This mini-series is yet another re-imagining of the Spider-Man mythos. This one explores what would happen if Spider-Man began his career in the 1930s. It presents a more mature take on the character and explores much darker themes.
We open this issue with the police discovering the grisly crime scene left in the abandoned theatre from last issue. We’re introduced to Captain Jean De Wolfe (who is a man this time around, for those of you keeping score). We learn that while he hates vigilantes like Spider-Man, he hates mobsters and criminals even more.
Meanwhile, following a tip from a stoolie, Spider-Man is busting into an underground club called Seventh Heaven. He comes in with tommy gun and a pistol, but just uses them to scare the crowd. He runs everyone out except for the club’s owner, Fat Larry. They go on a tour of the club, and Spider-Man finds a steel-reinforced room filled with shackles and chains. Spider-Man thinks something fishy is going on, but Fat Larry doesn’t squeal.
Frustrated by another dead end, Spider-Man goes to see Felicia, but spies her with another man. Instead he visits Aunt May, where he finds out that Robbie’s been missing. His girlfriend, Gloria Grant, tells Aunt May and Peter about the story he was working on. He was doing a story on the American Nazi Party and their ties to the KKK, while also investigating the disappearance of dozens of black people off the streets of Harlem. Robbie thought that the two stories were somehow connected, but didn’t have enough evidence.
Peter is so upset by this news that he runs out, determined to find Robbie on his own. Meanwhile, we see that Joself Ansell, the head of the American Nazi Party, is working directly with the Crime Master in supplying black “test subjects” to Dr. Octavius.
Spider-Man returns once again to Seventh Heaven, this time determined to make Fat Larry talk. There’s just one little snag. The Crime Master, his henchman the Sandman, and the rest of his gang are there waiting for him. Spider-Man makes short work of the regular goons, but when he hits the Sandman it nearly breaks his fist. The Sandman hits him once and he’s knocked out with his back to the floor.
A conspiracy is revealed and the action heats up.
The German American Bund was a real thing in 1930s American, as well as the Tuskagee Expirements. The writer has clearly done his homework and easily weaves historical references into a dramatic story.