Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Writer: Tom DeFalco
Penciler: Ron Frenz

* Review contains spoilers *

Well if the last issue was a 22-page sitcom, then this one is a positive sketch-show.

There are really four set-pieces going on here, as follows:


While trying to convince Mary Jane that he's not secretly Spider-Man, (see last ish -- Steve) Peter Parker's problems proliferate when his girlfriend the Black Cat unexpectedly drops-in... and hilariously thinks that Peter is cheating on her!


Parker's weird alien costume is taking his body over while he sleeps, leading to the psychedelic dream-sequence on the cover above. The artwork for this is stunning, even going to the extreme of presenting Peter as he used to look in the comic about 20 years earlier.


Spidey visits Mr Fantastic and the Human Torch to finally get his weird black costume checked-out. After a series of tests, Reed Richards delivers the stunning verdict on the composition of Spidey's alien costume. Spidey's reaction is as dumbfounded and funny as at the end of the last issue.

So the three of them basically have a fight to literally tear his clothes off of him, at which point the vicar walks in and gasps to camera "Oh, crikey!"

I'd love to quote that panel for review purposes, but I'm afraid that I made up the bit about the vicar.


Now naked, and a little in fear of blowing his secret identity, Spidey has to make his way home, across the rooftops, wearing the only alternative clothes that his friends can find for him – an out-of-date Fantastic Four costume, (with a 'KICK ME' sign stuck on the back by the Torch) and that time-honoured comedic device - a paper-bag over his head.

So of course, on his trip home across the rooftops there only happens to be a police shoot-out, and our incognito superhero just has to drop-in and get involved. After the fight in the sling last issue, you sense that author Tom DeFalco is trying to outdo himself again, especially when, having defeated the villains, Paper-Bag Man finds himself trapped in a media circus.

It's so mad and so serious all at the same time.

No wonder they call them comics.


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