Spider-Man #38-40 (1993)

It’s time for a three-issue character study of Electro, which begins with him being a carnival freak who gets electic-chaired for spectators.

He’s jealous that Spider-Man gets positive attention (uh…Daily Bugle, anyone?) because he was neglected as a child.

That’s the sum and substance of it.  Obviously, with three issues there’s a lot of time to tell this story in a decompressed fashion, and along the way we see Spider-Man resisting positive press because of his guilt about Uncle Ben and his low self-esteem, so the characters are foils for each other.  Just like JM DeMatteis did in Kraven’s Last Hunt and his more recent focus on Harry Osborn/Green Goblin.

I don’t hate these villain-focused tales, but I wish they weren’t so similar.  Not every asshole in the world was abused as a kid.

Also, not every villain should be redeemed.

This is the end of the story, and it’s terrible.  But the first 2 issues of this 3-issue arc aren’t this offensively stupid.

I do like Janson’s art.  He’s stepping out from under Frank Miller’s shadow, and adopting his own style that keeps the best of what he learned inking Marvel’s most famous Daredevil artist.

Creators: J.M. DeMatteis and Klaus Janson
Grade: C+

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.

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