Ben Urich, hardened reporter for the Daily Bugle sups Whisky and assembles some copy for his expose on crime lords, "Made Men".
Howard Mackie isn't my favourite writer just at the moment. Given that he presided over the recent 'dumbing-down' (if that was possible) of the Spidey titles at a time when they showed some potential, I am always reluctant to give him any credit at all.
So, it was with some surprise that I found myself enjoying this story. It's a simple enough tale, wrapped around to two kids who have a run-in with The Kingpin back a few years. One of them ends up on the Kingpin's side, and the other winds up working as an undercover cop.
So recently, when the Kingpin makes a play to come out of retirement, these two old friends find themselves going head to head in a game where few can claim to end up winners.
The story is structured around Ben's reminiscences of the key gangland figures who rule Marvel's New York crime scene - Hammerhead, Silvermane, and the more recent appearances such as Fortunato. The story is quite deftly woven into an interesting climax, with a nice blend of twisted fate and tragic inevitability.
This trade paperback is dated August 1998, which is a few months ago now. Compared to the current pap which passes for Spider-comics, this is a diverting little stand-alone tale which shows perhaps what Mackie would be capable of under different circumstances.
Recommended. Four webs.