Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Writer: David Michelinie
Pencils: Alex Saviuk

This is the story in which Peter's boss - Joe Robertson - offers him a piece of "fatherly advice" that sounds like Peter is facing Simon Cowell on Photog Idol:

Joe: "Peter, you seem to have a chronic difficulty making a living as a freelance photographer, so maybe... well... maybe you should consider some other line of work."

Joe is perfectly happy to keep on employing Peter, he just also happens to think that Pete is incompetent at it. There's a tear in Peter's eye afterwards, probably because he knows it's true. Being Spider-Man doesn't half mess-up your time-management.

Later on, he's swinging around the city looking for something he can photograph and sell the pictures of, when he hears someone scream.

Spider-Man: (THINKS)"A scream! Music to my ears! Lord, that sounds callous!"

Not half so callous as the rest of this fairly traditional two-parter from 1987, in which Doctor Octopus threatens to kill everyone in New York using biological weapons. The base from where he will carry out this unthinkable act of terrorism is inside one of these two buildings:

'Bacillus', as you know, is a synonym for 'anthrax'.

Ohhhhh, dear, this one hasn't aged so well.

Still, we can feel encouraged from the way this all pans out for Doc Ock. Spider-Man pretends to lose the battle, (perhaps having learnt from his recent defeat at Kraven's hands) so that once the Doc is triumphant, he and his army no longer have any need to threaten the city.

Ever so slightly more heartening, when some other terrorists come along in planes and level the WTC a few years later in Amazing Spider-Man #477, Doctor Octopus seems appropriately appalled by the whole thing.

After all, even terrorists can choose to reform.


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