Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Script: Peter David
Breakdowns: Rick Buckler (#119)
Finishes: Bob McLeod (#119)
Penciler: Dwayne Turner (#123)
Inker: Art Nichols (#123)
Artist: Alan Kupperberg (#128-129)
Letterer: Rick Parker
Colorist: D Martin (#119), Nel Yomtov (#123), Bob Sharen (#128), Julianna Ferriter (#129)

Taking a whopping eleven months to tell a four-part story (yay for filler-issues, apparently) this is the tale of the Black Cat's collaboration with the Foreigner to ruin her ex-boyfriend Spider-Man.

Foreigner: "My name is Rafael Sabitini. But I'm better known simply as 'Foreigner.'"

Spider-Man: "Foreigner, huh? Gee, I have all your albums."

It's the Foreigner's first chance to really shine in the series, and he comes across as almost as much of a magician as an assassin, repeatedly making misdirection his weapon of choice.

For example, over several years, we are told, he has been employing some 24 different people to impersonate Police Chief Chris Keating. Also, even with the power to hypnotise his opponent (another magician-trait), the Foreigner seems keen for Spider-Man to retain the memory of having lost his fight to a teleporter.

Between this guy, Puma and Silver Sable, Spidey seems to currently be attracting villains who like to play everything cool.

Meanwhile, perhaps due to the dizzying rotation of artists, the Black Cat gets a hideous new look, appropriately transforming her image from that of a kitten to a cat.



Wha' haaappened???

She later puts on a pointy mask, but that really doesn't help any. *shiver*

In fact, throughout her return to the pages of Peter Parker (begun back in #112), Felicia Hardy gets through several different looks, the last of which is just a bikini and sunglasses, possibly because by that point she has little else left. *shiver* (she's outdoors at the time)

Anyhow, her plan to exact revenge upon her ex ultimately fails, mainly because her feelings of betrayal by him eventually become outweighed by her feelings of attraction. I haven't called that 'love' for a whole heap of reasons, but mainly because she's only ever seemed to like Spider-Man for the good feelings she gets from him. Those seem to be more feelings for her own well-being, so perhaps in retrospect it's not such a bad thing that she left the series when she did. (a few weeks later, Peter suddenly married Mary-Jane)

Elsewhere in these issues, there are some nice crossovers with the ongoing storyline of sister-mag The Amazing Spider-Man, particularly in #129 when Flash Thompson escapes from hospital to try and snap Betty out of her denial over her husband's recent death. (ironically also engineered by the Foreigner) I read these issues where they seem to take place among that other series, and it was easy to forget which title I was in.

Finally, a word about science in the Marvel universe:

It's way ahead of ours.

Sometimes I forget this. For example, on the cover of #128 above you can see Silver Sable's men attacking Spidey from some giant floating discs. It gives the impression that this issue is going to be set in the year 3000 or something. No, just 1987 as usual.

But hey, rarely is a Marvel cover accurately representative of the pages that it enfolds. For example, if you take another close look at that same artwork above, you'll also see that Spider-Man is firing a web from the TOP of his right wrist.

Yep, apparently his alien costume is back too.


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