Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #160

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Absolutely Amazing

This review was first published on: 1995.

Background...

One of the glorious Spider-Happenings of the 70's was the invention of the Spider-Mobile. What Peter would do with a car in Manhattan I have no idea - but that didn't stop the writers, oh no! Still, it couldn't last, and the story described here is the last one to show the Spider-Mobile. It's a rip-roaring running battle between man and machine.

In Detail...

"My Killer, The Car!"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #160
Sep 1976 : SMURF 160.500 : SM Title
Summary: Tinkerer & Spider-Mobile
Editor:  Len Wein
Writer:  Len Wein
Pencils:  Ross Andru
Inker:  Mike Esposito
Cover Art:  Gil Kane, John Romita, Sr.
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 Reprinted In: Essential Spider-Man #7
Articles: Aunt May Parker, Green Goblin II (Harry Osborn), Jameson, J. Jonah, Elizabeth (Allan) Osborn, Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Modular Man, Robertson, Joe "Robbie", Tinkerer

This story features the final appearance of the Spider-Mobile. The last we had seen of this unique vehicle was when it plunged off a pier in Amazing #141. Peter had since tried to salvage it from the water, but had been unable to find it.

The book opens with Spider-Man swinging around town looking for trouble. He sees a gang of criminals doing criminal things, and leaps into battle. One of them gets him with a gas grenade, which has no apparent effect. The fight is pretty much over when Spider-Man sees the Spider-Mobile in the shadows. The driverless vehicle runs at him, and he narrowly avoids it. Worse is yet to come. Spider-Man discovers that the gas has clogged up his web-shooters and taken away his wall-climbing abilities, while the car is actually able to drive up vertical surfaces! He narrowly escapes, for now.

Peter goes to visit his Aunt May in hospital. Just for reference, Peter is spending time with Mary-Jane at the moment, and also on the romance front Harry Osborn is dating Liz Allen. Oh yeah, and in the aftermath of the Clone/Jackal story, someone took pictures of Spider-Man dumping the Spider-Clone (Ben Reilley) down a factory smoke-stack, and has sent them anonymously to Jameson at the Bugle. There's trouble brewing on that front.

Back to the main story though, Peter discovers that his powers are back to normal and he heads out web-swinging again. Swinging through an alley, he goes through another cloud of mist. Once again, the gas has taken away his webbing and climbing powers and he is under attack by the Spider-Mobile. The car uses its own web-cannons to snare Spider-Man and bundle him inside. The car takes him back to Tinkerer and his bemuscled assistant Toy, who are revealed as the villains behind the attack. Tinkerer says he was in fact hired by someone to capture Spider-Man, although we don't learn by whom he was hired.

Spider-Man taunts Toy into releasing him, and the ensuing battle sees Tinkerer knocked unconscious, Toy webbed up, and the Spider-Mobile is wrecked. Spider-Man has had enough trouble with the Spider-Mobile, and returns the gift-wrapped mangled remains to Carter and Lombardo - the two advertising executives who sponsored him to build it in the first place. The Spider-Mobile is seen no more.