Comics : Web of Spider-Man #26

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: World Wide Web of Spidey

This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

Marvel are building for a crossover with Amazing and Spectacular when the Hogoblin/Rose/Jack O'Lantern and Kingpin arcs come to an end. To make sure everything lines up, Web Of... is getting the flashback treatment.

In Detail...

"Nothing To Fear"
Web of Spider-Man #26
May 1987 : SM Title
Summary: Gunther, Willy
Editor:  Jim Salicrup
Plot:  Stefan Petrucha
Writer:  Len Kaminski
Pencils:  Tom Morgan
Inker:  Mike Esposito
Cover Art:  Charles Vess
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Articles: Jameson, J. Jonah, Jameson, J. Jonah, Robertson, Joe "Robbie"

Spidey bags a coupla crooks who are breaking into a train carriage. While doing so, though, he inhales some weird gas. One of them (Willy) gives him a fake sob-story about having a family to support, etc and Spidey lets him go.

Later, at the Bugle, Pete sees a news report where the two crooks he busted are also wanted for stealing a big charity fund. He realises he's been duped and goes after the crook he let go. He stops by at Josie's Bar to get some crook info but some police sirens almost give him a seizure as, presumably, the gas is affecting him

Meanwhile Willy is having a run-in with the other crook (Gunther) that he left for Spidey at the start. The police couldn't pin anything on Gunther and now he's looking for revenge. Willy leaves an ad in the Bugle for Spidey to meet him at the train yard cos he wants protection. Pete has another seizure at home.

Pete sees the ad but, because of his condition, is worried about going into action as Spidey. He decides to go for it though and goes to the train yard. Gunther is there also, terrorising Willy. Despite another seizure, Spidey manages to stop Gunther and get the charity money back from Willy. 'Several' days later and Spidey's feeling fine again.

In General...

In itself, Nothing To Fear is a reasonable, self-contained story. The two crooks aren't very dangerous but, with Spidey's temporary incapacity, there is a hint of trouble about them. As with the last issue, none of the supporting cast are present (except for Joe very briefly), which make it one of those 'could-be-anytime'-type stories that are quite clearly just filler material.

After such a good run of stories that included Joy and developed Pete significantly, the last two books have very much put Web Of... back as the third, dispensable title. I know Marvel are waiting for the crossover period a couple of issues down the line but it doesn't help the quality of the series to push books like this that could fit in anywhere. These are stories more apt for an annual-esque release, where continuity and time-scaling isn't as important.

Having said that, things could have been much worse - as with issue 25. Tom Morgan's pencils, along with Mike Esposito's inks are pretty clean and Spidey looks really good in the old red and blue outfit (even though he's wearing the black one on the cover).

Overall Rating...

Not a bad issue but more could have been done with the end imminent to an arc that's been prominent in the other two titles for a couple of years (real time).