Characters Appearing: Calypso, Lizard, Night Thrasher, Shocker, Spider-Man
Web of Spider-Man #109
Issue(s): Web of Spider-Man #109
In the first story, the Shocker is on the run but afraid that Spider-Man is coming after him. He runs into an abandoned TV station which happens to be owned by Night Thrasher. Night Thrasher has just finished setting up security measures at the station because he's protecting a biofeedback harness prototype developed by Genetech.
The Shocker says that his powers have been increased "tenfold! Maybe even a hundred-fold!", and he's causing seismic shocks as he travels. Night Thrasher tries to stop him but Shocker's powers knock him down. Then Spider-Man is attracted to the scene, and unfortunately they wind up having to fight Night Thrasher's security system.
But they eventually catch up to the Shocker. It turns out that Shocker has tried to increase his powers (in part because he's still worried about the Scourge). But his powers are now out of control. He's hoping that the harness will save him before his powers destroy him and the city. Spidey and Thrasher save Shocker with science.
It seems to work. Spidey leaves after Night Thrasher says he'll make sure Shocker is put in the Vault.
In the second story, Calyso seduces a Vault security guard and breaks into the Vault.
Her target is Doc Connors, who the last we saw voluntarily surrendered to the Vault where he was going to be allowed to pursue his research. It doesn't really look like he's getting to do much science, though.
Calypso turns Connors into the Lizard, but he mauls her and escapes.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 332,858. Single issue closest to filing date = 432,900.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The first story has a fill-in quality and everyone seems context free. Time passes before the beginning of the next issue, with enough time for Calypso to have been taken to the morgue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Wait... Calypso dies?
Posted by: Piotr Witkowski | September 29, 2017 4:11 PM
It looks like Calypso is thought to be dead but isn't necessarily.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | September 29, 2017 5:05 PM
Only temporarily- she'll be back in 1997.
Posted by: Michael | September 29, 2017 5:06 PM
I had only been reading comics for a short while as of early '94 and basically started with Spidey's 30th anniversary issues (also reading early Amazing through Marvel Masterworks), so it irritated me a little how the Lizard was suddenly brought back after that big story where Connors is cured of the condition. So much in fact I skipped the following issues of Web.
For all its problems, I basically think Maximum Carnage was a decent story and the real decline of Spidey began in the issues leading to the Clone Saga, including Lifetheft/Pursuit.
Posted by: iLegion | September 29, 2017 10:47 PM
It seems pretty clear that everyone working on this issue had been reading ASM #364-5, since we get the Shocker -- again trying to upgrade because he's scared of Scourge -- and then the return of the Lizard.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 1, 2017 6:36 AM
This is the point at which I started semi-regularly reading Spider-Man issues. I'd gotten randos over the years, but had pretty large gaps between (WoSM48, SSM189, SSM200, WOSM100...) Watching Lizard kill Calypso here was something I hadn't really seen yet (even if it didn't stick) and it made me think this was leading up to a particularly brutal fight with Spidey. Spoiler warning...it didn't.
Posted by: Jonathon | October 1, 2017 8:41 AM
As bad as the Clone Saga is, you can see how they felt the Spidey titles needed something interesting happening at this point. "Web Of" had been pretty drab for a while now, though the sales figures there are still doing well. Of course, they could have solved the rot with better writers & artists instead of a dumb event, but never mind. (Even Saviuk, a classic "house style" artist very well suited for Spider-Man, looks to be phoning it in here, & I'm not keen on the other artist at all, though amazingly there are plenty worse artists at Marvel in 1994.)
Also, I know Vault break-outs have to happen, but I'd have preferred it if Calypso had used more trickery/magic rather than what she seems to do here. If someone like Calypso can physically handle over half a dozen Guardsmen at once, they might as well not be there. (I'm kind of surprised the Guardsmen would even know who she was.)
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | October 1, 2017 11:55 AM
For the record, The Lizard looks awesome, but Connors looks horrible.
Posted by: Jonathon | October 1, 2017 12:08 PM
I have to agree with Jonathan, son of kevin, about how Calypso physically beat up several of the Guardsmen. Despiter her supernatural abilities, Calypso doesn't possess a superhuman body, while the Guardsmen amour gives the wearer superstrength. This was akin to Aunt May beating up a gang of normal muggers. Then again, the writer was Terry Kavanagh, one of the worst writers employed by Marvel
Posted by: Jason FP | October 7, 2017 10:52 AM
To be fair, it's possible Calypso used her magic to temporarily enhance her strength or something like that.
Posted by: Michael | October 7, 2017 11:16 PM
Yeah, I just think it's funny that for most of her appearances till now she was just watching on the sidelines while Kraven fought Spider-Man, or she used her powers to get Lizard to attack him. Sometimes she played voodoo drums to distract Spidey, or she shot him with a tranquiliser, but she never seemed to have any physical powers of her own.
Obviously we've seen other villains beat Guardsmen before, but I don't know if we've seen such a minor villain beat so many of them at the same time before. I wouldn't have expected Kraven could beat that many at the same time. 4 Guardsmen beat the John Walker Cap & Battlestar in Cap #334, both of whom had augmented strength & Walker already having given Cap one of his toughest fights. Here she beats twice the amount on her own. Anyone who can do that should be a threat to Spider-Man all by themselves without needing Kraven or Lizard to do their work for them.
It's no big deal, but you wonder who the Guardsmen can beat, if a whole group of them are physically beaten by the girlfriend of a Spider-Man villain, who is then defeated with a single strike from another Spider-Man villain.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | October 8, 2017 1:57 PM
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