Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #121

Background

What happens when Peter, Mary Jane and J. Jonah Jameson all witness a robbery? Hilarity ensues. What happens when Peter David is writing this particular tale? Hilarity times ten ensues.

Story 'Eye Witness!'

Robbie walks into a diner and sees Peter, MJ and Jonah chatting it up while they knock back a few drinks (well Peter and MJ are having Cokes, Jameson is the one getting hammered). Since this is a once-in-a-million scene, Robbie smells a story. A bank was robbed and our three drinkers just happened to watch the whole thing go down. Robbie gets the story from everyone's point of view.

MJ's Story:

Peter & MJ stop by the Bugle to pick up Peter's check. Peter runs into Jonah and to show his gratitude of how much he appreciates working for JJ, he invites him to lunch. Jonah insists on paying and that "the ravishing Mary Jane" comes with them. Peter's getting his check cashed at the bank and MJ & Jonah wait near the customer service desk. All of a sudden a buffed out dude busts in with what looks like a machine gun. He orders everyone to put their backs to the wall or he'll decorate the place with their blood. The gun-wielding maniac spots MJ and says she looks like his first "great love." MJ says she has that effect on all men and begins to pour on the charm but he turns away because he doesn't want to be reminded of how he was hurt once before (or at least that's the impression I got). Jonah steps in, none too pleased with his treatment of "the exquisite Mary Jane." Gun goon shoves Jonah across a desk but he bounces back on his feet, not the least bit harmed. At that moment, Spider-Man shows ups. Trying to shoot the wall-crawler, he hits a woman instead. Spidey is so angry that he takes gun goon behind the counters and gives him a well-deserved thrashing. Before Spidey takes his leave (taking off in a pose that looks more suited to Superman), he remarks that MJ is "the most stunning creature on the face of this hapless little planet."

Robbie sounds like he isn't sure MJ told him everything exactly how it happened. Jameson tells Peter to order another round of drinks. He's gonna tell his version of the story and he says it'll gonna take a while.

Jonah's Story:

Jameson is at the Bugle where he runs into Peter and MJ. Reading Peter's mind he suggests they go out for lunch and he'll treat them as well as discuss an increase on his pay checks. Naturally he says MJ must accompany them. At the customer service desk, JJ is clouding the place up with smoke. The woman at the desk ask what "that splendid aroma" is and it happens to be the "the finest imported Havannah cigar." Gun goon busts into the place and this time he's got even more muscle on him and he's drooling. He tries to kiss a freaked out MJ but he gets spooked when Jameson tells him who he is. "Not... THE Jonah Jameson!!" He's clearly stunned as is everyone else to be in the same room with such a legend. He starts throwing punches at Jonah, but he dodges with Spidey-like reflexes. Jonah had all kinds of different methods to stop him but Spider-Man suddenly appeared. Jonah says he could let gun goon shoot Spidey but he can't let anyone come to harm, even someone like Spider-Man. So he jumps on the desk and delivers a karate chop to disarm gun goon. Unfortunately when the gun hits the ground it goes off and shoots a nearby woman because Spidey quickly moved out of the way. Spider-Man is furious. Furious because he almost hit him. He struggles to get gun goon over into the the desk area because he's so heavy. Jameson says Spidey probably offered gun goon help in escaping only to leave on his own. As Spider-Man is walking out he steps over the still body of the woman that was shot saying "Whoops! Low Bridge." Everyone tells Jonah how awesome he was handling the situation. Peter comments that he can't believe that he works for a great guy like JJ.

Robbie wonders how many drinks Jonah has had. MJ says Jameson's version of the story is probably more accurate then her own. She isn't an expert in observation like he is. Robbie asks Peter if he agrees with what Jonah told him. Peter doesn't sound like he does and Robbie tells him that they have an obligation to tell the readers of the Bugle the correct story. Peter knows that MJ is only trying to help but he goes on and tells Robbie his story.

Peter's Story:

Peter and MJ are at the Bugle discussing web-fluid and MJ suggests he invite Jameson out for lunch. They bump into Jonah and Peter takes MJ's advice. Since there's no way he pays Peter enough to take people out to lunch, Jameson says he'll pay because he'll be "sick for a week" if he goes some place Peter can afford. At the Bank, gun goon comes in and he isn't as intimidating as he was in MJ and Jonah's stories. Not even close. He even apologizes for knocking over the security guard when he opened the door. While he isn't looking, Peter sneaks off to change into Spider-Man. He peeks out the door, thinking of how he should handle this guy. He can't web up his gun because he has no web fluid. Gun goon aims the gun at Jonah and MJ thinks that if she saves him, it will reflect well on Peter so she turns on the charm. He lowers his gun and even gives her his name, Morty Phillips. When he realizes he goofed, he pushes MJ aside. JJ tells him who he isn't but Morty isn't impressed and pushes him over a desk, asking if he's alright. Spideys about to make his move when Jameson shouts and points up at Spider-Man. Morty panics and drops his piece, which goes off, hitting a woman in the shoulder. Spidey quickly rushes Monty behind the desks before anyone else gets hurt in case he has another gun. To his surprise the gun was only loaded with BB's. Morty turns out to be missing a few screws and literally starts beating himself up. Spidey turns him over to the bank guards and makes his way back to change. He comes out as Peter just in time to hear Jameson calling Spidey a glory hog.

Jonah leaves in disgust and MJ leaves, upset with Peter for not going along with her and Jameson's version of the story. Robbie commends Peter for telling the truth and leaves. With everyone gone, Peter is left with the check.

General Comments

Who doesn't love a tale where you get three different versions of a story? This is Peter David cutting loose and having an absolute blast with Spider-Man. Once you start reading you can pretty much tell which bits of MJ and Jameson's story were embellished. OK, practically every bit of MJ and Jameson's story were embellished, but that's what made them such a laugh riot in the first place. I about died laughing when Spidey stepped over the body of the woman that got shot in Jameson's story. That moment was priceless.

You just knew Peter was gonna do the right thing with his story. This is, after all Mr. Power & Responsibility we're talking about. It may have cost Peter MJ getting mad at him and a raise from JJ, but there was no doubt Peter would do what's right even if the right thing doesn't necessarily sit too well with others.

Overall Rating

One of the funniest Spider-Man stories I've ever read and one of my favorites. Every Spider-Fan needs to own this issue.