Spectacular Spider-Man #165-167 (1990)

The Arranger has been around for many years, so killing him should seem “major,” but as a character he’s never really been developed well, so it kinda doesn’t.  Plus, he’s killed by a pair of villains, Knight and Fogg, who we never see again.  The assassins were hired by Kingpin, who is blaming Arranger for Chameleon, Hammerhead and the Lobo Brothers chipping away at his crime empire.

I mean, look at this Maggia meeting!  Not only is Kingpin not at the head of the table but Chameleon is getting mouthy with him.  Chameleon!

The assassins are a slasher dude and a guy who can turn into fog.  If you guessed their British, you’re right.  And Spidey pursues them to London with plane tickets bought by Puma (since Puma knows his secret identity, still feels like he owes it to Spider-Man to repay a vague “debt,” and, most importantly, is the new, rich owner of the daily bugle).  So it takes a couple issues for Spidey to take down the villains and, as I said, we never hear about them again.

Mary Jane is handled very, very badly in this story.  When Peter flies to England, she’s seen crying because she can’t be apart from him for two days, and then she kisses another actor and plays the “helpless female conquest” role.  Not good.  Not consistent with her character at all.

Creators: Gerry Conway, Sal Buscema
Grade: C+ for the super-hero story, despite the lame villains, because I enjoy this slow-boiling crime war.  D for the Mary Jane subplot.

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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