Spectacular Spider-Man #160
Issue(s): Spectacular Spider-Man #160
Meanwhile, a turf war has broken out in Times Square.
The idea is that super-villains used to have established turfs, but the enemy-swapping that's been occurring in Acts of Vengeance has caused villains to encroach on each other's boundaries, and now fights are breaking out. The villains appearing in this scene seem kind of arbitrary, though. It's Shocker and Hydroman teaming up against the Rhino. I guess maybe Shocker and Hydroman met after both being coerced into fighting the Fantastic Four (they didn't appear in the same issues, but they got dumped into the same prison and escaped together), but there's no obvious "turf" reason for Hydroman to be fighting his Sinister Syndicate teammate Rhino. Anything's possible, of course.
In any event, Spider-Man, with his Captain Universe powers, wraps things up quickly.
However, the crowd of bystanders quickly turns on him, and he flees the scene as they hurl fruit.
Checking in with our supporting cast, J. Jonah Jameson is upset that anti-superhero sentiment is finally on the upswing, but he, who has always been ahead of that particular curve, is without a platform since Thomas Fireheart bought the Daily Bugle from him. He's still talking about getting a new operation going, and asks Cynthia Bernhammer about the status of Joe Robertson's pardon, since JJ wants Robbie to help him. Before Cynthia can fully respond, Nick Katzenberg enters the room.
Nick says that he'll be part of JJ's new team, but only if JJ won't also hire Peter Parker.
Back to Acts of Vengeance. Kingpin and Lackey Loki are concerned about Dr. Doom's seeming obsession with Spider-Man's new powers. But he shows that by activating TESS-One, he's fulfilling their mission to destroy Spider-Man (while also secretly trying to absorb a portion of Spider-Man's new cosmic powers).
The powers, meanwhile, seem to be resulting in Spider-Man getting annoyed more easily, or at least he quickly picks a fight with Mary Jane after she tells him that he did look pretty menacing on the news during his turf war earlier. This is kind of a reversal for MJ; previously Peter had been extremely worried about his new powers and MJ kept telling him not to sweat it. But there's no doubt that Peter overreacts to what she says, and after storming off angrily, he realizes it.
He's about to turn around to go home to apologize when his spider-sense goes wild again, warning him of TESS-One's approach.
While Spidey fights TESS-One and protects the crowds from the ensuing debris, he says that he hears a voice in his head and we again see an overlay of Captain Universe.
But he can't actually hear the voice, especially over the actual voices of the anti-superhero crowd.
Spidey gives TESS-One a good punch...
...but knocks the robot into the Queensboro bridge, which it starts using to repair itself.
Spider-Man then blows the robot apart with an energy blast. Rather than show the kind of bland splash page with the blast, here's the funny follow-up panel.
Spidey's powers, and the rage that came with them, further scare the surrounding crowd. We also learn at the end of this issue that Dr. Doom was able to absorb the energy that he wanted.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Amazing Spider-Man #328 was the last Acts of Vengeance Spidey book. Web of Spider-Man #61 is next. At the beginning of this issue, Dr. Doom's goons tell him that the Kingpin and Magneto have issued him a summons to discuss the anti-super-human sentiment in Congress. Magneto doesn't otherwise appear in this issue so i haven't listed him as a character (who knows how long ago the summons was actually issued). And i'm also ignoring that regarding placement relative to Fantastic Four #335-336, since we don't know exactly what they wanted to talk about (and see above regarding Hydroman and Shocker, although i wouldn't let that stop me if we had to move the books around).
Crossover: Acts of Vengeance
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showCaptain Universe (Uni-Power), Cynthia Bernhammer, Dr. Doom, Hydroman, J. Jonah Jameson, Kingpin, Loki, Marla Madison Jameson, Mary Jane Watson, Nick Katzenberg, Rhino, Shocker, Spider-Man, TESS-One
Lost subplot? What did Doom do with said energy?
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | October 17, 2016 1:41 AM
As shown in the next chapter, Loki sabotaged the device.
Posted by: Michael | October 17, 2016 7:59 AM
It occurs to me now that the random appearances here of Hydro-Man, Shocker, and Rhino foreshadows the arbitrary use of many villains throughout the 90s. I suppose the same could be said for Acts of Vengeance in general, though.
Posted by: TCP | November 26, 2016 12:41 PM
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