REVIEW CORNER: Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man # 118
“Ashes To Ashes”
Writer: Peter David
Penciller: Mike Zeck
Inker: Bob McLeod
Letterer: Rick Parker
Colorist: Bob Sharen
As a kid, when I grew out of my Superman phase and became a devoted Spider-Man fan (Which probably annoyed my mom to no end!!) My love for comics back then consisted of four titles- Amazing Spider-Man, Web Of Spider-Man, Marvel Tales (Which reprinted old Spidey stories) and of course …..Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man. PPTSSM had some of the great street-level stories ever thanks to the creativity of Peter David. From the raw, grim and gritty storytelling of the classic “Death Of Jean De Wolffe” storyline to Spidey coming face-to-face with a thief dressed as Santa Claus, PAD and his artistic collaborator Mark Beachum (And sometimes Bob McLeod and a crew of fill-in writers and artists) made this a series worth reading and in the process made Peter David a comic legend (Check out this series and his “Incredible Hulk” run from 1987-1998 if you’re not fully convinced how talented this man is)
Now for this issue. PAD and artists Mike Zeck and Bob McLeod (Who were set to take over as the new art team for this title but never did- Another story for another time) pick up on the long-running subplot about a kid named Alexander who gets the power to disintegrate due to coming in contact with his father’s latest invention- A disintegrating ray. Turns out Alexander uses his newfound power to disintegrate his father, who was abusing him and it caught the attention of Alex’s teacher. Feeling alone and scared, Alex heads into the city who, after running into some cops uses his powers for self-defense, which has Pete go into action as Spider-Man so that he can have a chance to calm the boy down, but some overzealous S.H.I.E.L.D. agents get thrown into the mix and soon Spidey does his best to protect Alexander.
Now, I love how this issue boasts some great artwork from Zeck and McLeod as this issue shows that now only that these two were very amazing in the art department but it would be another year before they would link up with J.M. DeMatteis to give us the classic “Kraven’s Last Hunt” storyline and when it came to Alexander’s power, I felt it did give a twist to Pete’s own “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” motto wherein Alexander’s case it seems like with great power comes some grave consequences! And I won’t spoil the ending but it is a very bleak ending and most of the PPTSSM issues during David’s run always had such sad endings that made us think after reading them. But if you have the chance, no matter if you’re at a comic book store or a local flea market, buy this issue!!
Well, that’s it for me. I hope your weekend was great! Take care and I’ll see you all back this upcoming Wednesday and again next Sunday. And I even know what book I’ll review for next week (It’s a surprise).