Web of Spider-Man #33, Amazing Spider-Man #295, Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #133 (1987)

Right after the hallucinations of Kraven’s Last Hunt comes another hallucination trilogy, by Ann Nocenti.  A very wild ride, that seems to have been forgotten by fans, but it was actually pretty cool.  Nocenti is such an offbeat writer.

Marvel is really working to tie its three Spidey ongoings together and I have to say I don’t like it.  I thought each book had a distinct reason to “live” and this dissolves that.  Amazing was supposed to be the flagship title with the big events and a constant creative team, PPTSS was supposed to focus more on Peter Parker, and Web was supposed to give other creators a shot at using Marvel’s best-known character.  Not only that, but after the last multi-issue crossover, Kraven’s Last Hunt, we have another very serious, very dark story.  Spider-Man isn’t supposed to be this bleak.

The wife of one of Kingpin’s corrupt corporate puppets threatens to expose her husband’s money laundering, so Kingpin takes the woman out by having her committed to a mental hospital.  Through a very unbelievable turn of events, Peter Parker is brought there, too, after he’s injured in his Spider-Man costume.  Of course the ward, called “The Mad Dog” Ward, is run by a mad scientist to create super-powered bodyguards for Kingpin.

It’s annoying that everyone seems to be able to get a hold of ways to create super-powered beings.  If it’s so easy, then having powers becomes very un-special.

But I did find a lot of interesting things in this story–as I always do with Nocenti.  She always swings for the bleachers in a different and unique way–and it usually works pretty well, but it’s not for everyone.

Oh, and Bill Sienkiewicz covers never hurt…

Creators: Ann Nocenti, Cynthia Martin
Grade: C+


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