Issue(s): Speedball #4
Robbie Baldwin unwillingly becomes a participant in a football game and gets tackled into a school wall. The impact reveals a skeleton.
The body turns out to belong to a man named Alexander Bow. Robbie's mom used to date the guy and thought that he later got a job over seas. Robbie's mom and dad have been keeping secrets about him from each other. Meanwhile, everyone in town - the reporters, the police, the politicians - see the mystery of the skeleton as a career opportunity, and they give the case the highest priority. And when the Baldwins become suspects, it creates hardship for the whole family.
Robbie later goes back to the school as the Masked Marvel, and finds a guy wearing a Master Planner goon costume.
Encountering the Masked Marvel, the guy in the purple suit abandons his plans for the evening, but his boss orders him to return to the school to locate a secret stash. The Masked Marvel is there to stop him again.
The contents of the box reveal that the guy who killed Bow was a contractor named Otto Clase who was involved in a fraud and kickback scheme that Bow discovered. Clase seemingly kills himself at the end of this issue but we see that someone else was behind Clase, although we don't see who it is this issue. We also don't find out what secrets Justin and Maddie Baldwin have been keeping from each other.
Another continuing aspect: Robbie thinks the lab assistant Claude has killed the cat Niels, but it turns out to just be a rat.
The fact that we've got an unresolved story, albeit not a particularly intriguing one, makes this marginally more interesting, and the rapidity at which the institutions of society turn ugly when the Baldwins become suspects makes me feel like i'm hearing a little more of Ditko's personal voice than in past issues. But there's still really nothing going on here.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAl Laguardia, Claude (Doc Benson lab assistant), Don Phipps, Emily Barron, Ghost of Springdale High, Joe Spenser, Justin Baldwin, Maddie Baldwin, Nathan Boder, Niels, Officer Burnatt, Speedball
The Ghost of Springdale High has another appearance in New Warriors. Clyde claims to have been behind him in that issue but that's impossible- he was just a cat burglar hired to steal a box.
Posted by: Michael | July 25, 2014 6:31 PM
Those must have been extremely weak bricks, which makes you wonder if the school is close to collapse.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 26, 2014 4:31 PM
Mark, i should have made it clearer that the fraud that the contractor is trying to cover up involves construction at the school. Although it's not like they shut the school down for repairs or anything.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 27, 2014 6:37 PM
Comments are now closed.
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