Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #420

Background

Last issue, Spider-Man got himself tangled in a sticky (ahem) web, woven by the Black Tarantula's henchman, known as El Uno, and the ever-annoying Delilah. It ended with El Uno sustaining some serious wounds, and being caught by the police. It might also benefit you to know that Nate Grey, also known as X-Man, is Jean and Scott Summers' son from an alternate future, and that he is a very powerful telepath.

Story ''Twas The Night Before Christmas...'

As El Uno escapes from the hospital and police custody, Peter Parker is Christmas shopping for his loving wife, Mary Jane. He finds some boots that he figures would be perfect, if only he had the funds. To get a few extra dollars, he goes to photograph the hospital from which El Uno escaped, and a street prophet who turns out to be Nate Grey.

Upon first spotting Peter, Nate knows that he is Spider-Man. He excuses himself from the crowd he has following him, and he and Pete go off to talk. A trading of origin stories follows, ending with Pete getting MJ's boots, and Nate coming to have Christmas Eve dinner with the Parkers. In thanks for the hospitality, Nate uses his powers to make Peter dream of Aunt May that night, who wishes Pete a merry Christmas.

Far more interesting is the scuffle between Delilah and El Uno. The end result is El Uno dies.

General Comments

Whatever good things I've said about Steve Skroce's art work must be revoked for this issue. I made the mistake of reading it after Spectacular #242, and this issue just doesn't cut it. The only action is the fight between two pretty lame characters, and Spider-Man himself does practically nothing. Still, I like the idea of putting X-Man and Spider-Man in each other's books, and Nate might have saved this ish, if there was anything to save. This Christmas tale gets the gift of two webs.

Overall Rating

Two Webs, I say.