Characters Appearing: Ben Urich, Doris Urich, Man-Mountain Marko, Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man
Web of Spider-Man #82
Issue(s): Web of Spider-Man #82
I mentioned in my review of Busiek's previous fill-in on Web that his three fill-ins were all about telling the story from a minor character's perspective. This one gives us two unique perspectives, one from Marko, who is full of frustration about having been beaten by "dweebs" like Spider-Man in the past, and one from a young boy that was being used by Marko as a hostage but who has fallen into a Stockholm Syndrome-like state of idolizing Marko for his strength.
The "dweeb" fear comes from what seems to have been an early encounter with Peter Parker.
Spider-Man, meanwhile, learns that Man-Mountain Marko was augmented by the Maggia (something that we learned in Hulk #354 if we didn't already suspect it), and that Marko is augmenting himself further with steroids, without regard to the risk of mixing them with his already mutated body.
And indeed, the results are not pretty.
Spidey has a cold in this issue, which dulls his spider-sense and weakens him, so there's no saying how well he would have done against the augmented Marko under normal conditions. In his current condition, the fight with Marko is a tough one, but he does eventually win. And the kidnapped kid switches loyalties when Spidey wins the fight.
Another simple fill-in enhanced by giving us different angles from the different characters. It's nice to see Man-Mountain Marko again, although i feel like it's kind of a waste to show him as being washed up and desperate. There's no reason he couldn't have continued as a mid-level goon with the proliferation of mob bosses running around the Marvel universe at this time (Marko's old boss, Silvermane, has returned, and there are also the new upstarts like Deathwatch, Bazin, and, er, Crimewave). I'm also a little wary of inserting an early coincidental meeting between Peter Parker and Marko, but of course Kurt Busiek will be doing plenty of meddling in Spider-Man's early continuity when he starts up Untold Tales of Spider-Man in a few years, and i trust him to do this sort of thing more than most people.
Ron Wilson was of course the perfect choice of artist for a story about a gigantic steroidal dude. I can't say his art here is looking his best, but the guy who drew The Thing and Super Boxers and He-Man should obviously be the artist for this plot.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
That stoopid cover tricked me too when I was a kid =\.
Posted by: JC | November 14, 2015 12:46 PM
I had this issue and the previous Bloodshed fill-in when I was a kid. I got comics at the local drugstore back then, but I don't remember them stocking Web of Spider-man so I bet I got them from one of those Toys R Us comics packs.
Posted by: Red Comet | November 15, 2015 1:21 PM
Same as Red Comet--I think I had every Kurt Busiek Web fill-in, but not by choice. You could easily have persuaded me that Web was some weird anthology of one-shot Spidey characters.
Posted by: Michael Cheyne | February 13, 2017 6:56 PM
This was the only review of this comic I could find online. Thanks for the insight into my favorite maggia.
Posted by: Matt | April 10, 2018 2:12 AM
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