Spectacular Spider-Man #152-154 and Web of Spider-Man #53-55 (1989): Gang War

Spider-Man fights the Lobo Brothers and The Arranger, while attempting to prevent a war between the underworld factions.

Meanwhile, Daily Bugle staffer Glory continues to date werewolf and crime lord Eduardo Lobo and Daily Bugle reporter Joy Mercado is troubled by it.

Nice interspecies romance!

There’s a lot of intersection between various Daily Bugle folks (remember, Robbie Robertson is in prison, with Tombstone waiting for him to get out so he can either strongarm or kill him), criminals, and Spider-Man.  This puts Spidey in the awkward position of defending Kingpin from Hammerhead, the Lobos from Chamelon-as-J. Jonah, Kingpin from the Lobos, etc.

The ongoing Gang War story is some of the more relationally complex work I’ve seen from Conway.  But it is hampered by the fact that it straddles two titles—this would have been much easier to follow if it were in one, biweekly book.

The Lobos’ piece of this ends with Web of Spider-Man #55—when Spider-Man takes them down once and for all.  However, there’s still the warring Hammerhead and Kingpin factions that will need to be resolved.

And the bit with Robbie and Tombstone, which is dealt with in the bizarre Spectacular Spider-Man #156.

There’s also a melodramatic subplot with Kristy Watson, Mary Jane’s niece, being hospitalized for bulemia.  It’s kind of interesting to see that here—especially with MJ being a model by profession—but it’s hard to work it into a big, busting gang war saga.

Creators: Gerry Conway and Sal Buscema (Spectacular), Mark Bagley (Web #53-54), Alex Saviuk (Web #55)
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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