Friday, January 7, 2011

Flashback Friday: Web of Spider-Man #14 & 15

            These two issues remind us why Spider-Man is the hard luck hero.  He always was having trouble with money.  If it wasn't paying rent or tuition, he was fretting over Aunt May and her bills.  Added here are the added stresses of the grumpy Nathan who has hospital bills that Peter feels guilty about.  Had he been around, Nathan would not be hurt is his thinking.  In earlier issues, well, Peter became a hero in the community.  His apartment gets firebombed.  Once again his secret identity unravels his good fortune and Peter is suspected of being a fraud.  His landlady is threatening to evict him if he can't repair the apartment and all seems lost.

            He does have a solid gold notepad that he pulled out of the trash during a battle with the Beyonder.  Apparently a building was turned to gold and so were the contents.  So Peter has a resource, but is it ethical for him to use it.  A moral dilemma threatens him.  How can he sell it?  Placing this in the back of his mind for a bit he heads to the Daily Bugle to see if he can get an advance on his pictures.  It is a no go as the new city editor nixes the request.  This sends Spidey out on the prowl for some action shots.  Conveniently the aged jewel thief The Black Fox is pulling a heist.  Unfortunately the fight and smoke would frame Spidey.  He does get a spider tracer on the Fox.

            Spider-Man gets a plan to follow the Fox and maybe find a fence to sell the notebook to after he nabs the Fox.  Unfortunately the fence is dead and Spidey thinks the Black Fox has killed the guy.  This is the big cliff hanger as we go into next issue and more intrigue than you as a reader deserve.

            Spidey is after the Black Fox, the Black Fox is after a buyer for the rare gem he stole, the assassin is after Spidey.  What assassin you ask?  Well, the millionaire playboy know as Chance has ask the Foreigner to double or nothing the fee he paid to kill the fence from last issue if he kills Spider-Man.  That is his thing, gambling and taking Chances.  So he ends up fighting Spidey and getting the best of him a few times.  The Black Fox takes a loss from a new buyer and heads to Europe and away from the action.  Chance fails and Peter takes the gold notepad to the guy that The Black Fox sold his gem to in the end.  Peter get s fraction of what the book is worth, but it is enough to pay Nathan's hospital bill.

So he expects to be evicted.  He gets home and finds that Mary Jane Watson has had the apartment remodeled and the bill paid.  She did it because she loved him, but that is jumping ahead in the story a bit.  It does remind us that those who do right and do good do get good done back.  Peter sacrifices himself as Spidey, and often is just scraping by day to day.  The thing is that people who care about him see his need and even though he never asks, the help is given.

This is the way Spider-man should be.  He is a moral person that does what is right.  He gave the money to a guy that really doesn't like him, anonymously paying that hospital bill, even though he knew it meant not having a place to live.  That is what a hero does.  It is a reason I stopped reading Marvel.  I don't feel that sense of right and wrong displayed through the stories I read.

I hope you liked this Flashback Friday.  I know I broke a review rule and told the tale, but much is left off.  It is good to read even after my short take on the two issues.