As The Spider's Web Turns... Part 1 (Spectacular Spider-Man #150)

What I Remember: Like the first appearance of Anarky, This was also a back issue that I picked up years after the initial publication date. I then found again as an adult in the for $5 at a local comics shop. These issues focused on the relationship between Robbie Robertson, editor for the Daily Bugle and the hit-man, Tombstone. Somehow, Robbie helps Tombstone and is arrested and then protects him in the prison yard. This week we’ll focus on issue 150. Next week, part 2, issue #151.


Vital Stats:

Spectacular Spider-Man # 150 “Guilty!”


Writer: Gerry Conway

Artist: Sal Buscema

Colorist: Bob Sharen

Letterer:Rick Parker

Editor: Jim Salicrup

Publisher: Marvel Entertainment

Publication Date: May 1989

Cover Price: 1.00

Re-Collecting Price: $3.00



Is It Any Good?

What I like about old issues of Spider-Man is there’s always overarching subplots that stretch out over months, perhaps years, yet a reader could pick up a random issue and have a pretty good idea of what is going on. At the time, most people still bought comics off the newsstand and some months they’d carry Spectacular Spider-Man and some months they wouldn’t. Each issue had to stand alone and still feel like it mattered.

Peter politely provides backstory.

Peter politely provides backstory.

This issue is part of the albino assassin, Tombstone’s introductory story arc. He is a former childhood classmate of Joe “Robbie” Robertson and tormented him while in school. While in Philadelphia, Robbie witnesses Tombstone commit a murder and does not report it out of fear and is convicted for withholding evidence in a felony.

Sounds like a job for Judge Judy!

This issue is great because it advances multiple subplots in a mere 22 pages. There’s the main plot of Robbie going to jail, as well as Peter’s rivalry with tabloid-style photographer, Katzenberg. Katzenberg’s J. Jonah Jameson’s new favorite shutterbug and is shutting Peter out. The rivalry comes to a head as Peter and Katzenberg nearly come to blows in the courtroom after Katzenberg snaps a shot of their editor, Robbie in handcuffs.

Apparently Spidey sense doubles as asshole-boss sense.

Speaking of JJJ, everyone keeps remarking that he’s acting funny and aligning himself with a weasel like Katzenberg. I'm not sure if I’m remembering exactly where that’s going but I think if I remember correctly is resolved in issue #151. There’s also a werewolf subplot.

After all of you've seen, the werewolf is the most unbelievable?

Spidey also comes across a massacre of the Kingpin’s henchmen in a subway and he spots a werewolf that appears to be the culprit. The wolf disappears and he is kind enough to go to the Kingpin and warn him that a giant man-wolf is bumping off his men.


The werewolf is  spotted going into Jameson's secretary, Gloria Grant's, apartment. He attempts to  enlist her in his war against the Kingpin

Continued after Ad Break:

Pretty awesome deal!

Bonus: Classic Bullpen Bulletins! 

I'm pretty sure Marc Siry rides the L train.



Worth Re-collecting?

Yes, I’ve always had a fondness for Sal Buscema’s distinctive art. His style is classic Marvel, yet easily identifiable. He inks his own work and uses dark lines, silhouettes and shading wonderfully.

I told you there were silhouettes! 


I’m glad I picked up the next issue as well, I may even attempt to collect the entire run. I’m interested to see if the Jameson subplot lead in the direction I suspect. (after the Anarky bait-and-switch a few weeks ago, I’m assuming nothing) Conway seems to have a mapped out his entire run on the book, starting one story while another climaxes, a hallmark of Spider-Man books from their beginning that can be lost in the modern era as stories tend to wrap up in 4-5 issues for the trade. This is a serial story, that a reader can either pick up as their first issue and get engrossed or an installment in the ongoing adventures of the Spectacular Spider-Man!

Next Issue: Robbie’s cellmate is Tombstone? Will Glory Grant help her Werewolf boyfriend take down the Kingpin? Will JJJ ever buy another of Peter Parker’s pictures? See you in Seven!

Back Cover: 

I know it says freestyle but I still think you're using the bike wrong.

It's like  Law And Order  with a werewolf!

It's like Law And Order with a werewolf!