Spidey’s just crashed into Dr. Kafka’s office after escaping the Green Goblin, and Vermin has broke into his parent’s home in order to exact revenge on his father.
|Cover Art:||Sal Buscema|
|Reprinted In:||Complete Spider-Man (UK) #22|
This issue starts with a visit to the asylum-cam. Vermin is talking with Dr. Kafka about his father abusing him as a child. Cut to the present, where Vermin has dragged his mother by the hair into his father’s bedroom. Vermin says he remembers everything now and his father has to pay for his wrongdoing.
Then we cut to Spider-Man, who is still tripping out from the Green Goblin’s hallucinogenic gas. We see Peter falling away into a black abyss and disappear. Then he slowly emerges into a lighted tunnel, while Dr. Kafka talks to him. Finally, Spider-Man awakens in her office and tries to flee. Dr. Kafka stops him before he can swing away, however, saying he’s in no condition for super heroics yet. While they’re talking, however, you can see the Green Goblin’s silhouette passing back and forth in front of the moon.
Back at Vermin’s parent’s house (is that enough apostrophes?), our villain has his father by the throat. He is interrupted however, by his little buddy (remember him from way back in Spectacular Spider-Man #180?) pleading with Vermin not to kill his father. That distracts Vermin just enough for his mother to step in and further calm him down.
Tuning back in to the trusty asylum-cam, we get a quick recap of Vermin’s origin. For those who don’t know (which included me at the time) he was experimented on by Baron Zemo and transformed into a half-rat/half-human cannibal.
Meanwhile, Dr. Kafka and Spider-Man are talking on the roof about his recent revelations concerning the guilt he felt over his parent’s death, and how he didn’t even know about it until now. “The more we push things down – the more force they come back up with,” says Dr. Kafka (which is a not only good lesson in physics but the key to understanding each character’s motivations in this storyline). They’re interrupted when an associate comes running in to tell them about Vermin’s break-in at his parent’s house, and Spider-Man immediately swings away after him.
Back at the house, Vermin has now turned on his mother, blaming her for not stopping his father’s abuse. His father takes advantage of the situation and pulls a gun (last seen in Spectacular Spider-Man #179). Vermin merely sics his rats on him (did I mention there’s a whole lotta rats in the room?) and gets the gun. Unfortunately, Vermin can’t make himself pull the trigger.
Just them, Spider-Man shows up on the window ledge and Vermin is happy to unleash his rage on our hero. They go crashing out of the second story window, but Spider-Man manages to shoot a web and swings them both up onto the roof. They trade a few punches like usually, then Vermin gets the upper hand. But just as he’s going for Spider-Man’s throat the Green Goblin shows up and hits him with a pumpkin bomb! Now both Vermin and Spider-Man are knocked out on the roof and the Green Goblin is gloating.
Well, now that we have all our players in the same place it’s time to move on to the big finale.
This installment was well paced, if not exactly action packed.