Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Plot: Tom DeFalco
Script: Jim Owsley
Pencil breakdowns: Greg LaRocque

I admit it. 25 years after the event, Marvel have again suckered me into reading some of their crossover titles.

Not because the storyline of yesteryear's Amazing Spider-Man requires me to, you understand, but simply because I've been finding it to be so good that I want more. I guess that's one of the reasons why a lot of kids got into collecting the US Spider-Man issues.

Many of them never got reprinted by Marvel UK, this issue being a case in point. (correct me if I'm wrong) The only excerpt that I'm aware of making it onto British presses was 50% of the cover, when it was reused about two years later on the front of Spider-Man And Zoids #1. (not a team-up) Inside was actually a reprint of the start of Amazing Spider-Man #256!

He's saying 'Gangway, heroes!  This is where the NEW Spider-Man takes over!!'  US original on the left, UK reworking on the right.
Anyhow, May 1984 seems like a good point to dip-in. Not only is it where my ever-helpful buddy Herschel's collection begins from, but it was also the month when Spider-Man's black costume was launched, in three different titles simultaneously. This time through I've already read of his return to Earth after the Secret Wars in Amazing Spider-Man #252, but here, in typical Marvel style, we get the same events from a different, more low-key, perspective.

In fact, over half the issue passes before Spidey even appears.

Indeed, for a team-up issue, it's unusual to find the two heroes barely even meeting each other. The first half of the story is Daredevil's, and the second half is Spidey's. When the two finally do encounter each other with only 2½ pages to go and falling, it looks as though they're at last going to battle the villains together.

'not much said
But no. Daredevil has already tied things up on his own, by doing some sort of deal with the Kingpin. (an ongoing crimelord villain for both characters) Instead, they have a very brief verbal disagreement about it, totalling just under a page, before heading off their separate ways. I felt fairly dissatisfied with the story's solution, but that's good, because both Spidey and Daredevil felt that way too. There were also some nice, subtle jokes about DD's reaction to Spidey's new costume, which I suppose must replicate the scent of his old duds too.

Being more of a Spider-fan, I've always had a bit of a blind-spot for Daredevil's continuity. (y'know, I actually didn't intend to phrase it that way...) So as I read this, I found I was mentally assuming that it followed-on from the movie, a plan which failed me during the Kingpin's workout, but provided a good background to the friendship between Matt Murdock and Ben Urich.

Ah yes, Ben Urich – the journalist. It had never occurred to me before that, as a newspaper reporter, he might know Peter Parker. Therefore it was a bit of a shock, having read so much of Parker's life at the Daily Bugle, to find the two of them chatting at the office as though they see each other every day.

Peter Parker / Ben Urich TEAM-UP!
I guess, for me, that was the real team-up here.


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