Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Story: Peter David
Art: John Romita Sr., John Buscema, Bob McLeod, Alan Kupperberg, Keith Williams, Mark Texeira
Lettering: Jack Fury

This issue is about a bank robbery, told in flashback from three different people's perspectives.

Mary Jane's version has character after character pausing to stop and tell her how beautiful she is. She also portrays J Jonah Jameson in a good light to soften him up in preparation for Peter's imminent request for a pay-rise.

Then, JJJ's commentary predictably casts himself as the hero and Spider-Man as a menace.

My problem with both of these two accounts is that the embellishments are just too exaggerated. MJ must surely be aware of how obviously she's making it up. JJJ must surely be aware of the same thing. Neither of them can possibly think that Robbie is sitting there believing them.

That a group of people will swear to contradictory accounts of the same event is well-known, but really, no-one gets it this wrong. Had the differences in their stories been more subtle, then they might just have been misremembering without being aware of it.

I can't go too hard on the plot for that though. Partly because showing the same story from several different perspectives wasn't such a common plot-device back in 1986, but mostly because this is a comedy.

Finally, Peter Parker's words on the incident directly contradict many of the pictures that accompany them, suggesting that although Peter's words are not reliable either, the artwork is.

Alas, the key word there is 'suggesting'. By the end of this issue, I couldn't be sure of anything that I'd seen on these flashback-pages, which somewhat rendered my purchase of the comic pointless.

I do think that there was the potential for a good story here, but ironically author Peter David - who is one of my favourite Spidey-writers - has left me uncertain as to exactly what it was.


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