Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Writer: David Michelinie
Pencils: Mike Harris

Two-parter featuring this year's retirement-plan for the Black Fox.

At least, I think another year had passed since his last two final jobs in ASM#255 and ASM#265. While 12 months had just about gone by in the real world, in anything-goes Marvel-Time it may well have only been a few weeks.

Anyway, in the background of the usual runaround after the Fox, #15 is the one when Peter Parker finally makes a decision about what to do with the solid gold notepad he salvaged from someone's trash-can back in Web Of Spider-Man #6. It was described at the time as a turning-point in his life. As suspected, it really hasn't been.

Ever since Spider-Man saved this priceless item from the government's plan to dump it at the bottom of the sea, Peter has been paranoid that this action makes him a thief. Does it?

As I mentioned in my review of that issue, I'm not sure that this really counts as stealing if someone's thrown it away. If Peter really felt that bad about rescuing the gold notepad, then he should have given it to Power Man and Iron Fist, since the Beyonder intended the whole building of gold as a payment to them for their services. (they never got anything - the US government stole it)

Finally, at the end of this current story, due to renewed pressure from his landlady, our hero finally acquiesces and sells the darned thing. Alas, Parker is still so unsure of his conscience that he lacks the necessary confidence to haggle with, and gets a really, really low price for it. Which he immediately wipes out by using it to anonymously pay for Nathan's medical bills.

One of the real edges that Peter Parker has, and it goes for some other Marvel characters too, is his deep commitment to doing the right thing. Spider-Man doesn't just punch villains, he has this whole internal struggle every issue about the morality of his actions.

It gives these stories a really strong hook with which to hold the reader's attention, because most of the rest of us have that struggle every day too. I mentioned above my angle on his taking the gold notepad. I only hold that viewpoint because the comic has prompted me to think about it.

Peter's not perfect either. Lately he's been losing his temper quite a lot. Again, like we all do.

It's just a real shame that he can cut the rest of the world so much slack, but not himself. He seems to treat others with compassion, but himself with legalism, forgetting that to them he himself is another person.

If Spider-Man had somehow met Peter Parker and heard about his imminent eviction, then wouldn't Spidey have happily given Peter the gold / money to help him keep his home?


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