Comics : Sensational Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #30

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This story is part of an Arc: "Spider-Man & Black Cat in Murderworld"
     Part 1 / Part 2

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Spidey and Black Cat are trying to save a Runaway named Dougie, and drug dealers are going missing. We open with the revelation that Arcade is behind it all - and the only way that Spidey and Black Cat can save Dougie is if they escape from ... MURDERWORLD! (Say, has that place EVER been successful in killing anybody? I mean, the heroic Green Goblin escaped from it, for chrissake!)

In Detail...

"Cat & Mouse"
Sensational Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #30
Aug 1998 : SM Title
Summary: Spidey & Black Cat Vs. Arcade
Arc: Part 2 of "Spider-Man & Black Cat in Murderworld"
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  Todd DeZago
Pencils:  Javier Saltares
Inker:  Javier Saltares
Cover Art:  Mike Wieringo
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Articles: Watson, Anna, Arcade, Black Cat, Jameson, J. Jonah, Mary Jane Watson-Parker

Anyhow, Spidey and Black Cat escape from various death traps. Eventually, they escape from all of the deathtraps and they manage to take down Arcade and free Dougie.

During all the action, various subplots are moved towards their ending. Billy Walters has dug some information on Norman Osborn, and gave them to J. Jonah Jameson to help him expose Norman. This information is about a certain woman by the name of Alison Mongrain. (I predicted way back when Spectacular #250 came out that the key to Norman's eventual downfall would lie with Alison Mongrain. Looks like I'm going to be right.) Jameson thanks Billy, and Billy says that he's going to say something that Jameson probably won't like.

The other subplot rushing towards its ending is the "Does Hope Know Peter Is Spider-Man?" subplot. Fortunately, the answer is no. Seems that Hope saw Spidey coming out of Peter's window, and was afraid of him. Peter explains that Spidey and him are buddies, so there's nothing to worry about, then they laugh about it.

In General...

Spidey and Black Cat got out of Arcade's Murderworld a tad bit too easily, but worse than that, this story was also plagued with continuity errors. Black Cat never had "good luck" powers. She had bad luck powers, which caused those around her to have bad luck. And besides, that's meaningless because she lost the power a long time ago. Dr. Strange removed it in some issue of Spectacular Spider-Man (#126?). So why does she still have those powers? Another continuity error was the apperance of Arcade. Last I saw him, his face was horribly scarred. Yet in this story, Arcade's face was as smooth as a baby's bottom. Just shoddy research on the writer's side (unless this Arcade was just a robot, that I could buy).

But on the bright side, subplots were advanced quite well. I enjoyed both the Billy Walters subplot and Hope subplot. I'm relieved that Hope doesn't know Peter is Spidey, and I'm rather curious to what the announcement is and why Jameson won't like it. I have a sneaking suspicious that Billy's going to announce that he's moving away from New York because so far it seems that Billy hasn't been really happy in the Big Apple.

Overall Rating...

I'll give this one 2.5 webs. This story was just average, which makes it three webs. Minus one web for the continuity errors, and add a half web for the excellent development of the subplots, and you've got 2.5 webs.