Mary Jane is presumed dead, but Peter doesn't believe it. So, when he gets a mysterious call that his wife is alive and being held in Latveria, he jumps on the next airplane to find his beloved! But, due to recent events Spidey is unsure of whether he'll have to face of against Stryfe, Doctor Doom or a new monarch of Latveria.
|Pencils:||John Romita, Jr.|
|Cover Art:||John Romita, Jr.|
|Reprinted In:||Spider-Man Universe #3|
At Doom's castle in Latveria, the head of the evil robot Doctor Doom is reattached (Spidey accidentally yanked it off last issue) as two Latverian generals converse with Doom while blindfolded (because nobody in Latveria actually realizes that they're ruled by a Doombot). Doom orders the military to tear up the picturesque Latverian countryside in search of Spider-Man. Of course, Spidey is still hiding in the Latverian rebel stronghold. That is, until he hears explosions outside, and he bounds up the stairs.
Spidey is just about to take on the entire Latverian army when Anna, the daughter of the rebel leader captured by Doom, stops him, convincing him that it will do no good. She decides that Spidey is no longer safe there, and convinces him to change to his civilian identity so that he can be moved inconspicuously (Spidey only objects for a moment, since the girl lives on the other side of the planet and they'll likely never see each other again). So Peter and Anna go looking for sanctuary, and they get about two steps from their door before a Latverian soldier stops them.
The soldier demands papers, and Pete kicks him in the stomach. He grabs Anna and takes to the rooftops, and they flee to the countryside, where they're safe. Peter does some soul-searching on power and responsibility, and some Latverian jets fly by overhead and bomb the city. Pete gets mad, rips his shirt open, and says he's going to stop Doom.
Back at Doom's castle, the mad Doctor is disciplining any officers who questioned the brutality of his actions. Anna's father, the rebel leader, is brought in for execution, but Spidey swings in just in time. Spidey and Doom fight, and Spidey reveals that Doom is a robot. The Latverians, realizing they've been led by a Doombot all this time, cock their guns and blow away the imposter. Spidey swings out of the castle with Anna's father, drops him off with Anna, and gets mad at himself for going all the way to Latveria just because some weirdo on the phone told him to.
Hmmmm... this is a tough one. JRJR's art was right on, as usual, and the story wasn't bad either. Sure, it was just a "Hero storming the castle" story, but that's a classic. There were some things that bothered me, though. First, in the next issue box at the end of the previous issue, both Doom and Stryfe are mentioned prominently. But instead of Doom, we get a robot fake, and Stryfe does not appear at all. Second, Spidey beat the Doombot way too easy. The Doombots are supposed to be practically identical to Doom, and Doom is out of Spidey's league. The Doombot seemed to be malfunctioning, so maybe it can be justified.
But these are all just minor quibbles. It was a good, fun story. It's always good to see Doom, and the scenes with Peter and Anna were well done. It was also neat to see Pete doing the Spidey-thing without the costume on.
My griping aside, this issue wasn't half-bad. You've got Spider-Man, you've got Doctor Doom, so therefore you've got a fun time. Three webs.