|Cover Art:||Alex Saviuk|
J. Jonah Jameson is sure he must be dreaming. Tabloid paparazzo Nick Katzenberg has just walked into his office with a half a dozen great photos of Spider-Man stealing jewelry and he's willing to give them away in exchange for being put on salary at $800 a week. Jonah is so happy that, leaving the office, he tells Joy Mercado "you're a beautiful woman", gives Glory Grant a kiss on the cheek, and tells a visiting Eduardo Lobo to "stop by anytime". He is still riding high when he gets to his apartment. He opens the door and walks right into a spray of gas that knocks him unconscious. A mysterious intruder is very pleased by this result.
The Daily Bugle runs one of the photos on the front page under a headline that reads "Spider-Man: Thief?" But the Arranger is interested in a different part of the paper as he rides in the back of his limo. He is reading an article headlined, "New Gang War?" and he is not pleased. He is well aware that it is the Lobos who have been killing the Kingpin's lieutenants and this concerns him, but he is more concerned by the adverse publicity. The limo lets him out at the West Side Marina where more murders have taken place. Again there is blood everywhere and a message has been written. This time it is on the prow of a yacht and says, "Wolves take revenge." Detective Frank Farrow is on the scene and he tells the Arranger that he wants the killings stopped. Just then, a goon in a white suit and shades yells out, "Arranger! Call on your car phone!" (What good does it do the Arranger to continually insist to Frank Farrow that he is the employee of an honest businessman if some white suited goon is going to refer to him as "Arranger"?)
The Arranger goes back to his car and takes the call. The voice on the phone introduces itself as "Carlos Lobos, senor, the man you tried to assassinate not too long ago" (way back where we started in Spectacular Spider-Man #143). The scene shifts to an unshaven Carlos sitting on a snowy balcony and sipping champagne as he talks on the phone. He tells the Arranger that the Lobos never planned to expand their drug operations into the Kingpin's territory as the Arranger feared when he okayed the hit on Carlos, but now it is too late. He quotes the last blood message. "Wolves take revenge," he says. Carlos hangs up, then turns to his brother and speaks to him in Spanish. A peevish Eduardo tells Carlos to speak English since "we are not in Mexico anymore". Carlos asks his brother how his new lover Gloria is. "She is mine," says Eduardo, "and when the time comes, she will do exactly what I tell her."
It turns out that, in robbing the jewels, Spider-Man was working for Silver Sable in an apprehension of a Maggia Money Man. When Peter brings photos to the Bugle that proves this, JJJ refuses to buy them. He only wants photos that show Spider-Man in a bad light, truth be damned. If this doesn't sound quite like Jonah, no matter how much he hates Spider-Man, it's because it isn't Jonah. The real Jameson has his hands tied to his bedposts at home and the man who is impersonating him at work is the Chameleon.
Well, here we are at issue 50!
Writer Gerry Conway has overblown the tale slightly though. Simply, there's just too much going on. With the relationship Spider-Man has had with each of the other heroes in the past, it doesn't make sense that they'd immediately leap to the conclusion that he'd turned bad overnight.
Spidey's been getting bad headlines from the Bugle for years, so why would one suddenly make so much difference? I know there were pictures involved (hence the title – 1000 words) but I still think he'd have been given the benefit of the doubt before all the in-fighting started.
The biggest bright spot to come from the story, of course, is the return of the Chameleon and his impersonation of Jonah. There are so many outcomes from this.
Very convoluted through the middle sections but a good ending.
Details by Al, General and Rating by Kerry.