Untold Tales of Spider-Man '96
Issue(s): Untold Tales of Spider-Man '96
Review/plot: The Torch/Spidey rivalry gets a little out of hand in this issue. Spidey is hunting down some crooks but the Torch steals the collar and the credit. Meanwhile, Reed is acting distant towards Sue, possibly because he's a dick or possibly because he's still not sure if she really likes him based on the events at the end of FF #27. Therefore, when Spidey shows up to ask Sue for a date, as a prank to get on Johnny's nerves, Sue accepts. Peter walks around the next day in a daze because he's got a date with the Invisible Girl.
Reed, meanwhile, is oblivious to it all.
But Johnny doesn't like this at all, so he goes to find Namor and tells him that Spider-Man has kidnapped Sue. Now, Namor is a really dangerous character. He's teamed-up with Doctor Doom, held off the Avengers and the FF single-handedly. He's not one to mess around with, and Spider-Man really could have been killed by him.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man is not having a good time on his date (in a pizza parlor, with him dressed as Spidey with a little bow tie made of webs), because Sue keeps talking about Namor and Reed.
Then Namor shows up to fight, and Spider-Man leads him away from Sue, which is a bad idea. "Spider-Man probably thinks he's helping by leading him away from me - the one person who stands a chance of calming him down." Good writing.
While Spidey is fighting Namor...
...the FF shows up at the pizza parlor and Johnny slips and reveals that this was all his doing. They hunt down the Namor/Spidey fight and put a stop to it. Namor refers to Sue as "...an honored friend."
The Torch goes home to Glenville to find that Spidey has webbed up his car, and left a note saying that the webbing will dissolve in 1 minute.
It's a good story, especially in examining Sue at a time when she wasn't treated all that seriously. However, Mike Allred's art, while not the zany stuff used in Madman or X-Statix (thanks to Sinnott's inks?), is a little... off. Almost too deliberately retro.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Betty and Peter have recently had a fight. It may be a reference to the way she walked out of his party for Tiny and Jason in UTOS #16. Tiny is back in school. The Invisible Girl has chosen between Reed and Namor, placing this after FF #27, and as Douglas notes in the comments, this also takes place before Fantastic Four #35 since Reed receives an invite to visit his alma mater here. According to the continuity chart in UTOS #25, this issue takes place between ASM #21 and #22, and UTOS #23 and 24, basically directly after the back-up from Amazing Spider-Man #8, which also takes place after ASM #21 thanks to Stan Lee's memory kerfuffle regarding Doris Evans (see the entry for the second ASM #8 story for more on that).
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAunt May, Betty Brant, Flash Thompson, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Liz Allan, Mr. Fantastic, Spider-Man, Sub-Mariner, Thing, Tiny McKeever 1965 / Box 2 / Silver Age
1965 / Box 2 / Silver Age
with sinnott inking, i actually enjoy allred's art.
Posted by: min | January 24, 2013 9:13 AM
There's a subplot involving Reed being invited to make an appearance at his alma mater... which will happen in FF #35.
Posted by: Douglas | May 5, 2015 9:14 PM
Thanks, Douglas. I've added a note in the Considerations.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 5, 2015 10:25 PM
I'm not a big fan of Allred on stuff like this but that's because I prefer more traditional comic book artists on superhero books and not cartoonists. I did enjoy his work on Madman and iZOMBIE so I'm certainly not saying he has no talent. It's just a matter of preference.
Posted by: Robert | February 14, 2016 7:58 PM
I got a kick out of this one as it brought back memories of all those old Spider-Man and FF comics.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 31, 2016 6:35 PM
Although not a regular reader of books he has worked on, I do have a liking for Allred's Roy Lichtenstein-inspired, pop-art style. Though I will say Sue Storm here looks better-suited for a romance comic, or a newspaper strip like "Rex Morgan, M.D.".
Posted by: Brian Coffey | June 16, 2017 3:27 PM
Comments are now closed.
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