Untold Tales of Spider-Man #15

Background

This issue, like all Untold Tales of Spider-man, is a one shot that fits into past Spider-man continuity, which offers the following advantages: it offers us a chance to see Peter at a developmental stage in his career, shows the interaction between supporting cast that is no longer possible in the core titles, and --best of all-- no clones. I love the cover to this book. It contains a copy of the Daily Bugle, partially obscured by Gordon Savinski, who is smacking Spidey. The amazing thing is that you can actually read the paper. However, I would read the comic before I read the cover, because it gives away key elements of the plot. Of course, since you're reading this, you can go ahead and start with the paper on the cover.

Story 'Battle for The Daily Bugle'

This issue begins with Betty Brant being used by Gordon Savinski to frame Jonah Jameson, although she doesn't know what she is doing, other than opening JJJ's safe. Gordon plants papers in the safe that will frame Jonah. Spider-man makes his appearance foiling the hijacking of paper trucks. Immediately after this, an irate Jonah is arrested, and questioned by the press (there's a neat-o Eddie Brock guest appearance).

Meanwhile, Peter stops by to visit Betty, who is upset because of her involvement with the frame-up. She is about to tell Peter everything when Gordan Savinski comes in. He attacks Peter who has no idea how strong this guy is, and gets knocked out. When he awakens, Betty won't tell him anything, becomes angry, and throws him out.

Gordon has gone to the Bugle where he is threatening Jonah, who has been released on bail. Spider-man bursts in, "Nobody hassles Jonah but me." Gordon and Spidey fight for a long time, during which time Gordon reveals that the mob (he work for Nicholas "Lucky" Lewis), did experimental things to make him strong. Spidey rolls tons of newsprint on top of him, Jonah is cleared, blames Spidey, and all is back to normal.

As far as subplots go, Tiny came back to school and received the typical prodigal son welcome. No one will have anything to do with Jason since Sally's death. The last frame of the comic is a shot of Mary Jane Watson hailing a taxi.

General Comments

I really liked this issue. Most of the supporting cast was drawn into the main story, so three stories didn't have to run at the same time, and the subplot did not detract from the main story at all. This issue revealed more, but not everything, about Betty Brant, and had a well written plot. Savinski was a loser, but I think Busiek intended it that way, which I could never fault him for. I loved the writing and the art, the cover was a stroke of genius, and we finally got to see Mary Jane in Untold Tales.

Overall Rating

I'm giving this the full five webs. So sue me.