Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #113
This story is part of a Lookback Series: Lost Classics
This review was first published on: 2005.
A few issues ago one of Aunt May's boarders, Ernie Popchik, was mugged by a group of punks. It happened again, when he was carrying a gun for safety, and he shot the group of muggers. He was sent to court but they did not press charges. Now, Peter David follows that story up...
Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #113
Apr 1986 : SM Title
Summary: Aunt May & her boarders held hostage
|Articles: Watson, Anna, Aunt May Parker, Black Cat, Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Mercado, Joy, Nathan Lubensky|
Ernie Popchik bursts into May's boarding home because a crowd of press are chasing him for a story; asking questions about him being released so soon. May slams the door on them while the rest of the boarders talked to Ernie.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man is interrogating a crook called Joey Face; asking questions about the Hobgoblin's whereabouts (The Hobgoblin saga is a big storyline going on in Amazing at that time.) but Joey isn't saying anything so Spidey just decides to go over to the Daily Bugle. He get's an assignment with Joy Mercado to get an interview with Ernie Popchik and they get going.
Also Meanwhile, the thugs who got shot by Ernie Popchik are looking for some revenge on him. After they mug a woman on the subway of course...
Yet another scene switch as we see the Black Cat jump in on criminals looking at their stolen diamonds. She knocks one of them out, clunks two guard's heads together then ties up the leader! But he makes a deal with The Black Cat, he tells her that the master assassin 'The Foreigner' is in town and he has an even larger collection of jewels. She gets the address, but still takes the jewels to sell them, then give the profits to an orphanage which is part of her 'steal from the rich give to the poor' plan.
Then we go to the house of the child, Alexander who we saw last issue and was getting mistreated by his father. At that moment, his father was working on one of his inventions: a disintegrating ray. He was nearly finished with it... only some slight malfunctions to fix. Then, Alexander comes in to tell him that the lawyer is there so the father leaves the room to sort out the legal charges being pressed against him. But when he's gone; Alexander touches the beam coming out of the disintegration ray and suddenly feels strange. His dad, mum and the lawyer rush in and the father gets angry at him...but he glances at the lawyer and cools himself down. But no one see's Alexander's glowing hand...
Meanwhile, Anna Watson and Mary Jane are walking home from shopping when they see the four crooks who Ernie shot; breaking into May's house! Anna quickly calls the police while Mary Jane is thinking she must get to Peter...
Speaking of Peter...him and Joy are walking to May's house when they see hordes of police officers, police cars, SWAT units and reporters all outside May's house! Peter bursts into the crowd until Mary Jane finds him and fills him in on whats going on. At that moment a police officer is making a call to the hostage-takers inside the house; saying that if they come out now they won't get hurt. But the leader of the group retaliates and fires a shot! Everyone jumps to the floor and Peter is about to run in to help when Mary Jane stops him. She says that if he goes in, he'll goof up, because he's too involved and too personal.
Inside the house, the leader is requesting a car in half an hour or he kills everyone. He then explains to his hostages that he has all the people in the house covered with one of his men. Then, when he insults Nathan, May gets angry and slaps him round the face! The leader then gets angry and then shows May with a gun to her head out the window and shouts: "You got twenty minutes or she dies first!".
Peter doesn't care if he goofs up now, he changes into his Spider-Man costume and breaks into the house from the top floor. He takes out the first hostage- taker and rescues Mr. Chekov. Back downstairs, the leader gets angry again and pushes Nathan to the floor while Ernie Popchik tries to calm the leader down.
Back upstairs we go where Spidey webs the second one's gun and mouth up then his hostage punches him around the face! He's cold out. The third one rushes up stairs to see what's going on until Spidey jumps down from the ceiling and headbutts him, knocking him out as well.
If you can count, you'll be able to work out there's only one left: the leader! Enraged, Spider-Man jumps downstairs and webs the leader's gun up, thinking it's over. Until Nathan opens the blinds and a sniper outside takes his perfect shot...killing the leader.
Nathan is then feeling guilty for causing this disaster...and leaves the boarding house. Police then burst in to find out that Spider-Man done their job for them. May and Nathan then have a small argument with May thinking that the death of the leader was so...pointless. May says "It's not just him...it's you. Your expression when you opened the blind. I look at you and I don't know who I'm seeing". Well, maybe trouble is brewing for May and Nathan? At that point Peter rushes in to comfort his Aunt but is met with an awkward silence between the three of them...
Okay, so my boring and long story synopsis probably wasn't that exciting or interesting but this story was. Mr. David created a wonderful hostage situation (well, the actually hostage situation wasn't wonderful but the way it was played out it was.) and a very good dilemma for Pete (saving his Aunt and her boarders while not getting them shot). And it made the story better that it was at close quarters so they were all in a tight space. Very good job.
The art was also very good: showing expressions well, exciting action scenes, and an overall good job really. I'm pretty impressed with this issue!
Well, If I said all these nice things, It would be wrong not to give it full marks! Five webs!