Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #249

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This story is part of an Arc: "Evil Incarnate"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Norman Osborn is back with a vengeance! To make things worse for Spidey, Jack O'Lantern is back and more dangerous than ever, while "Kraven" seems to be returned from the dead! Ouch!

In Detail...

"Into The Light"
Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #249
Sep 1997 : SM Title
Summary: Kraven & Calypso, Norman Osborn
Arc: Part 2 of "Evil Incarnate"
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Plot:  J.M. DeMatteis
Writer:  Mark Bernardo
Pencils:  Luke Ross
Inker:  Dan Green
Cover Art:  Luke Ross
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Articles: Betty Brant, Calypso, Kafka, Dr. Ashley, Flash Thompson, Green Goblin I (Norman Osborn), Jameson, J. Jonah, Alyosha Kravinoff, John Jameson (Man-Wolf), Mary Jane Watson-Parker

The splash page finds "Kraven" visiting his(??) grave site, vowing that "Kraven the Hunter will never be weak again," when who should arrive but Calypso, his(??) former lover. The two embrace momentarily, then Kraven pushes her away and leaves. Peter, meanwhile, has put his webbed tights away long enough for a romantic dinner with his wife, which has become an awkward evening of silence. Mary Jane, whose face looks awfully chubby on page 5, is tired of Peter's neverending responsibility ("what about your responsibility to ME?") He assures her that she is more important than Spider-Man, but will later ditch her to investigate a strange creature that could be connected to whoever this "Kraven" really is.

Flash Thompson comes into the story with a perfect free throw, shooting hoops at the New Jersey school where he teaches gym. His sister Jessie, at his behest, meets him there, but immediately becomes hostile when he wants to talk about their father. Jessie puts the blame for his current situation where it belongs, squarely on his shoulders, which Flash vehemently denies, along with her assertion that he has a drinking problem.

Spider-Man, after promising to meet MJ later, finally catches up to the mysterious creature and discovers it to be John Jameson... sort of. It seems that Dr. Kafka's hypnosis last issue transformed him into the Man-Wolf, but only mentally. Physically, he's still human. Spidey subdues him fairly quickly, only to be met by Dr. Kafka, who has been frantically searching for John ever since she regained consciousness from his attack earlier. She asks for Spider-Man's help to reverse the process, which he gives, standing up MJ at the movie theater.

The scene switches back to New Jersey, with a seriously drunk Flash Thompson driving way too fast in the pouring rain and complaining about his sister's lack of help. At the last minute, he swerves to avoid a young boy that had run out into the road to get his dog, flips over and smashes into a tree; the last shot we see of him is his unconscious body.

Jonah, who has just been released from the hospital, goes to the Daily Bugle to find a serious brouhaha. Norman Osborn has shown up, prompting Betty Brant to call the police. Norman, however, has every right to be there, and the issue ends with his chilling announcement: "I OWN the Daily Bugle."

In General...

This is just great stuff. Norman Osborn is played with a fantastic sense of menace. You can't help but feel that Spidey is in for one heck of a ride before this is all over.

Overall Rating...

A great four webs.