Oooooh … a nice shiny hologram cover. It's 30 years of Spidey, folks and this is Web Of Spider-Man's chance to celebrate the occasion. Spectacular weighed in with a fantastic story written by JM DeMatteis as Harry returns to his Goblin guise and goes completely off the rails. Amazing unveiled Peter's parents returning from Europe and Spider-Man showed our hero redeeming someone who was (maybe) the nephew of the burglar who killed Uncle Ben. Let's see what Web Of can offer…
We begin with a prelude linking back to Amazing Fantasy 15 where the wrestling promoter is remembering how he discovered Spider-Man. There's some dodgy continuity brought up here that I can't even be bothered to go into (damn you Mackie!). Anyway, after an odd dream, Spider-Man wakes up and the promoter – Max Schiffman - is there. Max tells him he's his agent.
Max leads Spidey out onto a movie set where Spidey has apparently been filming a movie involving a huge Galactacus robot. Suddenly, the Green Goblin, Hobgoblin and Demogoblin all burst in. Max says they're failed actors. Spidey defeats them but is confused (he ain't the only one) about what's going on.
Suddenly it all gets misty again and Venom shows up and takes over the Galactacus model. He picks up MJ, who has appeared from nowhere but Spidey saves her before uncovering Mysterio.
Mysterio reveals he got Max to play along with the farcical proceedings in an attempt to make Spider-Man believe he was actually a movie star. Mysterio re- created Max's dead wife as an illusion as a sweetener. Spidey defeats Mysterio and consoles Max, who has lost his wife all over again.
This is truly an issue where you can compare Howard Mackie to his contemporaries. Amazing's 30th anniversary issue bring in a new landmark edition. Spectacular's is just that with DeMatteis proving he's one of the best writers Spidey's ever had. The other book – Spider-Man – is passable. Not a landmark but at least there's some touching references to Pete's own development character-wise.
This, however, is rubbish. Implausible and poorly written. After all the experiences Spidey's had with Mysterio, there's no way he'd fall for such a mismanaged scam – especially considering he'd just seen off Mysterio in the Revenge Of The Sinister Six story.
Why would Mysterio even need Max to perpetrate the illusion – he re-created Max's wife for those purposes, so why not Max too?
It is all complete nonsense and makes a farce of the entire 'celebration'. Things can't be left either without a letters page name-and-shame. David Thornton from Stoke in the UK, Rol Hirst, Huddersfield in the UK, Mike Barr, Naperville IL, Chan Carriker, Wilmington NC and Ryan Burt, Southampton Ontario.
WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?!
The letters page reads like a Mackie love-fest. All praising the first part of Howard's awful Rose six-parter. Shame on you!
More Mackie nonsense. The one web is for the passable art.