Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #327

Background

The major villains in the Marvel Universe have agreed to work together and exchange enemies in order to defeat them once and for all.

"The Core" initially dispatched Graviton to eliminate Spider-Man. While Graviton did win the battle, he failed to remove Spider-Man from the game board.

The Trapster was ultimately defeated when an unknown energy source from a lab accident boosted Spider-Man's natural abilities and granted him some new powers.

After Trapster failed, Doom sent a mind-controlled Titania after Spider-Man to test his new abilities. She was ultimately defeated, but with Doom there are no defeats, merely setbacks.

Peter is trying to simultaneously understand and control his new powers.

Story 'Cunning Attractions!'

  Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #327
Summary: Cosmic, vs. Magneto
Arc: Part 4 of 'Cosmic Spider-Man/Acts of Vengeance' (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10)
Editor: Jim Salicrup
Writer: David Michelinie
Pencils: Erik Larsen
Inker: Al Gordon
Cover Art: Erik Larsen

In their SoHo apartment, Peter is discussing his new powers with MJ. He's worried about using his new powers responsibly. She reminds him that he will always do what's right and that need to leave. They promised to visit Flash Thompson at the gym in support of his decision to become a professional boxer.

Across town Doom, Kingpin, Wizard, and Magneto are discussing the new changes in Spider-Man's powers. When they try to decide who should attack him next, Magneto volunteers. This unusual choice is noted by Doom who has plans of his own for the wall-crawler's new abilities.

Back at the gym, Peter and MJ watch Flash knock his sparring partner to the ground. The two shake gloves and part ways. Peter mentions to Flash that he might have a good chance in the boxing world. He asks him if he is concerned about hurting others when in the ring as a thinly-veiled (to the reader and MJ at least) attempt to compare their situations. Mary Jane almost groans aloud. Flash reminds Peter that "[everyone knows] the risks when they enter the ring. Worryin' about the other guy's just going to get your own bell rung!"

Peter and MJ leave the gym and head toward ESU to fulfill his lab assistant responsibilities. He tries to discover why his powers have changed since the lab accident with Lubisch's energy equipment but is rudely kicked out by the secretive Dr. Lubisch.

Unable to find answers in the lab, Peter changes to Spider-Man. He finds a junkyard near the Brooklyn waterfront and decides to blow off steam by testing his new powers on old automobiles. He does ask permission from the attendant before starting. The attendant however does not reciprocate as he calls the local news to cash in on their payment plan for news items.

This decision has more wide-spread repercussions than he thought. The news team broadcasts Spider-Man's tests and succeeds in attracting (no pun intended) the attention of Magneto. Magneto arrives and begins to test Spider-Man's new powers in his own unique way. At one point Magneto throws a car shell at him. Spider-Man uses his new abilities to transmute his webbing into a giant baseball bat (made of an unspecified substance) and hits "Christine" into the bay. Fed up with being on the defensive, Spider-Man directly attacks Magneto.

His enhanced hearing picks up screams for help. He soon discovers that "Christine" hit a cruise ship and is causing it to sink. He reaches the end of the pier and realizes that he can't do anything unless he can fly. He suddenly finds himself airborne heading toward the cruise ship, fighting off an equally sudden feeling of nausea.

Magneto watches from the sidelines. His original intention was to determine if Spider-Man was a mutant that could be persuaded to join his cause. He admits that his powers are too diverse to be caused by mutation. He leaves Spider-Man to save the cruise ship and decides to use these new powers to serve an alternate purpose.

Spider-Man returns the cruise ship - with all passengers unharmed - to the junkyard and heads back home. His greatest fear now confirmed, he wonders what will happen the next time.

General Comments

Everyone wants Spider-Man's new powers - except him. It seems that whenever he turns around he gets a new power. In this issue, he gets two.

He doesn't seem to mind the ability to alter the molecular structure of anything he touches. However he's worried about what power will manifest itself next as well as the big question: what if I accidentally hurt someone? In this particular case, Peter has a legitimate reason to worry. Despite the fact that it was an accident and that he ultimately saved them, he put the passengers at risk when he used his powers.

As one can imagine, something like that bothers our hero greatly. Now he really wants these new powers to go away.

Overall Rating

3.5 webs. This is a considerable leap forward in quality from last issue.

We're reminded of the dual nature of Peter's spider-powers. When he had his regular powers, there was an upper limit to the damage that he could do if he acted irresponsibly. Now that "safety ceiling" is gone. Adding to that anxiety is - so far - the fact that there is no rhyme or reason behind each new power. This furthers his fear of losing control and accidentally killing someone.