Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #235

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This story is part of an Arc: "Free Will"
     Part 1 / Part 2

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

After all the excitement from the recently completed Blood Brothers story arc, Marvel has decided to take a short rest from the Clone Saga before it heats up again in another couple of months ...

New Spider-Editor Ralph Macchio has once again separated the four core Spider-titles from each other, giving each creative team a chance to work their own magic on the web-slinger while still mixing together interconnected subplots from title to title (just like it used to be in the good ol' days).

In Spectacular #235, the team of Todd Dezago & Sal Buscema, working under this "new" system, give us a story featuring the quasi-super-villain Will-o'-the-Wisp entitled "Puppets"...

In Detail...

"Puppets"
Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #235
Jun 1996 : SM Title
Summary: Will 'O Wisp, Dragon Man
Arc: Part 1 of "Free Will"
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  Todd DeZago
Pencils:  Sal Buscema
Inker:  John Stanisci
Cover Art:  Sal Buscema
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Articles: Ben Reilly, Green Goblin IV (Phil Urich), Jameson, J. Jonah, Rose III (Jacob Conover), Robertson, Joe "Robbie"

Ben, as Spider-man, is confronted by the Will-o'-the-Wisp, a former research scientist in electromagnetics whose molecular structure has been altered due to an accident in the lab. Wisp has the ability to alter his body on the molecular level, and we learn that he is being used as a pawn in some grand scheme of the Roxxon Corporation. He seeks Spidey's help, because he cannot help himself, but the whole things goes awry as the Wisp is forced to free a creature called Dragon Man from a maximum security government facility. The issue ends with Dragon Man bearing down on Spidey, and will be concluded next month in this very same title.

In General...

The art was excellent and the story was pretty good, too. I especially liked the scenes when Peter and Ben interacted (Ben asking Peter about Wisp, Peter giving him some advice on how to handle him). It's great having Peter back in New York ... Now let's just get him back as the REAL Spider-man and things will be even better! (Are you listening, Marvel?)

The separation of the core titles back to individual continuity is a much- welcomed event, and based on the quality of the issues that have come out thus far, a much-needed one. Giving each team the chance to do its own thing allows far greater creativity, and it also makes each team work hard to get people to buy their title. There's no more four-parters that all but force people to buy every issue in order to get the whole story. For this, the new editorial team of Macchio (Spider-editor) and Bob Harras (new Editor-in-Chief) deserve to be commended.

Overall Rating...

A solid three webs. It was very well done, and for only $1.50 US, worth every cent. Still, without Peter Parker as Spider-man, how good can it really be?