Throwback Review: Spectacular Spiderman #2

The first issue of this amazing Spidey spinoff featured a showdown with the menacing yet unintentionally comical Tarantula. Tarantula’s a fun character, though few Spidey aficionados would likely place the man on any “Best of” lists. The villain introduced in issue two however, has quite a different following.

Kraven the Hunter pops up in this book, and of course, that means he’s not only going to tangle with Spidey, he’s going to tangle with Tarantula, who’s still hanging around, as well. But, these two aren’t occupying the same space by mere coincidence. Tarantula was hired to kidnap chancellor Lansky, but he was also hired to kill the mayor, an assignment he botched. That’s where Kraven comes into play, to try and get the mystery man’s plans back on track. So, like it or not, Tarantula and Kraven are in this devious plan together, and the plan has changed. Kraven and Tarantula’s new assignment is to capture Chancellor Richard Gorman – dead or alive.

Peter goes through the normal growth process. Problems with Mary Jane, concern for Aunt May. Education, employment. Peter’s always going through that crap, and when he’s not, he’s going toe to toe with Kraven or Tarantula.

It’s a back and forth affair between Spidey and Kraven, all the while Tarantula delivers Gorman to our mysterious villain only to be double crossed. Whoever pulls the strings is sharp, and cautious.

Eventually the book comes – sadly – to an end, but not before an explosive and definitive conclusion to Spiderman and Kraven’s battle. Wanna guess who picked up the W in that rematch? Speaking of Ws, what’s next for Tarantula? Is he a goner, and will this particular story arc reveal the mastermind early, or will we be forced to wait for issue four?

Another amazing, classic book that comes to us courtesy of stud writer Gerry Conway and personal favorite with the pencil, Sal Buscema. Again, this really is a beautiful book.

Rating: 5/5


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