Web of Spider-Man #84-85
Issue(s): Web of Spider-Man #84, Web of Spider-Man #85
...and the Kingpin is right to be wary. Richard, who used the identity of the Rose previously, is now working with a new Rose to take down his father.
Kingpin also tells Richard to put some meat on his bones, which will be more hilariously important than we might realize at this point.
Spider-Man gets involved in this story thanks to the photograph that we saw Nick Katzenberg take in Spectacular Spider-Man #173. The Daily Bugle accidentally gave the credit to Peter Parker instead of Nick when they published the photo.
Peter and MJ's apartment and Aunt May's place are both raided by goons looking for more info behind the photo. A Sgt. Blume is responsible for the investigation of the raids.
If the identities of the people in the photos can be determined, it could expose Fisk and Rose's plans, which is why they are looking to see what other information Peter may have about the pictures. Richard Fisk is also more aggressive than the Rose in his goals, and he hires some Triad assassins to go after Peter and MJ.
As Spider-Man, Peter repels the assassins. It turns out that they were hired through Deathwatch, the crimelord in the Ghost Rider series (who otherwise doesn't have much to do with this story).
Meanwhile, the Hobgoblin is having an identity crisis, constantly changing between human and demon forms.
The Rose (or, as it will turn out, Richard Fisk) makes contact with him in prison.
Just set-up so far, and i'm only stopping here because of the way this story intertwines with Last Rites like a weedy fine choking the plants in your garden. I liked the original reveal that Richard Fisk was the Rose, given the previous times he opposed his father in various identities. But i didn't like the reveal that Fisk was opposing his father for altruistic reasons. This story begins with Richard seemingly opposing his father for noble reasons, but as we'll see, things get muddled, and maybe the idea is that the difference between opposing his father for himself and for noble reasons is muddy in his own head. It probably doesn't make a lot of sense for Richard to be using the Rose identity at all, since even if he's not personally the Rose this time, the reappearance of that persona surely should heighten his father's suspicions. It would be more in the tradition of Richard's previous appearances for him to have come up with an entirely new identity again. But the Rose became a somewhat popular character due to his association with the Hobgoblin mystery, so i guess it was inevitable that someone using that identity would appear again.
The obvious thing to assume is that Richard Fisk's friend Alfredo Morelli is playing the role of the Rose this story. But it will turn out to be Sgt. Blume. The identities of the characters, and who is doing what at various points in the story, can get a little confusing, especially thanks to an absurd retcon. Personally i take shelter by not caring too much.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Obviously this takes place before the fall of the Kingpin in Daredevil #300. Next issue, Web of Spider-Man #86, mentions the Kingpin's loss of Typhoid Mary, which happens in Daredevil #297, so i am assuming that these issues take place before that. Deathwatch appears here before his defeat in Ghost Rider #24. See the Considerations for Spider-Man #18-23 regarding the placement for the Hobgoblin.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAunt May, Deathwatch, Demogoblin, Gauntlet (Alfredo Morelli), Jason Macendale, Kingpin, Kristy Watson, Mary Jane Watson, Nick Katzenberg, Richard Fisk, Rose (Sgt. Blume), Spider-Man, Willie Lumpkin
I eventually got all the Name of the Rose issues in a quarter bin during, I think, my college years. What a stinker, especially compared to the much more entertaining and guest star filled storylines in Amazing and adjectiveless Spider-man.
Posted by: Red Comet | November 21, 2015 6:06 PM
There's more Alfredo Morrelli inthese issues than you might suspect, Fnord, but I'll say no more lest I spoil your enjoyment of some of Web's other crappiest stories to come (leading up to the "unforgettable" Nightwatch, no less.)
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 21, 2015 6:21 PM
I really enjoyed this whole arc, and it's certainly much better than the typical 90s guest star bombast that was being churned out in Amazing at the time. It's a great street-level saga. Howard Mackie brought some much-needed stability to this title, and I always enjoyed his pre-reboot work on the Spider-titles, both here and down the road in Peter Parker:Spider-Man.
Terry Kavanaugh would later wreck this entire storyline by retconning the motivations and characters involved. I've always wondered how complicit Mackie was in Kavanaugh's crime. Fnord, I think it's because of that retcon that Alfredo should be listed here.
Posted by: TCP | November 21, 2015 6:28 PM
Yeah, i listed Alfredo. Thanks guys.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 21, 2015 7:44 PM
Ah, the Rose... a viable character that became another hot mess that every writer felt the need to add to with revelations, retcons, and revamps.
Posted by: AF | March 7, 2016 5:44 AM
The Triad Brothers here are apparently intended to be the same three guys who worked for Langley in the Wolverine/Ghost Rider story in Marvel Comics Presents #67-68.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | April 9, 2017 12:36 PM
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