Spider-Man has been led to beleive that his Aunt May is dead! But it is all a plot by the master of illusion, Spidey's long time foe Mysterio and his partner, none other than the Burglar who killed Uncle Ben. Both villains seek a hidden treasure that is somewhere in the Parker residence from decades ago. Spidey has deduced Mysterio's involvment, and confronted his foe, only to be defeated by him. He wakes to find himself chained to the bottom of a swimming pool, filling with water over his head...
|Essential Spider-Man #9
This issue begins with the Burglar who killed Uncle Ben, whom Mysterio had captured and tied up last issue, freeing himself, and swearing to pay back Mysterio and get the treasure that is hidden in the Parker home.
Meanwhile, Spidey is at the bottom of a swimming pool, chained to the ground after his defeat by Mysterio last issue. Spidey manages to hold his breath long enough to web the plug of the pool and let the water drain out. It is only then that Spidey realizes that the water was an illusion all along! Spidey frees himself and starts web swinging home, realizing that he is no good to anybody when he is exhausted and overworked. After a good night's sleep, Spidey figures he'll be able to tackle whatever is coming, and then he could get Mysterio when he regains his peak level of fitness.
The next morning, Peter Parker is feeling strong and spry again, ready to take on Mysterio, but before he can, a bunch of his friends show up at the door. After spending a little time with his friends, Spidey swings back to his Aunt May's house, which had been trashed by the Burglar and by Mysterio who were looking for the hidden treasure in the house. As Spider-Man wonders what Mysterio could possibly have been looking for, Mysterio attacks, using his illusions to make Spider-Man appear to be disappearing among other tricks.
Spidey eventually gets the advantage and chases Mysterio back to the nursing home where he had been posing as a doctor. Spidey bursts in and finds Mysterio holding a gun pointed at him. Spidey assumes the gun to be another illusion and demands answers from the master of illusion. However, the gun is real, and Mysterio shoots a dart filled with enough depressants to kill an elephant at Spidey. Spidey begins to lose strength as the world gets blurry, and Mysterio backhands Spider-Man before standing over his unconsious body and proclaiming "Spider-Man is Dead!"
Wow, Spider-Man sure gets his butt kicked in his own book a lot lately! He got beaten up by a Spider-Slayer in issue #191, by the Fly in issue #192 and 193, by the Black Cat in issue #194, by a couple of thugs in issue #196, by the Kingpin in issue #197, and then back to back losses to Mysterio in issue #198 AND 199. It wasn't until this nearly 8th consecutive loss that I was bothered, but this one really ticked me off. I mean, what kind of superhero loses all the time? He went home to sleep (uncharacteristically some would argue) so he could beat Mysterio the next day, only he still can't. Whatever. This issue is meant to lead up to #200, and it sets the stage for the big 200 very well, so I guess the comic accomplished its purpose.
Spider-Man loses for the 8th time in 9 issues. That bothers me for some reason. Anyway, the issue does what it was meant to as a final set up issue before the big 200, so I wish I could give it something in between 3 and 3.5 webs, but I cant be generous here. 3 webs.