Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #155

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Spectacular Beginnings

This review was first published on: 2006.


Back in Spectacular Spider-Man #150 Robbie was sent to prison for thirty-six months for "misprision of felony" for not testifying against Tombstone years ago and in the next issue we see that he is sent to the same prison as Tombstone himself. Robbie has a long history with Lonnie Lincoln (aka Tombstone) going back to their High School days when Lonnie forced Robbie into writing a bogus story about Lonnie for the school's newspaper. Ever since then Robbie has been terrified of him and has never really been able to stand up against his old high school bully.

In Detail...

"Crash Out!"
Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #155
Oct 1989 : SMURF 320.600 : SM Title
Summary: Tombstone forces Joe Robertson to help escape Prison
Editor:  Jim Salicrup
Writer:  Gerry Conway
Pencils:  Sal Buscema
Inker:  Mike Esposito
Cover Art:  Sal Buscema
Staff Only
Articles: Aunt May Parker, Black Cat, Flash Thompson, Green Goblin II (Harry Osborn), Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Robertson, Joe "Robbie", Tombstone

Instead of the usual setting of New York's finest buildings, we open with Spidey breaking into the Lewisburg Federal Prison in Union County, Pennsylvania. While breaking into the prison Spider-Man gives a nice recap of events taking place in the other two Spider-Man books. Over in Web he talks about the Kingpin being involved in a gang war with the Lobo Brothers and Hammerhead and the Chameleon. In a particular fight, Eduardo Lobo, a mutant werewolf gets the upper hand but is shot by one Gloria Grant, who was really aiming at Spider-Man.

Over in the Amazing titles Peter overhears a phone call between Aunt May and a doctor. Not hearing the whole conversation, Peter believes that when the doctor said that there's about 6 month's left before death, that he is actually talking about Aunt May. Peter tells Mary Jane who is also stumped on what to do. But before they can do anything Peter gets a phone call from Robbie Robertson who tells Peter that his father desperately needs to see Spider-Man.

Seeing as how Robbie has always been fair to Peter and to Spider-Man, Spidey makes his way to Pennsylvania. After breaking in he finds Robbie's cell and asks him what he needs, Robbie only can apologize as a wild punch is thrown by Tombstone. Before Spider-Man can move away, Robbie injects him with a poison that acts a lot like something Spider-Man was injected by the Chameleon at one time. All Robbie can say is that he didn't have a choice as Tombstone proceeds to beat one sick Spider-Man, who can barely stand on his own two feet.

Meanwhile, Mary Jane, deciding to spend some quality time with Aunt May, takes her to Bingo night only to discover that it's a meeting for Elderly volunteers. Instead of leaving like Mary Jane thinks Aunt May will want to, Aunt May decides to stick around and see if there's anything she can do to help. Mary Jane, still believing that Aunt May only has six months left to live, can't believe that with the limited amount of time she has left, that she'd actually want to volunteer.

Also, we see Harry Osborn and Flash Thompson working at Osborn Chemical Company. After the events that took place in the Inferno storyline, the place needs to be practically rebuilt and Harry offers Flash the job of Construction Supervisor. Flash doesn't think he's smart enough for the job and then goes into a rant about how his life has turned out. He was the popular, quarterback in school and now Peter is having the best of luck going marrying a super model and going back to college. Meanwhile, Flash can't seem to cut a break. As this conversation is going on we see the Black Cat running around in the background.

With Spider-Man chained up to the wall, Tombstone really works him over, only to stop when a guard approaches. It seems the guard is working for Tombstone and even though he could care less if Spider-Man lives or dies, the only way Tombstone is getting out of there is if he uses Spider-Man in his prison break, which also means that the guard will get paid (nice guy). After everyone leaves him chained up, Spider-Man asks Robbie, why'd he do it, why did he betray him and Robbie admits that it's because of fear. He has always been afraid of Tombstone even back in high school.

Outside two helicopters approach the prison as the prison guards hit the alarm, which is Tombstone's signal to get moving. With Spider-Man in hand he uses the web-slinger as a hostage against the guards, but only long enough for the helicopters to get there and finish off the tower patrolmen.

As the prison break is taking place with guns firing everywhere and shouting going back and forth, Tombstone reveals that he had some outside help that wanted him to be free and wanted Spider-Man dead at the same time. Before he can tell Spidey who his connection is, Spider-Man breaks free of the chains holding him. He is still pretty drugged up but he gained enough strength to free himself and fight off Tombstone's goons.

As Tombstone heads for the helicopter he grabs Robbie and drags him along so that he could deal with him for testifying against him and sending him to prison in the first place. Spider-Man still weak from the injection grabs the bars on the bottom of the helicopter as it lifts off. Tombstone busies himself trying to kick Spider-Man off and just before he accomplishes this Robbie jumps onto Tombstone's back and they both fall from the helicopter down to the forest below.

Spider-Man, without Tombstone trying to kill him, jumps up into the cabin and quickly dispatches with the last thug on board. Spidey tells the pilot to fly him back to where Robbie fell but the thug makes Spidey realize that they would never be able to find the exact spot because of the dense trees. Spidey questions whether anyone could even survive a fall from that height but that he is proud of Robbie for finally standing up to Tombstone.

In General...

After hearing from Robbie Robertson's son that Robbie was in need of Spider-Man, Peter rushes to the prison in Pennsylvania where Robbie is being held. Once there Spidey quickly realizes that it was a trap that Tombstone pulled to get him there so that he could use him to break out of jail and then kill him, but Spider-Man doesn't go along with his plans. After jumping onto the bottom of Tombstone's get-away helicopter Robbie jumps onto Tombstone's back and they both fall from the cabin into the heavily wooded forest below. Not knowing where exactly they fell and not knowing if anyone could survive a fall from such height, the helicopter flies off.

Overall Rating...

There were some points that were a little hard to reach for me, like Robbie, a normal man being able to quickly inject Spider-Man with a poison before Spider-Man and his super speed could dodge it. But for the most part this was a solid story and it was good to see Robbie finally stand up for himself.