Web of Spider-Man #6
Issue(s): Web of Spider-Man #6
Both issues deal with the fact that the Beyonder turned the Heroes For Hire building to gold in Secret Wars II #2. Spider-Man spends most of this issue rescuing people trapped in the building, which is collapsing under its own weight.
Meanwhile, in order to prevent a collapse of the gold market, the Federal Government makes a deal with the Kingpin to guard the building while it's dismantled.
The plan is to cut up the gold and dump it into "the nigh bottomless sub-oceanic trenches in the mid-Atlantic". The operation is overseen by an agent Charles Anderson, who i'll note has the same priority clearance as the Avengers usually do.
When Spider-Man finds out that the Kingpin is getting a cut of the gold in return for his help, Spidey flips out a bit and gives in to temptation, stealing a gold notebook (or, as he'll justify it, taking it out of the garbage).
I know it's a comic book, but i'm a little disappointed that the economic ramifications a sudden influx of gold would have aren't actually explored. The Kingpin runs some numbers on his calculator and determines that "this situation could make the Great Depression look like an era of prosperity", but i'm unclear why. Secret Wars II #2 reminded us that the US was not on the gold standard at this point, so we're not talking about currency devaluation. Gold is therefore a just commodity, albeit one that serves as a hedge for those who think that the US government will default on its loans. A sudden loss of wealth associated with the devaluation of gold could certainly be recession-worthy, maybe even the equivalent of the loss of wealth associated with the 2008 bursting of the housing bubble, but it doesn't seem like something that would dwarf the Great Depression. There would also be the more immediate concern of looters. And probably the government would act exactly as depicted here; it wouldn't be a time for rational considerations. But i would have liked to see it discussed a little more. Again: i know, i know, it's just a Spider-Man comic. And the more personal temptations that Spider-Man deals with is probably more interesting to most people anyway.
Sub-plots scenes have Mary Jane thinking about her past relationship with Peter, and Aunt May and her retiree gang worrying about their money troubles.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place in the immediate aftermath of Secret Wars II #2. A caption says that Power Man and Iron Fist disappeared along with the Beyonder, which is slightly different than we actually saw at the end of that issue, but i guess they were sent back to their own time period right after the issue ended. This story is continued directly in Amazing Spider-Man #268.
Crossover: Secret Wars II
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (9): show
"It's the first instance of that i'm aware of (i'm fairly confident in saying it's the first one at Marvel, anyway, but i'm ready to be corrected)."
Technically, Marvel Universe had done it, but that's really a different kind of thing.
The art on the covers was pretty awesome though - much better than the art in the actual books.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 29, 2015 9:14 PM
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