Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When Iceman Attacks

Spider Man #92 (January 1970)

I commented last time that reactionary politician Sam Bullit was too one-dimensional a character to be very interesting. And that’s true. But his story wraps up this issue before he has time to get tiresome and the plot allows us some nice character moments involving Spidey’s supporting cast.

The best moment involves J. Jonah Jameson, who initially supported Bullit’s law and order campaign. But once he’s presented evidence of Bullit’s thuggery and racism, he quickly switches sides. We’ve seen this before in Jonah—he can be a cheapskate and a bully, but he has sincere standards as a newsman and something as evil as racism turns his stomach. It’s an aspect of him that keeps him from being a one-dimensional punch-line and makes him a viable character in his own right.

But back to the plot: Last issue ended with Spidey “kidnapping” Gwen, intending to act like enough of a jerk so that she never suspects he’s really Peter Parker. It’s a plan that sounds a little dumb when spelled out, but gosh darn it if it’s not a bad plan. Especially since it’s something he had to improvise after Gwen sees him web-slinging into Peter’s apartment.

But he never really gets a chance to carry out the plan, since Iceman happens to be nearby and immediately jumps in to “rescue” Gwen.

There’s really no reason for Iceman to be in this story other than to plug the X-Men’s own book. But that’s okay. It’s something I touched on before—team-ups like this can be fun and as long as stories are self-contained in one specific book, it’s a perfectly legitimate path for comic book writers to take. Heck, we’re only about a year away from the first issue of Marvel Team-up, whose entire reason for existence is simply to allow Spider Man to join forces with other denizens of the Marvel Universe. And that book will be a lot of fun.

Crossovers are only annoying when they FORCE you to buy another book to get the whole story. That’s become more common in both DC and Marvel comics over the last decade or two and I continue to disapprove of it.


There. That’ll get ‘em to stop, I’m sure.

Anyway, Gil Kane (this is his last issue before Romita returns) makes the Spidey/Iceman fight look cool. And their tussle takes a potentially tragic turn when Bullit’s thugs kidnap Robbie Robertson. Iceman’s attacks on Spidey interfere with the webslinger’s rescue attempt.

But in the end, the two heroes team up. Robbie is rescued, while Bullit is discredited and arrested.

In February 1971, Spider Man will be mistaken for a criminal by yet another costumed hero, while Gwen decides to leave New York


  1. As much as I hate crossovers. Age of Apokolips was amazing.

  2. I never read Age of Apocalypse--it came out after I had pretty much given up on modern Marvel and DC continuity. I have heard good things about it, though. Was it a crossover, though, or a self-contained miniseries?


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