Marvel Age: Spider-Man #18

Background

Two issues ago Spider-Man ran away from a fight with the Green Goblin to help his Aunt May. One issue ago Spider-Man had to face his smeared reputation with the whole of New York thinking he was a coward. He tried to sort out his money problems with trying to sign a contract with a trading card company. That failed. He got into a fight with Sandman which ended up with Spider-Man tricking Sandy and running away. (Hey, I just realised something! In only two issues Spidey's ran away from as many fights!). He thought of quitting but after a pep talk from his recovered Aunt May, Spidey is back in action. That won't help his reputation though. This issue...oh--... well, read on and find out!

Story 'Spidey Strikes Back!'

  Marvel Age: Spider-Man #18
Summary: Sandman, Enforcers (Re-Telling of ASM #19)
Editor: C.B. Cebulski
Plot: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Script: Todd DeZago
Artist: Logan Lubera
Inker: Craig Yeung

The Sandman is in some warehouse with the Enforcers showing them the Daily Bugle's headline. 'SPIDER-MAN WASHED UP! QUITTER!'. Sandman's explaining that since the Big Man got nabbed, Spider-Man's ruined every robbery they've tried to pull. But now that Spidey's out of the picture they have nothing to fear! They should join Sandman and then they'll soon be living like kings! The Enforcers then bring up the subject of the Human Torch, he's been flying around town searching for Spider-Man. Sandman just says don't worry about him, sand puts out fire.

Meanwhile, The Human Torch is leaving another flaming message in the sky saying 'Spidey, Meeting Place, 5pm'. Torch wants to find out whats happening with Spidey because he's been gone for over a week now and he's sure that Spider-Man had a good reason to run off...he'd just like to hear it from him.

Elsewhere, J.Jonah Jameson is getting into a cab and talking to the driver about Spider-Man. But the driver is distracted and doesn't see a woman crossing the road that he's about to hit! JJJ tries to warn him but it's too late. They're going to hit her! But then they suddenly come to a halt! They look behind them and see Spider-Man holding two web lines attatched to the car! He stopped the car! JJJ is in disbeleif. He just says "No. No. NOOOOOOOO!!!!!" And Spidey makes a little joke at Jameson then swings off.

Across Town, The Human Torch is flying between two building when thick ropes shoot from devices on either side and trap! From one of the buildings, the Sandman catches the falling Torch and puts him out with his sand! The Sandman says thats one hero outta their hair thanks to the Enforcers net-traps and Sandman's...well, sand.

The next morning, Aunt May tells Peter that she's glad he's happy again then he goes off to school. He quickly talks to Flash then he goes to the Bugle after school. There, he meets Ned Leeds, a new Bugle reporter that's replacing Frederick Foswell. He used to be a reporter in St. Louis and Betty's showing him around town. It looks like Betty has taken a liking to Ned. (Well, thats what it looks like.)

Then, Ned gets a tip-off for a story on his cell phone about The Human Torch being trounced by The Sandman and "Some guys" in the West Village. Peter overhears this and rushed off to change into Spider-Man.

Meanwhile, at the Sandman's and the Enforcer's base, The trapped Human Torch is inside a tube that has little air in. Just enough to breathe but not enough to flame on. Sandman says his plan to hit a bank tonight, catch a plane then e- mail from the airport telling them where to pick up the Torch. Of course, they don't realise that they are being watched by Spider-Man who climbed through a window in the warehouse and was now hidden from veiw on the ceiling. Then, deciding its time to act, Spidey drops down and squashed Sandman's head while blinding two Enforcers with webbing! Spidey then quickly shoots a web for the remote control for the Enforcer's gadgets the tugs it away. A fight starts with Sandman throwing sand hammers and long lines aimed at Spidey. One of them goes wrong and smashed through the Torch's tube and also hitting Fancy Dan. Torch flames on and dodges Sandman's attacks! Montana is about to use a fire extinguisher on The Human Torch but Spidey tugs it with a web line and ruins him aim, accidently spraying it in Ox's eyes! Torch knocks out Montana with a hard punch that leaves only the Sandman. Spidey then looks at a note on the extinguisher that says this chemical foam is also a strong adhesive, capable of bonding wood, metal, plastic, glass...and even sand! Sandman gets scared and when Spidey is just about to spray he stretches himself over and into the tube! The Human Torch quickly shoots a stream of fire and moulds the broken top of the tube into a curve, sealing the tube up! Spidey then admits he was making up the adhesive stuff.

Torch then asks why Spider-Man ran off from the fight with the Green Goblin and Spider-Man replies with "A family thing." He then explains he's got someone he has to look after (Aunt May). Torch accepts it then asks why did you come back to being a hero? Spidey replies that the woman he has to look after reminded him that if you can do something special, you gotta go do something with it. Then Spidey adds "Besides, someone would come have to save ya!" while swinging away and Torch finished off by shouting "Save me? SAVE ME?! Why i outta..." while flying off to leave the criminals to the cops! THE END!

General Comments

Like last issue this issue is defnitly top notch stuff. A good scene to show the city that Spider-Man's back in action. The introduction of Ned Leeds was pulled off well. And a really good fight scene at the end. Do you think the writers read my reveiw of the #15 and #16 and decided to lengthen the fight scenes a bit because this issue was definitly better in the fighting area than most. I know maybe sometimes it sounds like I just want fighting all the time but there's a difference in the core titles and this title way of dealing with fighting. In the core titles they are allowed the time and issues to develop a story arc with only a tiny bit of action in the first three issues or so then maybe have a big fight at the conclusion. But in this title they usually have just one issue to write the story because thats all Lee and Ditko wrote the story in. So if there's no action at all it seems like a boring story. It's like having a six part story arc in the core titles with all talking in...and no one really wants that do they? So now that i've explained that I don't just want Spidey punching people all the time and that I have a good reason (I hope) to want fighting lets carry on shall we?

The art was once again great by Logan Lubera and Craig Yeung and again the colours were good as well. Logan isn't doing the small problem of making Pete looking too old like he was sometimes last issue which is good. So why am I not giving it the perfect five? Well, i think that maybe some stories just deserve five more than this. I'm not saying this story is bad, i'm just saying it's not the best out at the moment. Also, i think Sandman was defeated a bit too easily. While Spider-Man was talking he could have punched him or tripped him up.

Overall Rating

A really good issue from Todd, Logan, Craig and the rest of the MASM team. Sandman was defeated a bit too easily and maybe not the best on the shelves at the moment but still a really good issue. I'm hoping this fine form will continue! Another good 4.5 webs.