PETER PARKER THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #25-31 (1978-1979)

It’s time for our first PPTSS epic, and it’s a big sprawling doozy. In the first issue, we meet Carrion for the first time.  He’s an odd villain who looks vaguely like The Jackal because…SPOILER ALERT!…He is!  He’s the clone of Professor Miles Warren, out to kill Spider-Man, and he knows Spidey’s secret.  So Carrion goes to The Maggia’s leader, Big M, to get paid.  Because if he’s going to kill Spidey anyway, he might as well get some cash for it.

And how about that issue title?  It put a Kansas earworm in my head for hours.

Turns out, Big M doesn’t really need Carrion’s help.  He has a ray that can blind Spider-Man, which he does, and that’s when Daredevil happens by…

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Frank Miller does a guest artist spot in #26, in which Spidey is blind. But he’s inked by Frank Springer.  I posted on this once before: Klaus Janson inking makes a huge difference.  Check out my prior post here.  Still, Miller is one of the greatest artists of all time, so even Springer can’t ruin his dynamic layouts.

By the end of the story, White Tiger and DD are all helping Spider-Man vanquish Carrion and the Maggia. In the end, Carrion is smothered under an amoeba that he cloned with Spider-powers (yeah, a Spider-Amoeba), and his lab burns to the ground.  He appears to be dead, and in fact, Carrion never returns.

Creators: Bill Mantlo and Jim Mooney, except for #26, which is by Miller.

Grade: B-

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