Roger Stern reboots The Beetle.

Last issue, we saw Beetle’s new armor.  In this story, we see some its features, like the Electro Bite and micro-motors that enable him to crash through brick walls.  For his revenge plan he is paired with one of the worst Spider-Man villains ever, The Gibbon. 

Also during this story, Roger Stern continues to develop the slow-burn story about Greg Salinger, the Empire State University student who we will eventually learn, during Roger Stern’s Amazing Spider-Man run, is the Foolkiller.  We see him on campus getting harassed by FBI agents—but we don’t know why.

The art by Jim Shooter in #59, and Ed Hannigan in #60, is pretty average.  (Funny side note, Jim Shooter (editor in chief at the time) was given layout credits for #60 under the name J. Strzltski, which was his family’s name before they came to America and changed it.)  Issue #60 is giant sized, though, and we get a very nice Frank Miller cover and a back-up feature that re-tells Spidey’s origin.  It’s drawn by future Power Man and Iron Fist artist Greg LaRocque in the style of Steve Ditko, and he does a pretty good job.

In many ways, it’s a note-for-note remake of the best comic of all time, Amazing Fantasy #15, with entire sequences (like the one below) redrawn.

When you’re cribbing from a masterpiece, it’s hard to make something bad, but it also makes it very hard for the reader not to think of the original.  This reminded me of when Gus Van Zandt redid Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.  The results were fine, but what was the point?

Creators: Roger Stern, Jim Shooter (#59), Ed Hannigan (#60), Greg LaRocque (#60, back up story)
Grade: C+

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.


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