The presence of the Daily Bugle staff has gradually diminished over the years. So it's really refreshing to see a limited series devoted solely to them. This is not a Spider-Man story. It's not even a Peter Parker story as he's barely around. This is story about JJJ, Joe "Robbie" Robertson, Ben Urich, Ken Ellis, Betty Brant and the rest of the staff as they chase the stories of the day on the streets of New York.
JJJ is outraged at the proposed front page. The headline is "Spider-Man Fire Rescue". JJJ thinks Spidey staged it and decides to visit the scene himself and investigate. One of JJJ's old friends, Niles, runs the company called Williams Developments that owns the tenement which burned downed. Niles informs him that three others have been burned recently and mentions a possible suspect, Jake Carlton, a tenant who's been organizing a campaign against the company. JJJ meets Carlton at his appartment who claims that tenements owned by Williams Developments purposely don't conform to basic safety requirements and that they just wait for the tenements to break down so they can be replaced with office skyscrapers. He's proven right when a faulty electrical outlet causes the building to catch fire. There are no extinguishers and JJJ helps evacuate everybody from the building. JJJ has his front page story but can't use it. Meanwhile Betty discovers from the police that the deceased mystery man was Jimmy the co-owner of Food Factory and brother to Tommy Fude. She goes back to talk with Tommy at Food Factory. He asks her if Jimmy told her anything. She replies he didn't and was hoping that Tommy could shed some light on the matter. She returns to her apartment to find it's been ransacked. Then someone from behind puts a rag over her mouth and she passes out.
There's some good humor in this issue. This is vintage JJJ and it's great. Brant's plot concludes in the next issue.
4 webs for the entire series. Sure it has no effect on Spider-Man continuity but that doesn't mean you shouldn't read it. The writing and art are both excellent and mesh perfectly together. The choice to use black and white art is striking and original.