Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #198

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This story is part of an Arc: "Mysterio"
     Part 1 / Part 2

This story is part of a Lookback Series: Absolutely Amazing

This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

Spider-Man has been led to believe his Aunt May is dead, but deduces that treachery is afoot, and that Aunt May's doctor at the nursing home had actually been Mysterio! Unbeknownst to him, the Burglar who killed Uncle Ben and Mysterio were both after a treasure that was hidden in the Parker home decades ago, and faked Aunt May's death. Spider-Man was on his way to confront Mysterio and learn the truth when he was captured, defeated, and left unconsious by the Kingpin. And this is where we begin...

In Detail...

"Mysterio is Deadlier by the Dozen"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #198
Nov 1979 : SMURF 198.500 : SM Title
Arc: Part 1 of "Mysterio"
Editor:  Marv Wolfman
Writer:  Marv Wolfman
Pencils:  Sal Buscema
Inker:  Jim Mooney
Cover Art:  Keith Pollard
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 Reprinted In: Essential Spider-Man #9
Articles: The Burglar, Jameson, J. Jonah, Mysterio I (Beck), Mysterio II (Berkhart) (FB)

The issue opens with a bunch of cops finding Spidey laying unconsious after his battle with the Kingpin last issue. They immediately rush him to a hospital. Once there, the police consider taking off Spidey's mask, but the doctor stops them. While unconscious, Spider-Man has a nightmare of all the people he has let down over the years

Meanwhile, back at the Nursing Home, the burglar who killed Uncle Ben is getting ready to kill the nursing home doctor, stating that now that May Parker is thought dead, he doesn't need the doctor anymore on his quest to obtain the hidden treasure in the Parker residence. However, before he can pull the trigger, the Doctor reveals that his true identity to the Burglar. The Doctor is actually Mysterio, who had faked his own death and then scammed his way into being a doctor at the Nursing Home where he embezzled funds from its residents. Mysterio planned to obtain the Parker treasure that the Burglar was after himself, and knocked out the Burglar with chloroform.

At the same time, Spider-Man awakes from his unconsiousness at the hospital and rushes toward the Nursing home (he had earlier deduced that the doctor was indeed Mysterio), where he had been going before being side-tracked by the Kingpin. Upon arrival, Spidey attacks a man who appears to be Mysterio, but it was actually just one of Mysterio's illusions.

Meanwhile, at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson, after building his rage and hatred of Spider-Man for months, finally suffers a nervous breakdown and collapses before the board of directors.

Back at the Nursing home, Spider-Man is confronted by more and more illusions spawned by the Mysterio, but finally blindfolds himself and lets his spider sense guide him past the illusions until Spider-Man finally reaches Mysterio himself. The hero and villain begin to fight, but Mysterio creates several false duplicates of himself. While Spider-Man tries to maintain his cool and discover which Mysterio is real, the real Mysterio knocks out Spidey from behind. The issue ends with Spider-Man awaking, chained to the floor of an empty swimming pool that is quickly filling with water as Mysterio does his villain laugh as the water rises over Spider-Man's head.

In General...

Mysterio reemerges as a real threat after a few years of being thought dead. This was a good issue, but there just wasn't anything that special about it. This is all really leading up to issue #200, and the story progresses nicely here, with decent action and Spider-Man finally confronting Mysterio, but not getting any real answers. The cliffhanger at the end is a lot like every cliff hanger in every issue of that decade, and Mysterio pulls a Doctor Evil and doesn't kill Spidey when he has the chance. But hey, its that kind of thing that made 70's comics what they were, and I love 70's comics. I'm starting to drone on here, but all and all, it was a decent issue, but not much above average.

Overall Rating...

This wasn't a bad issue, but like I said, nothing that special either. 3.5 webs.