Monday, 9 December 2013

Monday Memories #49 - Spider-Man/Black Cat #1

Each Monday this year I'll be taking a look back at a random comic, prestige format issue, graphic novel or collection of reprints from amongst my 3,000 or so comics that date from 1962 to 2003 - I figured anything in the last ten years would be too recent to hark back to.

The comics are chosen completely at random and apart from a four week lead-in period, even I don't know what I'll be looking at in the weeks to come!


Never the biggest Spider-Man fan, back in 2002 I did enjoy the films of Kevin Smith so when he wrote a six issue mini-series, accompanied by Terry and Rachel Dodson on art, I thought I'd take the opportunity to pick it up.

It starts as two straightforward investigations: Spidey's trying to find the supplier of a college student who overdosed on heroin despite never having been interested in drugs at all; meanwhile the Black Cat's trying to find the whereabouts of a friend of a friend who's been missing for a couple of days. Spidey tracks down some low level dealers in the hopes of getting further up the chain but, after they spot him, he attempts to bring them in:

Despite the less than auspicious start, he catches the driver and gets the name of a someone that the student had been in touch with - a well known actor named Hunter Todd.

Black Cat, meanwhile, follows her line of questioning and ends up with the same name so heads out on the town to find him:

They arrive at Todd's penthouse at the same time just as the actor and his girlfriend for the night are expecting a delivery of heroin from the supplier, Mr Brownstone. Crashing the party, Spidey and Black Cat are stunned to see both Todd and his girl simultaneously overdose despite not injecting, snorting or smoking the drug - in fact it's not even in the room. The answer comes from the phone:

As a starting issue, it's great - it lines up the characters and the story, gives us a mystery to ponder, has laughs and some grimmer moments and is wonderfully illustrated by the Dodsons. As a mini-series, it's less fulfilling, not least because of the delay between issues 3 and the remainder (a space of about three years) but the latter's content as well.

Still, this issue's good at least.

And, as a fan of metal since my teenage years, this song was playing in my head throughout writing this post.

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