Comics : Web of Spider-Man #41

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This story is part of an Arc: "Cult Of Love"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

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

This review was first published on: 2005.

In Detail...

"That Old Time Religion"
Web of Spider-Man #41
Aug 1988 : SM Title
Arc: Part 2 of "Cult Of Love"
Editor:  Jim Salicrup
Writer:  Peter David
Pencils:  Alex Saviuk
Inker:  Keith Williams
Cover Art:  Alex Saviuk
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Articles: Betty Brant, Flash Thompson, Mary Jane Watson-Parker

Pete battles off the cult members and runs off with a struggling Betty over his shoulder. He is greeted by brothers Bruce with a homemade flame thrower. As he tries to avoid the flames, Betty pulls his mask off! Pete tries to conceal his face while battling in the smoke. Pete decides he has to run to hide his ID (and keep MJ safe) so escapes through an air vent.

Ben Urich is on the trail meanwhile at the realtors' office but doesn't really get anywhere. Elsewhere and Spidey is crawling through the vents he watches a scene in a study where the man from the very start – Brother Guy – is talking to some sort of guru 'teacher'. He mentions Spider-Man and also says he is worried about Brother Bruce's arsonist tendencies. Teacher guy gets a call from the realtor – Sister Jane who tells him about Ben asking questions. Teacher tells Guy to get a group of Brothers together and warn off Ben.

Elsewhere and one of MJ's friends is at their new apartment. MJ tells her she's going to stay over and wait so she can meet Peter. Pete, though, is still at the cult's HQ and has changed into one of the 'Brother' outfits he found. At the Bugle and Flash hooks up with Ben to carry on tracing Betty. At MJ and Pete's and he still hasn't come home the next morning. MJ's friend tells her about how good the pay is for lingerie shoots.

Ben and Flash have gone to see a priest to see if he has any leads on the cult. The priest tells them how the Teacher does 'miracles'. As he describes the trick of how Teacher will cure a cancerous patient, with fake blood and so on, Pete is watching the trick back at the cult's HQ. The last words of the priest is that it all looks so real that if you see it, you can be hooked for life. We see Pete in a daze at what he's just seen.

In General...

It is good how Pete has to struggle with his conscience about 'failing' Betty or keeping his secret identity – and ultimately his loved ones – safe. It's also better now that we have names for the formerly anonymous cult members and that there's more development to the society with the teacher.

I also like that we're seeing more of Ben. The supporting cast are really being given a chance to come to the fore of the story in a way that hasn't been done in a long while. The only downside is the way Pete has slid towards joining the cult himself because of the 'miracle'. It seems a bit silly that a science fan would fall for something, even if it is supposed to be ultra-realistic.

Overall Rating...

Overall a good tale - it is just slightly let-down by a bit of silly storytelling.