Fuck me, is it really Wednesday already? My god. It feels like Groundhog Day to me, just with the appropriate number of days passing.
Anyhoo, onto today's, and the first, Back-Issue Spotlight of the year:
The Amazing Spider-Man#350 (Aug 1991) "Doom Service" by David Michelinie and Erik Larsen.
Wow. That title's so bad, I may have to steal it for future use;)
So this story, and 350th issue of Amazing Spider-Man, starts off with a big single page worthy of Dan's famous panel posts, and showing the reader a very pissed off Dr.Doom.
Apparently in the previous issue before this one, the old as hell famous jewel thief Black Fox(More like silver fox if you ask me) stole a rare emerald egg from an museum exibit in Monaco. Turns out the Dragon Egg, as it's being called, belonged to Doom's mother.
Oh shit! Yeah, this might not turn out well for the fox.
Luckily for the Fox, Spidey's there to try and reason with Doom. Good luck with that Spidey.
After a brief fight, Spidey convinces Doom to give him 24 hours to track down the Black Fox and get the egg back. Doom agrees, and Spidey asks himself "What have I gotten myself into?"
The next day, the Black Fox tries in vain to buy pack the Emerald Egg from the guy he sold it to in the first places using all of his ill-gotten savings. It doesn't work, and now Foxie's broke as a joke. Meanwhile poor Spidey's suffering from the effects of his fight w/Doom. Seems ol' Spidey's got a concussion. Well, as former and current pro atheletes can attest to nowadays, concussions are serious business. They'll make you forget shit, go bat-shit insane, causing to off on a murder-suicide after raping the neighbor's cat...or something like that.
Spidey gets off easy, as the only concussion-induced effects he gets is a pretend pep-talk by his dear departed Uncle Ben:
I love how Larsen just draws the shit out of Uncle Ben, rendering him in classic Ditko-style.
Apparently Spidey's always gone soft on the Black Fox because of his age, and how he kind of puts him in the same class as Uncle Ben. Meaning by putting the Fox in jail, he's kinda' putting Uncle Ben in jail too? Sounds fucked up, but the writer had to get some sort of pathos out of Spidey in some way, and this is it.
Despite repeated pleading by his wife Mary Jane to not go out, he does anyways, because damnit "Great Power and Great Responsibility" and all that jazz right?
Personally if it ws me, and I was married to a fucking knock-out super model like that, I'd never get out of bed except to piss and eat. Just saying......
Later that night, the Black Fox attempts to steal back the Emerald Egg from the very guy his fence sold it to:
Millionaire recluse, Andrew Carpathian. And like all eccentric and reclusive millionaires, this guy's up to something sinister.
Turns out Mr. Carpathian had a machine built to bring back the remains of the old Spider-foe, The Swarm.
Carpathian, backed up by his cult, the Arcane Order of the Night, plan on using the Emerald Egg to power the machine that'll purify the earth, or something like that. It could be me, bu this Carpathian guy looks and sounds alot like a poor man's version of Ra's Al Guhl. Just saying.....
So things like bleak for the Fox since he's outnumbered. Just then, Spider-Man shows up to even the odds. Even hurt to hell, he still tosses the hired help a good beating or two, long enough to work his way up to the egg.
Then Doom shows up, since the 24 hours are up as well, and he's not a very patient man.
Spidey grabs the egg, the crazy cult's machine blows up, and all is well with the world...so far. After all, there is the matter of Doom settling up the Black Fox, which he does in hysterical fashion:
Doom leaves, considering the score settled. And once again, Spidey's faced with a dilemma or wether or not to take Fox to jail. This time he does, doing the right thing, and not being emotionally black-mailed into letting the Fox go again.
The issue ends with Spidey remarking that "The next few days are going to be rough. I've still got a concussion to heal! And Mary Jane's going to be upset for quite a while! It'll take time, and talk, and affection. But I know we work it out, after all....I'm getting pretty good at reconcilling things."
Spidey you dog you;)
This was Erik Larsen's last issue of Amazing Spider-Man. He'd go on to write and draw a few issue of Spider-Man, taking over from Todd McFarlane again. After that, Larsen would follow McFarlane and few others to start a litle independent comic company you might've heard of......Image Comics.