Um, Kingpin isn't fat, probably overweight but not due to over eating. 2 percent fat in the 90s cartoon after all which should probably kill him, but so should a radioactive spider bite.
I think Boomerang had a great showing when he used a pen and a paper clip to nearly escape a courtroom.
Posted by: david banes | August 4, 2014 8:30 PM
Tama Janowitz apparently is a real person, and she has written "Slaves of New York" in real life as well.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | August 4, 2014 9:36 PM
Perhaps all people with those odd "cheekbone" lines are all the spawn of Apocalypse.
Posted by: Berend | August 5, 2014 4:02 AM
true, I forgot about boomerang trying to escape with a paperclip. then later actually escaping prison with a spoon.
Posted by: kveto from prague | August 5, 2014 1:50 PM
I read #145 a bazillion times as a kid (I had no other issues of Spectacular). I must have read that interlude with the Lobos' message a million times and came up with numerous wrong theories about what it meant.
Posted by: MikeCheyne | August 8, 2014 9:28 PM
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