Web of Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #87

Story 'The Best Defense'

Right, now it's Richard Fisk who is fighting the Ninjas, struggling to find the inner strength inherited from his father, so that he can destroy his father - although we see that in most likelihood he would then replace him, rendering the whole thing pointless. In fact, Howard Mackie seems to have a thing with 'endless cycles', the Osborn family being a classic example. The nice thing about an endless cycle is that it is a great excuse to just keep re-using hackneyed old plots, without ever having to think of anything new, which is clearly why that style suits Mr. Mackie so perfectly.

Of course, how an ordinary untrained unarmed guy can beat six finely-honed martial arts instructors armed with swords is beyond me. This really stretches the credibility beyond breaking point.

OK, back to the story. Sargeant Blume comes visiting Peter and MJ, but they're not home. MJ is up in a 'safe house', but she blabs all the details to the answerphone, rendering all of that pretty pointless. Blume starts poking around in rather unofficial sort of way.

Richard Fisk is resting at home, with his fiance Rebecca who looks like a twenty-something year old version of his mother. Clearly, another of those endless cycle things. Hobgoblin is brought in. He and Richard scrap a little but then agree to work together. Richard and The Rose are also having some difficulties working together. Richard is getting a little out of control.

Cue action. It's all happening down at the docks. The word has gone out, and it travels about. Nick Katzenburg, The Rose, Richard, and the usual collection of crims with firearms. Plus Spidey... but it's a trap! Sonics and smoke confuse his spider-sense, and he is outflanked by a bunch of guys in high-tech armour and even more guns. Yes, it's The Praetorian Guard! A bunch of high-tech mercenaries brought in by Hobgoblin. And now Hobgoblin arrives, and he's going to kill the defeated and unconscious Spider-Man. Oh no!

Overall Rating

Half a web? Is that too kind?