Saturday, 26 February 2011

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man, No. 1

December 1976 saw the debut of 'Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man' which was the second spin-off from the 'Amazing Spider-Man' series (the first being 'Marvel Team-Up'). The series ran for 263 issues until 1998 and featured many great artists and writers including; Frank Miller, Jim Mooney, Gerry Conway, Archie Goodwin, Bill Mantlo and Roger Stern.

This issue features Spidey's foe 'Tarantula', a character who once served as hired muscle for the Jackal (he was last seen taken a beating from Captain America in 'Captain America' #224). It seems a strange choice to choose such a low profile character for the opening of a brand new series seeing as Spider-Man has many more well established enemies to choose from. The start of the issue sees Spider-Man taking photographs of Vice-Chancellor Edward Lansky at the Empire State University campus who is speaking out against upcoming budget cuts. Tarantula appears with the intention of kidnapping Lansky until Spider-Man intervenes, but unfortunately the Tarantula and his goons get away and Spider-Man not only gets his camera broken, but is also blamed by the students for the abduction. Spidey later spots the Tarantula's get-away car outside of the town Hall. After taking out the Tarantula's mob he then proceeds into the Mayors office where he rips off a steel door and then starts to brawl with the Tarantula until they crash through a window. "If I have to hear another word of macho earwax out of you -- I'll go crazy!" proclaims Spider-Man, but the Tarantula grabs onto the Mayor forcing Spidey to save the Mayor and thus allowing the Tarantula to flee. Although he manages to escape, his plans to kill the Mayor are scuppered.

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