Spider-Man: Chapter One #6

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Chuck Roberts


When I first heard of this new series, the typical thoughts hadn't occurred. I could only think of when The Lizard would soon enough grace the pages of the 6th issue, but NO, it came out in the 5th issue, WOW! I was still a little optimistic about this, I was expecting nearly the exact same story which happened, so why still mention it?!

What I really loved about this sorry was by far the most expected and obvious change, they went into the 90's (silent "YES!" here) and refitted the story the bit (new computer instead of microscope and such). I still have recurring nightmares of the "Dad" language and the "groovy" styles! Well, without further adieu, here it is!

Of course, since most of the Lizard story appeared in Spider-Man: Chapter One #5, but that had already been reviewed by Will Harrison. With a bit of pleading, I got the go ahead to be the guest reviewer for issue #6, and I'm gonna take the liberty of starting back one issue first of all.

Story Details

  Spider-Man: Chapter One #6
Summary: Human Torch, Electro (ASM #8,9)
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Writer: John Byrne
Pencils: John Byrne
Inker: John Byrne

So then, like I explained, even though this is the review for #6, we need to go back and look at issue #5 first. Let's start at the first page on #5... WHAT, they're already attacking each other?! Uh oh, flashback to... Dr. Doom?! You can tell I haven't been reading the previous ones, can't you? Ummm, let's see, Spider-Man trapped in electric trap, Flash Thompson in Spidey outfit (where did he get one so cool!?). O.K., Spidey shocks Doom with webbing to send the current his way, and it works, Doom's shell-shocked. Dodge trap, dodge bombs, exposes the fake Doom (yeah, fake), kills robot Doom, saves Flash, Doom's ship blows up, meets Fantastic Four, more stuff, etc. The real Lizard story begins when he goes to school and Flash is bragging about the previous adventure. Pete's not impressed and goes off to the Daily Bugle where JJ has the major news, Lizard in the Everglades! The story's not new (to the reader), Spidey gets and excepts the challenge (to take on Lizard) and faces off with JJ, and tells him to send Parker to cover his battle. Next thing, that happens, and they're on the plane, but Peter's minorly bothered with Jonah's persistence to tag along.

They land, Spidey's off, and BAM, the Lizard!!!! They fight a bit in a swamp (imagine the dry-cleaner bill here) and he observes the typical "he's tough" stuff. Cool, busts a tree, and smacks Spidey into the next zip code. Whoa, that looks fun... lands in a tree. Look, the Conner house, all alone in the middle of nowhere? Now that's weird. What about if a stalker comes, imagine the response time of the police to this place? The 90's are more dangerous, I pity them. Mrs. Conner is at a... gasp, COMPUTER, and looks like a self- respecting business woman, now that's progress. She's still a bit of a pain with her characteristic crying and hesitance, but hey, I can sympathize for her. Billy is whom we re-meet next, your typical 8 or so year old by the look. Now this time they got it better, a slightly longer interaction of father to son, and The Lizard actually wins against Spidey and takes Billy into the swamp with him! I'm excited, this is great!! Lizard must have read the old comic. Spider-Man thinks Billy drowned in the swamp, but Mrs. Conner knows he won't be hurt and leads Spider-Man (this time she comes too!) to the ancient Spanish fort that Conner and his son explored before all this happened.

They just happen to see The Lizard try and convince his son to join him. No army of alligators this time, it seems he's riding almost solo from the start. Well, once again, Billy never gets to answer, when Spidey interrupts and smacks him a good one. The Lizard looks at his wife, mad and betrayed and runs into the wilderness. Martha tells Spider-Man that is exactly what I would've figured out 10 pages ago if I was Spider-Man, Curtis is The Lizard! Then, I was so mad, it's a "to be continued"!!! This is so horrible, what a crime, what a disgrace, WHAT A WAIT!

But through the magic of retroactive reviewing, we can now skip to #6. And... HUH??? NO!!! To my utter disappointment, the rest of this story is merely a quick flashback. Well, I waited 30 days for 4 pages and 19 panels of this sequel. Spider-Man makes the formula, cure, serum or whatever, finds The Lizard and almost instantly pours the stuff into his mouth. This exact same ending is so much a waste of my money, I wanted to protest. It doesn't matter how much they change Electro and his goofy costume, I still hate him. And then they had the nerve to tell me to wait yet another month to see Lizard's origin. I did the only thing I could do after being so mad, I waited for the next one. Poor me.

General Comments

Well, artwork is O.K., story's decent, but this wait-for-a-month- to-get-last-month's-ending syndrome is getting really old. Being a sucker for this emotional stuff, I would still like to see Billy have a heart-to-heart with The Lizard. At least The Lizard has teeth this time, but it's about time to change the pants. Purple in the 90's stands for Barney, so we need something new and exciting like... blue jeans. Give him a watch and take the lab coat away, do all scientists still wear them now? I doubt it. I know they want to maintain the old look, but please, fashion matters in this age. I like Martha's new look, she's no Wonder Woman, but she's not as much of a helpless crybaby, suppressed by society, house-wife type. She evens LEADS Spidey to Lizard, yeah, she comes along (Yeah, I said it again)! Talk about women of the 90's, this is much better. Billy is nearly the same, but goes in the insect- infested swamp, yuck! Spider-Man is not quite the same, not such a nerd anymore, and looks a little less muscular, which is good. One thing we don't need is brainy body-builders here. Alright, I'm neglecting the ratings! This first one's a classic... in about 10 years. Still, I love the father-son interaction, Martha's heroic side and The Lizard looks better than the original, but I still have better versions of him in mind

Overall Rating

Four and a half webs for this one. You'll have to read someone else's review to get issue #6 completely, I included the little portion with this one for a nice overall! There you go, review-ala-Chuck!

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Chuck Roberts