Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #125

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This story is part of an Arc: "The Mark of the Man-Wolf"
     Part 1 / Part 2

This story is part of a Lookback Series: Al Observes

This review was first published on: 1996.

Background...

Issue #125 takes up just where #124 left off, only with a brand-new artist. It is the first regular issue of the Amazing Spider-Man pencilled by the late Ross Andru, beginning his long run (but it is not the first Spider-Man STORY drawn by Ross. That was Marvel Super-Heroes #14 and that's a story for next time.)

In Detail...

"Wolfhunt!"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #125
Oct 1973 : SMURF 125.500 : SM Title
Summary: Man-Wolf
Arc: Part 2 of "The Mark of the Man-Wolf"
Editor:  Roy Thomas
Writer:  Gerry Conway
Pencils:  Ross Andru
Inker:  John Romita, Sr., Tony Mortellaro
Cover Art:  John Romita, Sr.
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 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales #102
 Adapted By: Amazing Spider-Man Mark of the Man-Wolf
 Reprinted In: Essential Spider-Man #6
Articles: Flash Thompson, Green Goblin II (Harry Osborn), Jameson, J. Jonah, John Jameson (Man-Wolf), Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Robertson, Joe "Robbie"

The threat posed by the Man-Wolf at the end of the previous issue turns out to be mostly cosmetic. The monster knocks Spider-Man off the ledge but Spidey saves himself with webbing and the Man-Wolf leaps clear. Before the fight can begin again, Spidey notices the pendant and realizes that he has seen it before. (But HAS he seen it before? If anyone can find a time that Spidey has seen John wearing the pendant, let the rest of us know.) With the moon setting, the werewolf flees. Spider-Man, weakened by the wound on his chest lets him go. But he is intrigued by the mystery and because of this, Gerry says, our hero has just triumphed over his inner turmoil. Pete returns to the apartment he shares with Harry Osborne to get some sleep first. Harry has not shown up at the apartment for a week, but Peter is too tired to concern himself with that now.

Elsewhere, however, Flash, MJ and Randy Robertson are out at a diner having breakfast. Harry enters looking wrung-out and empty. Mary Jane, who is dating Harry at this time, goes over and tries to cheer him up. But Harry erupts with I don't need your false sympathy. Go shovel it on Parker. which causes MJ to run off in tears.

Also elsewhere, J. Jonah Jameson goes to John's apartment. He finds his son still in his yellow and green outfit. John tells his father of a top secret moon flight six months before during which he found the moon rock that he had converted into a pendant. (OK. MOON rock. Werewolf. I'll buy that.) It is, of course, the moon rock that is turning him into the monster at night. Jonah asks him why he doesn't take the pendant off but John tells him that the rock has grafted itself to his skin. (The possibility of surgery is never discussed.)

Sometime later, Spider-Man goes to the Bugle to talk to Robbie but Jonah is waiting with a cadre of cops who attack the Web-Spinner with tear gas. Soon after, Peter shows up, looking like a lost puppy, at MJ's place. Still singed by Harry's comments, Mary Jane plays tough with Peter. Ok, Tiger. Call me when you're more cheery. Till then...chill it, dig? (Did I mention that it was the early 1970s?) Dressed as Spidey once again, Peter realizes that the Man-Wolf's outfit is some sort of insulation material...the kind used in space-suits for astronauts and decides to head over to John Jameson's place. JJJ is already there and Kristine Saunders is parking her car outside when John becomes the Man-Wolf again, knocks his father to the ground, and takes off through his apartment sky-light. He approaches Kristine, who stalls her car in her panic to get away. Which is when our hero appears.

Spider-Man decides that the strange pendant has caused the transformation so he tries to cover it with webbing but the Man-Wolf removes that easily. So, as his next move, Spider-Man rips the pendant right off, taking a big hairy chunk of John's neck along with it. (Who needs surgery when you've got Spider-Man?) John returns to normal.(Except for that big hole in his neck.) Spider-Man tosses the pendant in the East River. (Where it remains until recovered by Morbius in Giant-Size Super-Heroes #1.) The rain has stopped. It's time for everyone to heal.

In General...

As werewolf origins go, Man-Wolf has a pretty good one. A rock picked up on the moon by astronaut John Jameson ends up grafted to his neck and causing transformations. Good creepy stuff. I'm also fond of Spidey ripping the pendant right off of Man-Wolf's neck. A well-done scene. I'm still in shock over Gwen's death and heavily into blaming Gerry Conway but these Man-Wolf issues almost take my mind off it. (I'm just glad that 35 years later, Marvel finally brought Gwen back with Brand New Day.... What do ya mean she's not?)

Overall Rating...

Four webs.