Comics : Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #71

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Peter Parker's at death's door, and Hammerhead's in the same hospital! Spidey's on the trail of a bunch of strange crimes, all with different villains' trademark atrocities! What's a guy-who-thinks-he's-a-clone-but-he's-really-not going to do???

In Detail...

"The Promise"
Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #71
Aug 1996 : SM Title
Summary: Peter in Hospital, Hammerhead
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  Howard Mackie
Pencils:  John Romita, Jr.
Inker:  Al Williamson
Cover Art:  John Romita, Jr.
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Articles: Ben Reilly, Hammerhead, Lizard, Mary Jane Watson-Parker

Peter's ill, and Hammerhead has stashed himself away in the same place, getting fixed up from his last go-around with Fortunato's boys. The steel-skulled crook has his old techno-suit re-vamped, and is going to get some answers concerning the new crime boss of New York. Who better than crack Bugle-journalist, Ben Urich!

Ben spies Ben (???) getting abducted, and slips into his reds-and-blues. He confronts Hammerhead, whose new suit gives him augmented abilities. The big galoot goes on and on about some huge gang-war that's about to go down, but that doesn't stop Spidey from tearing the crap out of Hammerhead's suit. The stupid crook fires at oxygen tanks behind Ben, and they explode, leaving Spider-Man knocked silly.

Hammerhead's gone, but Spidey can't worry about that, because there's a code blue in Peter's room, and he shows up just in time to say goodbye to Peter forever, as his heart slowly stops.

Continued in Spectacular Spider-Man #237.

In General...

Spider-Man is dead! Long live Spider-Man! Oh...wait, I'm sorry. I spoke too soon. I picked up this month's copy of Spectacular, and Peter's alive. I have to say that Peter's death at the end of this book didn't do anything for me. I wasn't sad, I wasn't remorseful, because I knew he was coming back. It was good emotion, especially the beginning where Peter was thrashing around in bed, but the fact that he was back alive next week sort of nullified the whole thing. And... Big Surprise, he's got his powers back!

For the Spider-Man crew this month, it was business as usual. Good art, with great shades and tones, and cool action. The angles and frames in the book give it a cinematic quality, and the dialogue lends itself to that image. Despite the one, obvious problem I have with this book, it was pretty enjoyable. I've said it before, but besides Untold Tales, this is the best series currently out on webhead.

I can't dwell on the little things. It was good, it sustained it's own identity, which ever since the cross-over madness ended, has really been able to establish itself. It's a solid four webs.

Overall Rating...