Comics : Spider-Man: Swing Shift (Director's Cut)

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This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

Back in May 2007 on the annual Free Comic Book Day, Marvel issued a free comic with a new story (usually these types of comics are reprints). That comic has been reprinted in this Director's Cut edition, albeit with a (slightly) edited story, as well as additional material kicking the page count from a 40 pages (a 21 page original Spidey story, a 6 page preview of Amazing Spider-Man #544. As well as ads) to 48 pages (the (edited) Spidey story reduced to 20 pages (the splash got dumped), a five-page Spider-Man Manifest from Tom Bervoort, a 22-page "Spidey Bible", a one-page behind-the-scene article from Spidey- editor Stephen Wacker, and no ads).

In Detail...

"Swing Shift"
Spider-Man: Swing Shift (Director's Cut) (Story 1)
Feb 2008 : SM Title
Summary: Spider-Man stars
Editor:  Stephen Wacker
Writer:  Dan Slott
Pencils:  Phil Jimenz
Inker:  Andy Lanning, John Dell
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Articles: Mr. Negative

Pete has picked up a birthday cake for May's party and promises her that he will make it in time for the party. However, on his way there, fate has other plans, as a sports car comes hot-rodding around the corner almost running some folk down. Pete quickly flicks a Spider-Tracer onto the car and ducks out so he can don his fighting togs. Once he pulls on his red and blues (and safely webs Aunt May's cake to a ledge), he takes off after the speedster.

Once in his fighting togs, Spidey lands on the hood of the car and literally rips the roof off it, only to have a pile of Spidey-related merchandise spill out all over him. As it turns out, the guy in the car (who calls himself "Overdrive" is a huge Spidey fan and asks Spidey for an autograph. Just as Spidey tries to take the guy down he receives a powerful electric shock. Across town, Betty Brant barges into J. Jonah Jameson's office where he is meeting with Joe "Robbie" Robertson to inform him that, after a period of inactivity, Spidey is back in action (it is not clear how long Pete has been laying low, but it has been long enough for the Bugle to feel the economic pinch of no front page Spidey news). Excited by prospect of more Spidey pics to boost circulation, JJJ is galvanized into action.

In the Bar with no name (a supervillain hang-out) a bunch of Spidey's old sparing partners are watching the tube as the mid-town chase is being broadcast on all networks. Meanwhile the bartender is taking book on the outcome of the fight. Back at the fight/chase, Spidey is being dragged by Overdrive. Next, Spidey is blasted by a car-mounted flamethrower and falls into oncoming traffic, where an SUV "jackknifes" and flips over as it approaches our hero.

Out of the crowd comes a costumed female, who is identified by someone in the crowd as "Jackpot. She rescues a pedestrian, as Spidey pulls the driver from the SUV. Both people yell at Spidey for causing all of the problems. Spidey thanks Jackpot for her help and swings off after Overdrive. Spidey catches up With Overdrive and has a cop car to ram him, forcing him over the guard rail of a bridge. Spidey webs the car to the bridge so it doesn't fall into the river below, and swings off leaving behind one of his "courtesy of your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man" notes, which the crook wants for his collection.

Spidey returns to his clothes and cake and realizes that there is still half an hour until they dissolve and that he is now going to be late for his Aunt's party. May returns home to find Peter asleep on the couch and her (slightly mangled) cake on the table.

In General...

Even though this comic is "Technically" a reprint, it was determined that the new material, plus the edits to page 1 of the Spidey story qualify it as "new." Hence, given that this is still a very-excellent treat. Back when this was a freebie, we stated that "It would now be nice to see one or both of these new characters turn up in regular continuity." Well, here it is now, regular continuity, and they are here with us, so, yep it is very cool.

Overall Rating...

As much as I like this comic now that I know that it is based on the Mephisto Incident, that simply dulls my enjoyment of it, so I'm taking points off for that part, however, I am adding points based on my reading of Brevoort's very well-written and well-thought out comments. So the score remains the same as the first time I rated it. I especially liked how Tom discusses the possibility of Peter moving forward into the new Millennium with the way he covers Spidey. (with video and picture capability in everyone's cell phone, it would only make sense for Pete to be shooting some of his own video and uploading it to a version of YouTube or wherever that would pay him for the exclusive.)

Footnote...

After looking over the two comics, I really can only find that the content of the captions on the first page are actually different, and the caption boxes throughout are also different.

Also, as I said in my initial review; "Jacknife" is something an 18-wheeler does skidding out when the cab goes one way and the trailer goes another. An SUV simply can't Jackknife, besides, the visual has it flipping over. You would think that the writer would/should have known/seen that, or that the editor would have caught and corrected this (especially as it already hit print once and the copy could have been changed). A minor nit to pick, but it still bugs me.