Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #272

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Other People's Villains

This review was first published on: Nov 2011.

Background...

In Amazing Spider-Man #171 Nathan Lubensky was beaten by loan sharks while Spider-Man battled with Man-Slaughter. The ramifications of that are found in this issue.

In Detail...

"Make Way For Slyde!"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #272
Jan 1986 : SMURF 272.500 : SM Title
Summary: Slyde, Puma
Editor:  Jim Owsley
Writer:  Tom DeFalco
Pencils:  Sal Buscema
Inker:  Kyle Baker
Cover Art:  Ron Frenz
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 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales #282
Articles: Aunt May Parker, Nathan Lubensky, Puma

New villain, Slyde, bursts into a bank and commits a daring daytime robbery (I just like to say that) while showing off his powers. He wears a skintight costume made of an incredibly slick material. No one can get a hold on him and he can slide (Hyuk hyuk.) across floors with ease. As Slyde flees the scene a police squad car follows in hot pursuit.

Meanwhile Spider-Man is busting up a bar of thugs desperately searching for the men who beat up on old Nathan Lubensky. Nothing turns up and Spider-Man leaves. He trashes a chimney and spots Slyde fleeing the police. Spider-Man chases Slyde but the villain escapes and Spidey is humiliated.

Slyde returns home to rest and counts his money. He remembers his origins as a Jalome Beacher a chemist at Beemont Manufacturing where he (in an example of the issues tongue-in-cheek humor) developed a non-stick frying pan that would revolutionize the industry. However the company is bought by stereotypical mobsters and Jalome's entire department is cut before he can announce his development. Beacher wanted to start up his own company where he could merchandize his miracle coating but the banks would not give him any money so he stole it! Slyde decides he's gouroing to have revenge on Beemont Manufacturing later.

At the hospital Peter visits Aunt May and Nathan Lubensky and gets a frosty reception. Peter escorts May to the bus and ponders about life.

While elsewhere at Beemont's HQ security catches Slyde trashing the office and in his escape Slyde sees the new manager fleeing, with a mysterious briefcase. Slyde swipes the briefcase and returns home where he skims through the paper and discovers that the new manager is using Beemont to launder for money for the mobs. Slyde calls Beemont and demands $25,000 in return for the papers.

Spider-Man overhears a group of leg breakers discussing the massive amounts of money Beemont is paying to anyone willing to go after Slyde. Spider-Man decides that he won't get involved and that Slyde got himself into this trouble.

Slyde arrives at the exchange and gets his money. Spider-Man arrives and takes out some of the goons and soon Slyde is helping him. Rockwall (the new manager of Beemont) attempts to escape but Spider-Man stops him and the police arrive. Slyde reveals he has recorded all of his and Rockwall's conversations. The police are grateful and Slyde escapes with the laundered, and untraceable money. Spider-Man muses on the irony of the situation and swings off.

Meanwhile the Puma is preparing to battle the Beyonder!

In General...

This issue was a nice tip of the hat to the Lee-Ditko run and can also stand completely on it's own. The first fight scene with Slyde, and the villain's origin screamed "Ditko!" to me and I think that was intentional. The ending was stuffed with the silver age irony that Stan Lee liked to infill all of his stories with and was also a satisfying ending which nowadays is quite rare. Slyde is a great villain, I understand that he appears in later stories but for me this story is good enough.

The art was great and really managed to convey the speed of the fights going on and being the huge Buscema fan I am it's always great to see some of Sal's early work on the character. Well earlier considering his Spectacular Spider-Man started just two years after this issue came out in Spectacular Spider-Man #134.

Overall Rating...

This was a great one off issue in the style of a Lee-Ditko story and was just a joy to read and review.