Writer: Bob Layton
Penciller: Steve Geiger
Inker: Vince Colletta
Letterer: Rick Parker
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Cover Date: July 1987
This week, I’m taking a look at Web of Spider-Man # 28 which is without a doubt, one of the most bizarre Spider-Man stories to date. Sure, I may be miscounting some of the other weird and outlandish stories, but this one takes the care!
The story kicks off with Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson taking a ride of the Staten Island Ferry when they notice the Statue of Liberty, which leads Pete to tell MJ a very hilarious story on how he left behind some clothes and a malfunctioned web-shooter during one of his visits to the statue, but then discovered the torch (Where his clothes and web-shooter were stashed) is being transported via helicopter due to some renovations being made on the statue. Peter then heads over to The Daily Bugle to find out that, by orders of The President of the United States, the torch is being shipped to California to be in a Rose Parade (I remember seeing those a lot on T.V. and in person back when I was a kid living in L.A.)
But Peter gets lucky as The Bugle sends him on assignment to cover the parade, that way he can retrieve his stuff from the torch, but here’s where the story gets into that weird zone as we meet the villains of our story, a group of rich, radical yuppies from Beverly Hills who were planning to steal the torch and hold it ransom for the sole purpose of bringing attention to a lot of local Avocado Growers (I swear, I’m not making that up at all!)
The story then continues its exploration of mishaps and misfortunes such as Peter getting sunburn thanks to a brief trip to the beach (A victim of Jet-Lag) or the radical yuppies almost getting away due to their plan being put into play if not for a badly sunburn Spider-Man (And I also found it funny that Spidey wasn’t happy about having to swing from very low buildings, but that’s California for ya!); I also enjoyed the maniacal car chase through East L.A.. (Hershel, the leader of the Avocado radicals, betrayed his friends by making off with the torch because a French businessman wanted to give him a fat paycheck for the torch due to the serious debts Hershel racked up); Now this comic will have you reminiscing of all those over the top comedies from the 80s as I felt like elements from “Beverly Hills Cop” (Parts 1 & 2) and the “Police Academy” movies were being incorporated into this story and yes, in my opinion, it did feel like Bob Layton watched a ton of movies before he got to work on the script to this issue. I did get a kick out of the fact that after everything he went to to get his stuff back, Spidey finds out that the torch that was shipped out to Los Angeles was a complete fake.
And while I won’t spoil the ending for you (Trust me when I say that it’s flat-out funny!) this issue of Web shows you want a weird holding pattern the Spider-Titles were back in 1987 as then Spider-Man editor Jim Salicrup was showcasing some odd one-and-done stories in Web and Spectacular Spider-Man while David Michelinie was beginning his run on Amazing Spider-Man. But this story is a great read (And brought back some fond memories of growing up in L.A.) if you just pull it out the dollar bin at your LCS and need a good laugh if you’re bored because even though Web of Spider-Man had the horrible reputation of never holding a solid creative team, this title can churn out such offbeat stories such as this one makes seasons two and three of the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon look like a masterpiece.
That’s it for me this week and I’ll be back with another review so thanks for sticking around and I’ll see you all next time.