Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #98

Background

Here it is. The Lookback you've all been waiting for. This issue marks the first appearance of the amazing Spot. The Spot, who would go on to become something of a cult favorite due to his strange powers and ridiculous polka-dot on stark white appearance, was conceived on Al Milgrom’s final arc as writer for Spectacular Spider-Man.

Story 'True Confessions!'

  Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #98
Summary: Bad Luck Powers Revealed, Origin The Spot
Arc: Part 1 of 'First Spot' (1-2-3)
Editor: Danny Fingeroth
Writer: Al Milgrom
Pencils: Herb Trimpe
Inker: Jim Mooney
Cover Art: Al Milgrom

"I don’t want to do this!” shouts Pete as he changes into his costume. He laments the fact that his old red and blue costume doesn’t instantly dress him like the symbiote would (we are only a couple months past the alien suit reveal), and he then jumps out into the night. His destination is the loft apartment of Felicia Hardy, and he has an important heart-to-heart conversation that needs to transpire. Once Spidey drops in on Felicia, startling her, she implores Pete to both keep his mask on and go swinging across town as they converse. Conveniently, Felicia is already dressed up as the Black Cat.

Meanwhile, we are introduced to the bespectacled scientist known as Johnathon Ohnn as he is berated by the crime lord known as the Kingpin. The Kingpin is curious as to why his staff of scientists have yet to create another super villain that could be used to aid his crime ring. Ohnn speaks up, letting Kingy know that his research on Cloak’s teleporting powers may soon reach a breakthrough. Anxious for results, Ohnn does a lot of computerized mumbo jumbo and, by using Cloak’s power, opens up a trans-dimensional portal in the lab at Kingpin’s tower. Curiosity gets the best of our scientist friend and he wastes little time jumping into the portal. Judging by the agonizing scream that Ohnn lets out, not everything went smoothly.

As Spider-Man and Black Cat hang out on the roofs of skyscrapers, Ohnn’s experiment apparently knocked out power to the entire city. Meanwhile, within the darkened streets of New York, the recently escaped alien symbiote slithers about. This begins the set up that runs throughout this arc that eventually results in the return of the alien costume in the memorable Web of Spider-Man #1.

Rebuking Black Cat’s suggestion for cuddle time, Spidey dashes off into the dark city to take care of looters and muggers. Spider-Man can’t understand why Felicia doesn’t have the same sense of responsibility as he does and she explains that, “I feel no guilt or shame for what I did – in fact, if I hadn’t fallen for you, I’d still be doing it!”

In another dimension, Johnathon Ohnn awakens to find himself in a bright white world surrounded by black spots. After floating around in the dimension for a bit, he decides to again take the plunge and dive headlong into another dimensional portal. Once he reappears in Kingpin’s tower, Ohnn no longer looks human. Instead, he looks ridiculous.

As the lights around New York are again illuminated, Felicia explains that her recently acquired “bad luck” powers were given to her by the Kingpin himself. Spider-Man is obviously upset by this, which in turn upsets the Black Cat. Soon enough the balcony in which Pete is standing crumbles and a water tower explodes; bad luck powers in action. On the final page, Spider-Man and Black Cat decide to take the fight to Kingpin himself. While at the Kingpin’s tower, Ohnn has decided to use his newly acquired Spot powers to defeat Spider-Man.

General Comments

This is really nothing more than a setup issue, and not a good one at that. If any type of anticipation is actually built up here, it’s to see exactly what this Spot fella is all about. Milgrom’s dialogue between Spidey and Black Cat is terribly stale and sometimes painful to read. This arc gets better (kind of), but starts off on the wrong foot.

Overall Rating

At one point during a fight with a hood, Black Cat says “Puss-In-Boots is now finished kicking booties!” I think 2 Webs is generous.