Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #46

 Posted: 14 Sep 2023
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)



Story 'Deadly is the Cobra!'

At Ryker’s Island prison, Klaus Voorhees (aka the Cobra) managed to pry open a corner of the screen in his cell door. He had just enough room to slither out of the opening and towards a drain in the hallway. Before he escaped, his former partner, Mr. Hyde, begged him for help from his cell. Voorhees told him that every time they worked together they were beaten and he ended their partnership before crawling down the drain.

A few hours later, Spider-Man was swinging across town complaining about his luck. His alarm clock didn’t work and he was running late to his job as a teacher at ESU. He took a moment to talk to Deb Whitman about how he had left her alone in Times Square the night before. She stammered that it was no trouble and he offered to make it up to her and she suggested dinner. Peter walked into the next room and found Phil pushing Hopkins around in a chair, happy to have Chip Martin gone. All of the teaching assistants had their own cubicles.

The phone rang and it was Barney Bushkin calling to tell him that Cobra had broken out and he needed pictures. Peter didn’t know what he or Spider-Man had to do with the Cobra, as Daredevil usually handled him. Bushkin said one guy in a costume is the same as any other. He told Peter to have the pictures by the next day and he’d get a bonus. After the call, Peter thought Bushkin was a sleaze and so was The Daily Globe but the bonus sounded good.

Just then Marcy Kane arrived and said she’d been at the doctor’s office. When Peter asked if she was ok, she told him to shut up. She walked past Hopkins and told him not to say a word. None of them knew what her problem was but Philip told Peter he was teaching freshman chemistry that day. For the next few hours he helped the confused students and afterwards relaxed with some web swinging. He managed to stop a purse snatching, then scared off some thugs harassing a news vendor. The vendor wasn’t very grateful, as he read the Bugle and Jameson’s editorials on Spider-Man. Spidey swung off as the vendor called him a bum.

A few hours later he was about to head home when his spider sense warned him. He approached the diamond district and decided to see what was going on. In one of the stores, Cobra was pleased with his heist, thinking he’d be living well for months. That’s when he saw the spider signal fill the room. Spidey crashed in through a window but was stunned at how quickly Cobra moved past him out the same window. He followed Cobra to the roof but briefly lost sight of him. Cobra jumped from his hiding place and coiled around Spidey, trying to crush him. Spider-Man broke out easily but Cobra quickly slithered down a chimney. Spidey tore it away before Cobra got far but the serpent again bolted away. Spider-Man set up his camera and went looking for his prey when he was hit by gas pellets. Cobra bragged that they were his own special cobra gas and he’d never mock him again.

Spidey punched him away and said he’d held his breath, as two others had tried to gas him recently. (Belladonna and Malachai Toomes.) Cobra again slithered down the building and as Spider-Man gave chase, he was hit by three of Cobra’s darts. He staggered backward and Cobra leaped at him, surprised that he was still standing. Spidey thought that he’d rather be knocked out, as the poison made him groggy.

Just then, Lt. Keating arrived with his special forces, responding to a report of the robbery. He ordered his men to shoot Cobra and when an officer asked about Spider-Man, Keating said he’d have to move. The warning shots missed them but distracted Spider-Man, allowing Cobra to escape. Spidey went after Cobra again but was hit by a net fired by the police. Losing his patience, Spidey broke out of the net and webbed Cobra back to him. He nailed him with a punch into a chimney, then carried the unconscious man to the police. Keating said he should thank Spider-Man but wanted to know when costumes would stay out of police business. A frustrated Spider-Man asked if Keating was afraid of being shown up and before the argument could continue, a cop stopped them. He said Cobra had escaped as they loaded him into the police van. He had hit two officers and got away before anyone could stop him. Spidey congratulated him on losing the bad guy and Keating said he’d regret mouthing off to him. As Spidey swung off, he told him to get behind Jameson.

General Comments

It’s still a pretty simple story but definitely an improvement over the previous issues I’d reviewed. It certainly was the day to trash Peter Parker and Spider-Man, which for some reason never gets old. We all know Spidey as the guy that can’t catch a break and it’s on full display here.

It was interesting to see Peter as a teaching assistant, since he went on to teach high school during Straczynski’s time writing Amazing Spider-Man.

Sadly we never find out what Marcy Kane’s problem is, as she was eventually written off as an alien studying earth.

It was a nice twist seeing Cobra escape from the police. It kept the story from being a typical “hero saves the day.” I did groan a little when Spidey says to Keating, “At least I didn’t lose the guy I’d captured! What do you do for an encore, give Manhattan back to the Indians?” Definitely a line that hasn’t aged well.

Overall Rating

It’s nothing especially memorable but it’s a step up from what I’ve seen.

 Posted: 14 Sep 2023
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)