Cover Price: $.60

#247
December 1983

Value: $9 (Near Mint-Mint)

 

Supporting Cast:
Mary Jane Watson, Aunt May, Anna Watson, Nathan Lubensky


Guests:
Frog-Man


Villains:
Thunderball

"Interruptions!" - 22 Pages


Writer -
Roger Stern
Artist - John Romita Jr.
Inker - John Romita Sr.
Cover -
John Romita Jr.
Letterer
- Joe Rosen
Colorist -
Bob Sharen
Editor - Tom DeFalco & Danny Fingeroth
Editor In Chief -
Jim Shooter

Spider-Man remains on the hunt for the elusive Hobgoblin. But while he's looking, he gets a bit more than he bargained for in this issue.

The story starts innocently enough, with Spider-Man paying a visit to underworld informant "Nose" Norton. Spider-Man saved Norton's life from the Cobra in Amazing Spider-Man #231 and again from the Tarantula in Amazing Spider-Man #233, so he certainly owes the Web-Slinger a favor or two. Spidey is looking for information on the Hobgoblin, but Norton doesn't have any for him. "Well, maybe you're telling the truth, Nose...there's a first time for everything! But your ears as almost as big as your nose. You'll hear something eventually and when you do, I want you to pass it on to me!" Spider-Man says, placing Norton's hat back on his head. After Spider-Man leaves, Norton checks under his bed. Underneath he has a mysterious trombone case, which he refers to as his "meal ticket." This will come into play later on in the story.

Afterwards, Peter Parker meets his Aunt May and Anna Watson for lunch. Not surprisingly, Aunt May and Aunt Anna are playing matchmaker, as Mary Jane Watson enters the restaurant shortly after Peter. Mary Jane returned to New York (and this series) in Amazing Spider-Man #241 and since then, seemingly everyone has been trying to get the two ex-lovers back together. "You have more in common than you might think, Peter. You've both lost so...so very much," Aunt May tells him. Peter wonders what she means by that.

From there, it's back to work as Spider-Man. It turns out he wisely slipped a spider-tracer into Norton's hat and he's using it to tail the shady Norton. Trombone case in hand, Norton meets up with a group of tough-looking guys in an empty warehouse. Nose gives the trombone case to a mystery man in a lab coat, who gives the stool pigeon $10,000 cash for his troubles. The men then start going over some plans -- and it's clear they aren't talking about getting breakfast at the local Denny's. Spider-Man sets up his automatic camera and tries to scope out exactly what is going on. However, an automatic spot light reveals Spidey's hiding place to the thugs. He makes quick work of these guys (John Romita Jr. provides a great page of action here on page 12). But their leader - the shadowy guy in the lab coat - proves to be much tougher. He lifts a heavy crate and throws it like it was a baseball, proving he has superhuman strength. "You're about as strong as a guy I've been looking for," Spider-Man says. "You ever go by the name...Hobgoblin?"

But before he can learn the answer, New York's newest -- and most inept -- superhero crashes through the skylight. It's the fabulous Frog-Man! Frog-Man and Spider-Man worked together (much to Spidey's regret) in Marvel Team-Up #121 and Marvel Team-Up #131. Unfortunately, he can't control his leaping and in the confusion, the bad guys escape. Spider-Man gives Frog-Man a lecture, but he likes the kid too much to be too hard on him.

But Spider-Man isn't empty-handed. It turns out that some of the photos he took came out pretty well. They reveal a map of Long Island along with some notes. The gang plans to attempt a heist the next day near Lake Ronkonkoma. And Spider-Man plans to be there, although he has to hitch a ride on the Long Island Railroad to get there, rather than rely on his normal Web-slinging mode of transportation. Inside the trombone case, the gang has some sort of high intensity energy beam. They use it to force an armored car off the road. Once they subdue the guards, they haul the truck (and the contents inside) away. But unfortunately for Spider-Man, the train doesn't get there in time for him to stop the carjacking. The leader of the gang, the man they call "Doc," opens the armored car to find a single crate. The rest of the gang is disappointed that it doesn't contain any loot. Instead, its sole contents are a metal crow bar and a wrecking ball. Say what? The other gang members are pretty upset at risking a lengthy prison stint for such a seemingly worthless take. They make their move on Doc, three against one.

Spider-Man arrives just in time to see one of the badly beaten goons come flying through the window of their makeshift hideout. "It's one of my little playmates from last night -- but it looks like he just went ten rounds with Larry Holmes! What's going on here? "Just then, a bolt of lightning strikes the shed. The Hobgoblin isn't inside -- instead, Spider-Man must face the villain named Thunderball, a man who has battled Thor himself!

This is a nice little misdirection play by writer Roger Stern. The Hobgoblin mystery was at his peak here and it made sense that the shadowy mystery man might just be the villainous Hobgoblin. Instead, it turned out to be a new foe for Spider-Man in Thunderball. It's a good way to prolong the Hobgoblin mystery without making it feel like it is dragging out. Having Frog-Man drop in for a brief appearance was a nice touch as well. Too often, the events of Marvel Team-Up were ignored in the "main" Spider-Man books (Amazing and Spectacular), but this cameo made that book seem important in the overall scheme of things.

"Next issue: Can Spider-Man stand up to the one-man wrecking machine known as Thunderball? Plus, one of the most touching stories ever presented in comics -- The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man"?

Reviewed by Bruce Buchanan.

Quality Rating: 3
Significance Rating: 2

Overall Rating:

5

 

Amazing Spider-Man #246

Also This Month:

Marvel Team-Up #136
Spectacular Spider-Man
#85

Hawkeye #4
Thing #6

Amazing Spider-Man #248