Spider-Man Unlimited #17

 Posted: 2004


Mendel Stromm, the Robot Master, has been subjected to "a powerful concussive blast" by Norman Osborn. Arthur Stacy is attempting to discover the connection between Spider-Man and the deaths of his brother, George, and niece, Gwen. Betty Brant-Leeds is plugging away as a reporter for the Daily Bugle.

Story 'I, Robot Master!'

The issue opens with Spidey running late for a very important date; not the first time we've seen it, but I do wonder why, when changing into his civvies, Peter puts on his shoes before his pants. Doesn't he usually put his pants on first? It sure is a lot easier!

Someone should introduce Glenn Greenberg to the concept of full stops--the glut of exclamation marks reminds me of DeFalco's work. I was exhausted by the middle of the fourth page, when Dr. Weaver says to Betty, "Yes, I was following your articles about it in the Bugle, which is why I called you!" You know it's getting out of hand when Jonah Jameson says, upon meeting Arthur Stacy, "Pleased to meet you, Arthur! I had the utmost respect and admiration for your brother, you know! He was a fine police officer. His death was a tragic loss for the entire city!" I know JJJ's supposedly insensitive (check out UNCANNY X-MEN #346 for the best-written Jameson since...well, since UNLIMITED #16), but that dialogue goes beyond tactless!

Speaking of Arthur Stacy, his determination to learn the full story about Spider-Man, George, and Gwen made for a truly excellent climax. I was really on the edge of my seat at that moment, unsure of what Arthur would choose to do--just as I should have been.

General Comments

Story-wise, this was a great issue (even with the exclamations and yellow gunk, which really were minor points against it). In several spots, it reminded me of other stories: Arthur Stacy's reaction to Spidey supporting the collapsed ceiling of Stromm's lab reminded me of the time Spidey was stuck in the Master Planner's underwater lair; Stacy getting his chance to unmask a helpless Spider-Man reminded me of the time in the 1996 HOLIDAY SPECIAL when Spidey and Jameson... Jameson had a chance to discover Spidey's identity there, too.

Editor: And don't forget way back in Amazing #192, Professor Smythe handcuffs Jameson and Spider-Man together. The Fly knocked Spider-Man unconscious and Jameson had a chance back then to take a peek - but didn't do it. Seems he really just doesn't want to know when it comes down to it.

Overall Rating

I hope UNLIMITED doesn't get much better than this, 'cause I'm running out of webs! 4.5 webs!

 Posted: 2004