Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #50

 Posted: 25 Sep 2023
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)


Spidey had just captured a crook called the Smuggler at his hideout but had run out of webbing. He had the angry bad guy tied up with four feet of webs and didn’t know what to do.

Story 'Dilemma!'

Not knowing what else to do in the situation, Spider-Man decided he had to carry Smuggler to the main Manhattan prison. As they entered another room, Smuggler’s goons were waiting. Knowing that they were probably awake by that point, Spidey stuck the Smuggler out first, letting them clobber him. Spidey made short work of them, even swinging the unconscious Smuggler to batter them around. After it was done, Spider-Man took the opportunity to refill his web shooters, despite only having one cartridge left. Smuggler began to wake up and Spidey webbed his legs together for extra insurance.

They were soon riding on top of another train back to Manhattan when Smuggler managed to rip out of the weakened webbing. They tumbled onto the ground and the fight began again but it didn’t last long. Smuggler ended up on the tracks and was electrocuted. He survived and even Spider-Man was impressed by his durability. The Smuggler was unconscious and Spidey left him with two transit workers, telling them to get him a doctor. Spidey left to go to bed.

At home, Peter wanted to sleep for the weekend and was glad his neighbor wasn’t having a country music marathon. Then he remembered that he couldn’t sleep all weekend since he was meeting his aunt and Nate on Sunday. He needed a date so he called Deb Whitman, who sleepily agreed to see him. Peter fell asleep, thinking that he’d like Deb if she weren’t so timid.

As they walked into Restwell Nursing Home, Peter thanked her for coming along and he was still having trouble handling his elderly aunt being engaged. She told him not to worry and that his aunt sounded great. She was lucky to have a romantic interest. Peter was worried about how trusting she was, and remembered the time that Otto Octavius tried to marry her. Deb said that no one wants to see anyone get hurt but sometimes you have to take a risk.

When May and Nathan showed up, they introduced themselves and went to a bistro for dinner. Peter was tense and Deb told him to loosen up. He thought she was right and Nate seemed like a good person but he couldn’t shake the feeling of foreboding. As they walked to the restaurant a black sedan watched them, and someone inside said to not let them escape. They were important for Operation Intercept.

At the restaurant, Nate and May said how happy they made each other. Nate said he’d been in show business, singing and dancing. Since he was in a wheelchair he couldn’t dance anymore but could still sing. Peter was still uncomfortable with the engagement, especially since he saw May look at Nate the way she used to look at Ben. He remembered his life with his aunt and uncle, the spider bite and the burglar. Deb woke him from his daydream and asked if he was okay. He said he just had a lot in his mind. At that moment he got a mild buzz from his spider sense, and he noticed that all of the other customers were gone. A group of unfriendly looking men stood at the door, not letting anyone inside the restaurant.

Peter started to stand up, saying the service was slow and he was going to see what was happening when the group arrived at their table. One explained that there was a problem in the kitchen and their meal would be late. Peter realized that the man’s face was a mask and he yanked it off. Underneath was a green face of a creature that Peter recognized from his very early days as Spider-Man. They had been working with the Tinkerer and he wondered why they came back now. One said that the Parkers had information that they needed.

Peter swung at the nearest alien and told the others to run but Nathan stayed to help. An alien knocked Nate over while Deb was stunned that Peter was fighting the creatures…and winning. Peter called to Nate to cut the lights and after it went dark, Peter cut loose. Before the fight ended, the lights turned on and a voice called for the fight to stop. One of the creatures pointed a gun at the group and said that they meant no harm but May had information that they needed. It claimed that May had information about Dutch Malone, the gangster that had hidden stolen cash in the Parker house.

Peter claimed that only he knew about Malone’s lost treasure and he was shot by the gun, encasing him in wire cables. This surprised him, as he had expected something more high tech. He thought he could break the wire but decided to play along. They led him through the kitchen, where he saw the kitchen crew tied up. Outside, a huge space craft appeared out of thin air and he was moved onboard.

The craft sped into the sky and Peter was thrown to the floor. He didn’t understand the aliens motives. The first time they wanted government secrets and now they wanted the money of a dead gangster. Peter was approached by Mysterio, who was glad that he had been taken instead of May. She wouldn’t have survived his line of questioning, while Peter was young and strong. The aliens gave him the technology to get the information from Peter and after he got the money, he’d help the aliens conquer the world!

General Comments

I liked this little story. It started with a fairly mundane adventure with Spidey running out of webbing during a fight in the subway and ended with him being kidnapped by aliens. The misdirection for the feel of the story was well done.

Peter’s sense of foreboding was accurate, as we long time readers know that things do not end well for Nathan Lubensky and Deb Whitman. More so Nate than Deb.

Overall Rating

I’m always a sucker for a story that focuses on Peter and not entirely on Spidey.

 Posted: 25 Sep 2023
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)