Web of Spider-Man #59
Issue(s): Web of Spider-Man #59
Titania would rather be fighting She-Hulk, but that's not the way the "vengeance team" works. Actually, Spider-Man is probably Titania's #2, if not #1, opponent, so she shouldn't really be going after him either, but Dr. Doom has ulterior motives, as we'll learn in a second.
Before that, i want to look at the relationship between Doom and Titania. As the above panel notes, Dr. Doom gave Titania her powers. When i was a kid, i (of course!) had the Secret Wars module/handbook for the Marvel Roleplaying Game, and that book made a point to say that Titania was very loyal to Doom because (my interpretation) he turned her from a scrawny weakling into a powerhouse. But this is the first time they've interacted since Secret Wars. I am somewhat surprised to see her getting so angry at Doom; surely she would keep her temper with the guy that created her.
But i think it's interesting to see him tolerating her outburst, more than he might do with another low level villain (although i write this after just having reviewed his interaction with Typhoid Mary in Power Pack #53 so i don't know what to believe anymore). Is his toleration of her just an acknowledgement of her personality plus maybe some reciprocal loyalty? I'm probably way overthinking it all. As i said earlier, Doom has an ulterior motive for sending her after Spider-Man; he's interested in the new powers that Spidey has manifested. He doesn't have much hope in her defeating him; he just wants her to survive long enough for his rage-inducing monitor device to provide some data.
Meanwhile, the new owner of the Daily Bugle, Thomas Fireheart (aka Puma) has changed the paper's policy towards Spider-Man, but Kate Cushing feels that they're now just going too far in the opposite direction.
Notice also Nick Katzenberg; he's checking out pictures of Cynthia Bernhammer that he took in Spectacular Spider-Man #158.
It's actually thanks to Fireheart's coverage of Spider-Man that Dr. Doom sends Titania to the Bugle to look for Spider-Man. I had a little rant on the Amazing #326 entry regarding Peter Parker's secret ID, but in this issue i'm more ok with it since it's a reaction to Fireheart's headlines and not Peter Parker's known "special relationship" with Spider-Man.
So i don't feel so bad when Titania sends him flying out a window.
He's caught by Spider-Man, who is still not really sure about his new powers, and so he initially reacts to being punched by Titania as he thinks he should. But when he realizes that he's survived a thirty story drop during their fight, he realizes that something is up. Meanwhile, Puma wakes up and renews his attack on Titania, damaging Doom's device before getting swatted away again. But Titania has a nice moment where she overcomes her fear of Spider-Man, which i think is overblown at this point anyway.
I can't believe that the fight has taken 20 minutes at this point. That is a long time for about 10 pages of fight (and that's being charitable and counting her rampage through the Bugle office and fight with Puma, too). I would have figured the whole fight took place in just a few minutes; i didn't realize it was all some kind of slow motion kabuki.
Spider-Man is trying to keep his new powers in check, so at first he just takes the punches, but he eventually gets mad and responds with a blast.
Like i said previously, it's not the Acts of Vengeance subplot that i would have wanted for Spider-Man, but it's done well enough here.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: At the beginning of this issue, it's said to only have been a few hours since Spectacular Spider-Man #158. A lot of stuff is going on concurrently during Acts of Vengeance, but for now i've placed this directly after that entry. Amazing Spider-Man #327 is next for Spider-Man.
Crossover: Acts of Vengeance
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showBen Urich, Captain Universe (Uni-Power), Dr. Doom, Glory Grant, Joy Mercado, Kate Cushing, Lance Bannon, Mary Jane Watson, Nick Katzenberg, Puma, Spider-Man, Titania
You accidentally have the image of Puma knocking out Kate posted twice.
Posted by: Dermie | March 25, 2015 10:27 PM
Thanks Dermie. Should be fixed.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 25, 2015 10:33 PM
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