Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #95

 Posted: 23 Aug 2022
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)

Background

I have not read any of the preceding issues but fortunately the first page has a summary:

"The bionic body of the crime-lord, Silvermane, has been brought back from the brink of death. Revived by the Kingpin, who had hopes that he could manipulate that mindless creature to act as his assassin, Silvermane showed disturbing tendencies to resist the Kingpin's directions. Consequently, when Silvermane got involved in a battle with the Amazing Spider-Man, despite being ordered to show restraint in dealing with the web-slinger, he beat Spidey half to death. And that brings us up to date!"

Ok then.

Story 'The Dagger At The End Of The Tunnel!'

Black Cat was helping a beaten Spidey enter his apartment through the skylight. He could tell that there were no broken bones but he was badly weakened. Cat put him to bed despite Spider-Man still complaining that Silvermane was out there. His symbiote costume flowed off of him and Cat turned away, as she was still more attracted to Spider-Man than Peter Parker. She said that if he was so worried about Silvermane, she would go after him herself. He said it was too dangerous, especially if the Kingpin was involved and made her promise to stay away from danger. Peter passed out and Black Cat swung away, agreeing to stay away from Silvermane. Her reasoning was because her involvement may lead to Spidey finding out that she had gained her powers from Kingpin.

Meanwhile, Silvermane continued to cut his path of destruction across the city. Kingpin watched his progress on a monitor from his headquarters, pleased that the Answer's remote TV unit was still broadcasting. Answer replied he would be out of range soon but Kingpin told him to do nothing. A scientist at the monitor said he couldn't understand why the submission collar wasn't having any effect on Silvermane. There was no malfunction per se, but it was like an outside source was calling to him, strong enough to make him ignore the pain of the collar. Answer immediately knew that Dagger was the outside source. On the monitor, they saw Silvermane escape by smashing a hole through the street and into the sewers. Answer went on to say that Dagger's light knives had driven the life force from Silvermane's body and she had absorbed it. She must have formed a link between them and Silvermane was seeking her out to reclaim his life energy. He suspected that Dagger was also feeling the effects of Silvermane's revival.

Answer was correct, as Dagger was feeling a great deal of pain. As soon as she stepped out of Cloak's dark dimension, the pain hit her again. The pain drained her of her light, meaning that she had very little to give him. She explained that without her excess light, his hunger would grow and his darkness must be fed. If it wasn't satisfied, it would take the light force energy from others. If he resisted his hunger, the darkness would devour him. Neither of them knew what to do.

Meanwhile at Peter's apartment, the symbiote (which at this point Peter didn't seem to know was alive) moved from the chair to his bed and bonded to him. Still asleep, it took him out web swinging and went right past Black Cat. She had been pondering what to tell her lover about her powers. She wanted to be honest but was afraid he'd leave her. She was surprised to see him go right past her and was indignant. If he wanted to go solo, so would she. She remembered him saying that Dagger was key to beating Silvermane, and she had sources of her own. She wanted to see who would get to Dagger first.

At Fisk's headquarters, a doctor was tending to Vanessa. She was unconscious and the doctor said her spirit seemed drained after an experience with outcasts on the street. It was as if her soul had been snuffed out. Kingpin thought how he would do anything to have her healthy and by his side. His criminal empire meant nothing without her. Answer showed up and said he had spoken to the Rose, who agreed to their plan. The Rose wasn't happy about it and Kingpin said that's why he was given the assignment. The Rose was ambitious and needed to be put in his place.

Meanwhile, the Rose complained to himself that he was being treated like a lesser by the Kingpin. He hadn't even spoken to the Rose personally, he had to talk to a super-powered flunky. The Rose then made a series of phone calls, putting Fisk's plan in motion.

Word reached Black Cat about a big heroin deal going down at the docks and she knew it was exactly what would draw out Cloak and Dagger.

At the docks, a pair of junkies were waiting to find someone to rob, so that they could get their fix. Cloak and Dagger arrived, and Silvermane immediately sensed her presence. He scurried up a wall toward the light.

Cloak wanted to send them to the dark dimension and Dagger stopped him, saying his hunger might keep him from releasing them in time. She used her light daggers, even though she was low on energy. The daggers hit the junkies, cold and painful but they soon felt free of their addiction. In gratitude, they told the duo that a big drug shipment was coming later that night. Dagger's light was very low and Cloak took her away, even though he was wary to keep her in his cloak for long. As soon as they disappeared, the ground under the former junkies began to rumble and Silvermane appeared from the ground. The android was confused, not sensing the light that had just been there.

Spider-Man returned to his apartment and the symbiote left him in bed before it returned to the chair. Peter immediately woke up, thinking the whole experience had been a dream. He still felt exhausted despite the sleep, but knew he had to find Dagger to stop Silvermane. The suit came to him and he called Felicia, who didn't answer. He hoped that she hadn't gone after Silvermane alone. He had no luck searching for Dagger or Silvermane and decided to call the Bugle for rumors on any big drug shipments. Ben Urich told him that one was going down but doubted it was real. Everyone knew about it, which made him think it was intentionally leaked. Spider-Man thought it was a slim possibility but went to the docks anyway.

At the docks, the Rose told his goons to leave the heroin, as the buyer would arrive shortly. One of the goons thought it was a bad idea and the Rose told him to shut up. The Rose then left, thinking that the while thing was some kind of elaborate ploy. It was no way to run a drug sale. The dealers were being watched by multiple people: Black Cat, Spider-Man and the Answer. Cloak and Dagger soon arrived and Dagger was too weak to. Cloak went after the dealers alone, and soon sucked them into his cloak and the dark dimension. Dagger tried to stop him from using the thugs and gave him more of her light, despite her protests.

Black Cat and Spider-Man went after Dagger but it was Silvermane that surprised them all. The thugs assumed that he was there for the drugs and he quickly swatted their attacks aside, using Dagger as a club. Cloak wanted to protect Dagger over all else, and hoped to use his cloak to capture him.

From a distance, the Rose observed the battle and wondered what he could accomplish if Silvermane were under his control. He could see that the fight was centered on Dagger, so he ordered his men to get her. Answer stood by and observed it all, seeing the control that the Rose had over his men. He could also see Dagger's power and realized how it could help control Silvermane and help Kingpin's wife. Meanwhile, everyone was clawing at Dagger, from the Rose's men, to Cloak, to Silvermane, to Spider-Man. She was scooped up by the Answer, who had contacted Kingpin on how to proceed. Answer escaped with Dagger and Cloak tried to pursue them, after draining the light from some of the thugs. Silvermane also ran into Cloak's dark dimension and Cloak took him, despite his confusion. Spider-Man tried to put a tracer onto Cloak before he teleported away but was a second too late.

General Comments

There was a lot going on in the story, a lot that I left out. There was a whole page of secondary characters (Harry and Liz, Jonah, Betty, Robbie, May and Nathan, Flash and Sha Shan) going over their own problems. It was too much and beside the point of the main story. That's sort of how the whole story felt, overpacked. In the end, everyone gets thrown together around Cloak and Dagger, two characters that I never cared for very much. I knew of them from Maximum Carnage, nothing else. I didn't know that Cloak spoke in such a dramatic way. On the last page he says, "Foul felons! Can you think of naught but your filthy drugs at a time like this?" Ugh.

The story was fine but predictable. This was the first time I've heard of "the Answer" and he is more of a plot point than character. Vanessa Fisk's soul is dying, but coincidentally we have a character that can restore a person's light? Convenient. It did make me think of the Star Wars fans complaining about how Padme died of a broken heart. We beat you to the punch by 21 years, guys!

Overall Rating

Granted I need to read the whole story and not just one issue but this was nothing special.

 Posted: 23 Aug 2022
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)