Spider-Man Unlimited (Vol. 3) #11 (Story 1)

Background

Spider-Man Unlimited seems to focus on stories that aren't important to current continuity, but may (or may not) be worth telling anyway. Written and drawn by guest writers and artists.

Story 'Place Your Bets'

In a bar in Hell's Kitchen, a bartender searches for something interesting on television while his patrons throw back drinks. A newcomer walks to the bar and asks for a drink, and is told to hold on for just a second. Suddenly, a loud rumble is heard from outside, and the bartender finally finds something good on TV...a full-out battle between Spider-Man and a rampaging Hulk.

The patrons of the bar argue over who they'd like to see win the battle, and the majority seems to lean towards wanting to see Hulk smash Spidey. The newcomer in the corner announces with confidence that Spider-Man will win this fight. When others in the bar disagree, the man proposes a wager of three hundred dollars. The bartender announces he's taking five percent of the action, and nearly everyone in the bar throws money down.

Watching the battle on television, the stranger betting on Spidey throws another hundred dollars down that Spider-Man follows up his next left hook with a backwards kick-flip, which he does. He then says that in the next thirty seconds, Spidey will crack a joke. Spidey pounds Hulk and throws a real groaner out there, "The knee bone's connected to the face bone!"

The stranger continues to call the tide of the battle until the Hulk is buried under a cement mixer. He collects his money and hands the bartender his five percent. One of the guys at the bar ask him how he knew so much about Spider-Man, to which the stranger replies that he's had more than a few run-ins with the web-slinger. He introduces himself as Max Dillon--Electro.

Turn the page, and we find Electro webbed to a traffic sign, having planned a heist with his winnings, and of course, finding his plans foiled by Spider-Man.

General Comments

Gotta say, it was an interesting story. People bet on sports all the time; I'm sure some of Spidey's oldest foes are used to his style by now, so why shouldn't they earn a little profit betting on his fights? I'm sure Electro got a sense of smug satisfaction knowing that his next heist would be funded indirectly by Spider-Man himself. You'd think he'd know by now that that heist would be stopped by Spider-Man, as well.

The only thing that bothered me about this story is that I've always thought of Spidey's fighting style as erratic, instinctual. I like to think that Spidey jumps around like a maniac and throws punches wherever he can land them, guided by his spider-sense. If Electro could call his moves so exactly, then why is Electro always getting his butt kicked by Spidey? Eh, I guess it just wouldn't have been as good a story without the perfect calls by Electro. Still.

Overall Rating

Three webs. Solid story, decent art.