Web of Spider-Man annual #8
Issue(s): Web of Spider-Man annual #8
The problem with Night Thrasher is that he's got so much crap he's practically one of the Dreadnought 2000s from last issue.
And i admit that some of the villains here aren't that impressive.
But the point is that there are just so many villains that this group of heroes should be overwhelmed. The New Warriors are pretty powerful, but if there is anything that distinguishes them from, say, the Avengers, it's that they are teenagers. Most of them are tough, but they aren't as experienced and/or as Mighty. If that's not the case, then what's the point? Just make them the Avengers Gold team.
Anyway, after much Super-Villain Fail...
...only Silhouette gets captured. The rest of the heroes are separated, and start searching the place. Firestar finds Auric, who has been dissected.
Firestar then meets Night Thrasher, and tells him what she's seen. The villains catch up to them at this point.
It really shows how the villains have been diluted when you have Speed Demon among the villains running after the heroes. He should have been on them before they knew what hit them.
Another big battle ensues...
...and then the villains run away.
At first i was like "WHAT!?" but then i saw that this is just meant to be a trap. And that's another thing about this team-up. Again, i'm working from the premises that the New Warriors are a teen super-hero team. So what should come out of a team-up with Spider-Man? He's got more experience than them, and he's got a spider-sense that warns him of danger. So you might think he'd play a role of being the guy that urges caution and helps them avoid an obvious trap. Or, since he's supposed to be a loner, you could play up the idea that he's not good at that role, which might make for an interesting character moment. "I should be leading these kids, showing them what to do. But i've always worked by myself. I'm not good in team situations, since I rely on instinct and my spider-sense. And I don't like giving orders." Something like that. Instead he's just a cog in the story, one of six super-heroes fighting a horde of generic villains.
In any event, they walk blindly into the trap. On the way there, they pass Silver, who is still alive but has had "bad things" done to her.
She tells them to save the "others", which as far as i can tell means Speedball.
There's also a little debate about how to treat Silhouette on the way to the trap.
And then the trap. Doh!
And we learn that the villain behind Hammer is the Sphinx.
Also in this issue is the conclusion to the Venom origin, and a list of Spider-Man's top ten team-ups.
Then there's a Black Cat story written by G. Alan Barnum (with thanks to Tvette Lee) and art by Tod Smith and Don Hudson. Black Cat has been hired to test out the security system of some rich guy that knew her father. But Hydroman is trying to rob the place at the same time.
The use of Hydroman really annoys me since he's appearing in the main story at the same time. I get that the stories don't have to be taking place at the same time (but i sure don't like it), but can't we mix things up just for the sake of variety?
I do think Black Cat takes care of Hydroman in a fairly clever way.
What's up with the size of that display case, though?
And then we have the conclusion to the Cloak and Dagger story. Dagger gets free and joins the fight against the powered-up Lightmaster.
Some troops from Genetech show up, but only after Cloak has captured Lightmaster in his Cloak.
They try to force Cloak to release Lightmaster so that they can take him back and study him some more. Cloak initially refuses since Genetech has proven that they can't hold him. But he does relent, albeit after he's seemingly drained Lightmaster of all his power. Genetech still think that they can restore him, though.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part three of Hero Killers. Part four is in New Warriors annual #2. Assume that Hydroman's appearance takes place directly before (or after) the main story in these annuals; i'm not bothering to separate it out.
Crossover: Hero Killers
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAuric, Beetle, Black Cat, Bombshell, Boomerang, Carlton Drake, Cloak, Constrictor, Dagger, Discus, Firestar, Hydroman, Jonas Hale, Justin Hammer, Lightmaster, Namorita, Night Thrasher, Nova (Rich Rider), Rhino, Silhouette, Silver, Speed Demon, Speedball, Sphinx, Spider-Man, Stiletto, Whiplash (Blacklash)
I had this issue. Its nothing but a big fight. Lots of my favourite villains getting beat up by a bunch of boring teenagers. I sure wanted my money back.
And Night Thrasher still sucks.
Posted by: kveto | March 8, 2016 4:21 PM
Is Black Cat working for Quasar's company? The scan mentions "Mr. Vaughn."
Posted by: Thanos6 | March 8, 2016 7:52 PM
I don't think Spider-Man and the Warriors beating up the villains is that much of a stretch. There's 10 villains to 6 heroes- they're not that badly outnumbered. Whiplash has been defeated by Bethany and Rhodey before. Boomerang has been defeated by Silver Sable and Rhodey.Bombshell,Stiletto and Discus are 3rd stringers. As for the Beetle, we've argued about Spectacular Spider-Man 164 before but the fact is it turned him into a loser villain.
Posted by: Michael | March 8, 2016 8:52 PM
@Thanos - nice catch, i didn't notice that. But Black Cat isn't working for the company. The rich guy has hired Vaughn Securities to install his security system. And then he's hired Black Cat to test it. At the end he says that he could put in a word to "Mr. Vaughn" if she wants a job, but she declines.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 8, 2016 9:12 PM
The display case is shaped like a phone booth, with a door that opens to the side. It looks like a cube, with a door that opens down like an oven, in the middle panel because we're looking down on it.
Posted by: Andrew | March 8, 2016 9:37 PM
It's one of those things with villains and their fluctuating power levels. This is basically the Sinister Syndicate plus Constrictor, Whiplash and 3 nobodies. Spider-Man and Silver Sable together managed to hold out against the Syndicate for a while (admittedly eventually being pulled out by Sandman). That seems a big ask to me, but that's how that story was written, so I don't have too much of a problem with Spider-Man and the New Warriors fighting the Syndicate plus 2 good villains.
The Beetle and Constrictor were both in Justin Hammer's original group of random villains attacking Iron Man back in the Demon In A Bottle storyline, and were both also treated as joke villains attacking the FF in Acts of Vengeance. Constrictor's lost to Captain America (fairly easily), Iron Fist and Anaconda, who all have less raw power than some of the New Warriors. And as Michael points out, Whiplash seems fine at handling Iron Man on his own, but has also lost to Captain America (again fairly easily) and (as Michael mentions) normal humans like Bethany and Rhodey, which make you wonder how powerful those repulsor blasts can be.
Shame to see Stiletto and Discus returned to crime though... in their last appearance in Power Man & Iron First they'd found religion while in jail, and were only villains due to being mind controlled.
Posted by: Jonathan | March 10, 2016 6:26 PM
I loved this story when I was a kid since it was basically a big Saturday morning cartoon super-hero fight on paper.
Super-hero comics should be more like this and less like modern books where people stand around talking most of the time. When you get to the point where you prefer the latter type of comic that just means you've outgrown super-heroes.
Posted by: Red Comet | March 20, 2016 11:50 PM
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