Comics : Web of Spider-Man #37

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: World Wide Web of Spidey

This review was first published on: 2005.

In Detail...

"When Strike The Slasher"
Web of Spider-Man #37
Apr 1988 : SM Title
Summary: The Slasher
Editor:  Jim Salicrup
Writer:  Jim Owsley
Pencils:  Steve Geiger
Inker:  Keith Williams
Cover Art:  Al Milgrom
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Articles: Mary Jane Watson-Parker

The original MJ stalking storyline!

We start with two detectives looking at a dead body, whose throat has been slit. She is apparently a victim of 'The Slasher', who has been targeting models.

MJ is in an apartment with her model friend, Elyse. A chap named Harvey shows up at their door. He is a fan and wants to make sure they are OK.

Pete bumps into Harvey as he's arriving and Harvey's leaving. His spider-sense goes off. Pete tells MJ he's got an out-of-town photo assignment and is going to miss her expo. He is upset because she paid their quarterly income tax bill and he wants to support their relationship financially too.

Elsewhere and Elyse is attacked by the Slasher in her room … except it's an actor paid by Harvey to frighten her, so Harvey can show up and be a hero. Pete and MJ show up though and Pete goes after the Slasher. Because the guy isn't a real threat though, his spider-sense doesn't help him to find the guy, who escapes.

Pete decides not to go on his assignment to keep an eye on MJ – but not tell her. At the fashion Expo and the cop in charge – Dakota North has figured that the 'Slasher' from the other night was a fraud. She seems to think that MJ is in trouble.

Meanwhile, Pete's sneaking around at the Expo gets him arrested. The guy who Harvey hired to act as the Slasher goes nuts and ends up attacking Elyse for real, with MJ in the room. Pete escapes the police and goes to their rescue. He changes into Spidey and chases after the actor along with Dakota North. They stop him on a rollercoaster but Dakota is furious as she told Spider-man to keep an eye on the models.

The reason … Elyse is the real Slasher and goes after MJ. Pete shows up just in time to save her and Elyse is arrested.

In General...

Despite MJ still being the damsel in distress and the writers seemingly being at a loss over what to do with her as a character, this tale is actually pretty good. It's a standard 'whodunnit' but with enough twists to keep it interesting.

Elyse as the Slasher was a nice turn and wasn't telegraphed too much. It was also a bit different – which is a good thing. There wasn't either an old supervillain making a return, or a new one in the making. Instead, it's just a nice self-contained story with plenty of readability to it.

Pete's growing insecurity over his money woes compared to MJ is a nice human (and real) touch to the story and provides enough character development to lead into the next book, while at the same time keeping this one wrapped up in itself.

Overall Rating...

Web Of has improved quite a bit over the last three issues. There seems to be more direction to the characters and more thought into what will happen in future issues.