Cover Price: $.25
Value: $45 (Near
"...And The Wind Cries: Cyclone!" - 18 Pages
After surviving the Grizzly and Jackal (in
#139-140) and having his mind toyed with by a second Mysterio (Amazing
Spider-Man #141-142), you would think Spider-Man could use a nice
European vacation. Well, be careful what you wish for Spider-fans, 'cause if
we've learned one thing by now, it's that nothing ever comes easy for our
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man!
To make things worse, in the previous issue, Peter Parker caught a glimpse of a girl who looks far too much like the late Gwen Stacy. He sees the girl again from the distance, as she's entering a subway station. Spider-Man chalks up the incident to stress and says, "She's dead. That's the end of it. Nothing can bring her back. Nothing." But the cold December rain is pretty reflective of his mood right now. Believe me,
But Peter has work to do, so he stops off at the Daily Bugle. To his surprise, Betty Brant tells him that Bugle Publisher J. Jonah Jameson abruptly had to leave for Europe. While he's there, City Editor Joe Robertson invites Peter out for lunch and delivers some important news. Joe has received a telegram from Jonah saying, "Come to Paris immediately. Bring one million dollars negotiable bonds." Joe plans to go to Paris -- and he wants Peter to come with him. (While he never admits as much, this conversation is a significant piece of evidence for those readers who believe Robertson knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man.)
When they get to Paris, they get a call from Jonah's kidnappers. They ask to meet with Joe, who tells Peter to stay behind. But, of course,
Spider-Man goes into action, careful not to let Joe realize that he is in town. He follows Joe on a tour of the city, as the kidnappers have given him a convoluted route to ensure that he's not being followed. At the designated meeting point, Joe is knocked out by three men in yellow and blue costumes, but Spider-Man takes care of them with ease, saying, "Parlay-voo to you too, buster!" But before he can take Joe to safety, a strong wind hurls him into a wall. And at the center of that wind is a new villain -- the Cyclone! "You Americans! You can never keep from interfering in matters which do not concern you!" he says, before collapsing a brick wall on top of the wall-crawler! The Cyclone kidnaps Joe, too and tells Spider-Man that if he doesn't come up with the ransom money in 24 hours, they both will die.
This issue also features a significant moment in the blossoming relationship between Peter and Mary Jane Watson. Before Peter catches his plane, Mary Jane comes to the airport to wish him farewell. He responds with a passionate kiss goodbye - and Mary Jane is swept off her feet "Maybe now, when they are about to separate -- something finally brings them together. Whatever the reason, something happens," we are told. Or, as MJ puts it, "Far freakin out." This scene is beautifully told in a three-page layout. Gerry Conway gives us some great dialogue when needed. When it isn't, he shuts up and lets artist Ross Andru tell the story with pictures. In any case, pages 13-15 of this issue are some of the best comic book storytelling you'll ever see.
Wow; this issue continues a string of great stories from the Conway/Andru team -- in my mind, the greatest Spider-Man creative combo ever. The sequence with Peter and Mary Jane is absolutely fantastic.
Andru also does a great job of illustrating the Paris cityscape. The buildings look French -- they don't look like the same buildings Spider-Man swings from in New York. They appear smaller and older. We even get some landmarks, like Spider-Man in front of the Eiffel Tower. "All my life, I've wanted to see Paris and here I am playing superhero in the City of Lights," Spider-Man says.
Interesting tidbit: The title of this issue, "...And the Wind Cries: Cyclone!", is a nod to the Jimi Hendrix song "The Wind Cries Mary."
Next issue: Spider-Man battles the Cyclone in Paris, plus a shocking twist in the Gwen Stacy mystery!
Reviewed by Bruce Buchanan.
Marvel Tales #120
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