Web of Spider-Man #23-24
Issue(s): Web of Spider-Man #23, Web of Spider-Man #24
In addition to him supposedly treating their trip to Europe as "a high school field trip", she complains that his connection with Spider-Man lets him be lazy about seeking out stories. It seemed like we were going in a direction where Joy knew that Peter was Spider-Man, but, whether because of the departure of Michelinie or the departure of editor Christopher Priest or just because it was a fake-out, it turns out this wasn't the case at all, and Joy's understanding of the situation is much more pedestrian.
Later, after a debrief at the Daily Bugle, a sequence directs us to the events of Spider-Man's team-up with Silver Sable...
...and then "days later", Peter shows up at Aunt May's house with some chicken.
Meanwhile, we've seen that Slyde is active again. As we learned in his previous appearance, he developed his frictionless suit for a company that turned out to be a front for the mob. In the repeat of that flashback for this issue, all of the mobsters are black now.
Slyde is really interested in starting his own company, presumably so he can develop his frictionless coating for less criminal purposes, and to that end he's stolen computer files that show the drop-off locations for his former company's laundered money hand-offs.
Peter, buying some Godiva chocolate for Mary Jane with what's left of the money from his trip to Europe, notices Slyde causing trouble and tries to stop him.
He fails to capture Slyde but does manage to get the money back.
MJ's chocolate melts, however (which is fine; we know she prefers Hostess Cup Cakes anyway).
Slyde remains somewhat sympathetic considering his origin and the fact that he at least doesn't want to harm civilians.
#23 ends with Peter agreeing to go on a trip to Atlantic City with Aunt May and her senior citizen's group. May's former fiancee, Nate Lubenski, is in a bad place and a casino might not have been the best place for him to go.
The lure of gambling even has an effect on Peter, but he really was tempting fate with that disco outfit.
Also in town is the Vulture (who never interacts with May's seniors despite their past relationship), who is trying to form a business arrangement by selling loaded dice.
I have to imagine that for a mobster, casinos serve their purpose just fine and there's no reason to risk using trick dice, and the mobster does indeed refuse the Vulture's offer. This results in things, and soon people, getting thrown off the roof, and Peter has to take leave of Aunt May to take care of things.
On his way up the building, out of costume, someone reaches out and grabs his leg, causing him to fall.
Peter does manage to save the guy that was thrown, and himself. But he is of course rattled by his assailant, who didn't trigger his Spider-Sense.
Meanwhile, we check in on the Vulture, who is taking chelated manganese for his joints and getting himself prepared for death (even considering taxidermy!).
He's moved up in the world since we last saw him robbing graves, having inherited the home and lab of a Randal Reese, who had invented the plastic that the Vulture used to make his dice.
The Vulture returns to menace the casino again, but Spider-Man is ready for him this time (the Vulture's ability to generate powerful winds with his wings is given special emphasis twice in this issue).
Vulture seems to be developing something of a paunch.
It turns out that the casino is under the protection of the Rose and the Hobgoblin, so the Spidey/Vulture fight is cut short.
And the Rose's men tell the Hobgoblin to not get into a protracted fight with Spider-Man in the casino.
The villains return home to prepare for bigger things...
...and Peter returns to New York as well, at least having spent some quality time with his Aunt that didn't end in an argument.
This is another story where the Hobgoblin appearance is actually a brainwashed Ned Leeds, according to the MCP.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Issue #23 repeats a scene from Amazing Spider-Man #280 showing Spider-Man finding the ad that Silver Sable left for him in the Daily Bugle. So at a minimum, Amazing Spider-Man #280-282 must take place during this issue before picking up again "days later" with Peter's confrontation with Slyde. The MCP have placed a number of additional issues within that gap of "days" as well (including Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man annual #6 which makes sense given the Reference below). For the purposes of placing these issues, i'm treating the first half of issue #23 as a flashback and letting the second half of #23 and the story in #24 determine placement. And for that, i have this before Amazing Spider-Man #283, which i have placed at the end of 1986 as part of the Raid on Avengers Mansion. So i've pushed this back to 1986 as well.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): show
You notice with a lot of the black villains in spider-man, the writers are afraid to make them really bad guys. Prowler was just a misunderstood inventor, rocket racer a misunderstood kid inventor, slyde just wants money to go ligit, even guys who started out as outright villains like equinox later become misunderstood family men. Almost as if the writers are afraid to make any "real" bad black guys for fear of being accused of you-know-what.
Posted by: kveto | April 23, 2014 10:12 AM
At the same time you had a lot of inner-city African-American men as characters.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | April 23, 2014 2:04 PM
Thunderbolt of the Wrecking Crew is a genuine villain black man AND a doctor whereas the white fellows in the group are all blue collar. Of course there'll always be someone to argue they didn't let him be DOCTOR Thunderbolt because he's black.
Pity they messed up the identity of Hobgoblin back in the day and wouldn't reveal perhaps the best Spidey villains ever to be a homosexual clothes designer under the mask. That would be something to gloat about today, instead of all that ado about Northstar whose sexuality, let's be honest about it, John Byrne had to sneak in under the radar.
Posted by: Teemu | April 23, 2014 3:21 PM
Posted by: Teemu | April 23, 2014 3:26 PM
Vulture looks younger, in fact he looks more like Lex Luthor than anything.
Posted by: david banes | April 23, 2014 3:30 PM
Thunderball will get sympathetic treatment in damage control
Posted by: kveto from prague | May 20, 2014 4:57 PM
In response to Teemu, despite the stereotyped speech patterns in his early appearances, I don't think Roderick Kingsley was anything other than heterosexual in the end? Or, at least, he was never explicitly stated to be bi, let alone gay, even after comics had become more comfortable with such issues, so, until someone writes a story suggesting otherwise, either his orientation is undefined or I may have vague memories of seeing him with women draped on his arm (though that doesn't necessarily prove anything either way, given that fashion designers tend to have attractive young women around them anyway).
Posted by: Harry | June 22, 2015 6:26 PM
Yeah I think it's discussed on one of the ASM entries dealing with Hobgoblin but IIRC Stern has said he didn't intend Kingsley to be gay just effeminate.
Posted by: Robert | June 22, 2015 6:54 PM
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