Comics : Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual 1998

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Spider-Man teams up with Daredevil's famous Foe, Elektra, in a full length 64 page (minus a few ads) special.

In Detail...

"The Night They Killed Big Bear"
Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual 1998
Year 1998 : SM Title
Summary: Spider-Man & Elektra vs. The Silencer
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  Jack Morelli
Pencils:  Joyce Chen
Inker:  Andy Lanning
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Review
Articles: Princess Python

The story's a little complex, but it begins with the killing of a Janitor... an ex-boxer. The effector of the killing is a tall thin man, dressed in Black, who passes under the sobriquet 'The Silencer'. The primary aim was to extract some information from the man, the location of a package, but that was unsuccessful.

The scene then cuts to the Daily Bugle where Max Igoe, sports report on the up-and-up is just on the way down-and-down, as he leaps from the roof of the building. Spider-Man is there to rescue him, and hears a tale in return. Seems that Big Bear (the Boxer) had some evidence of a mob killing, from the days back when he himself was on the take. Seems Big Bear finally told the tale to Max, but Max let the story slip in a Pub. When Big Bear was killed, Max blamed himself. Hence the self-instruction course in Unaided Flying 101.

So what's Elektra got to do with this? Well, Elektra's friend MacKinley "Mac" Stewart happens to be Big Bear's only friend. Mac is in pretty bad shape after a beating from the Ninjas of The Hand, back in Elektra #19. Well... Mac just received a package from his old friend - and shortly after, he gets a visit from 'The Silencer'. Fortunately for him, Elektra is around to give him a hand.

To cut to the chase, Elektra and Spider-Man both head off looking for the Mob Man behind all the fuss - Mister Scarpetti. He's the man behind the original killing, and Spidey and Elektra both plan to nail him. The Silencer turns up - and round one goes to him.

But... in the traditional style, the clues lead to the location for the final showdown. Round two is looking pretty touch and go, until the good guys figure out what makes the bad guy tick. Ta-da! Story reaches final climax, and the good guys win in the end. Well, maybe the victory is a little hollow, but that's just how it goes sometimes.

In General...

Elektra is one tough character. The Silencer is a great villain, the plot has depth, and a little integrity. The art is interesting, but generally supportive of the story. The writing is great, and the handling of the characters is top-notch. There's a great scene where Spidey and Elektra are breaking in to a building... each consider warning the other to be quiet... but then remember who they're dealing with. Professional respect, it's a great thing.

Overall Rating...

I'm going to nudge this up to four webs. This is the kind of stuff that Marvel should be focussing on. In the middle of all this Final Chapter rubbish, stories like this one are a reminder of the only thing which can possible pull Spider-Man out of the mess he is in... consistently good story telling... well marketed.