COMIC REVIEW ROGER STERN THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN 231 AND 232 1982 Marvel
The 1980’s were a creative black hole in superhero comic quality. The major comic producers, DC, and in this case, Marvel, were producing rather limited mileage stories with lame villains and endless slugfest.
The two parter that began in The Amazing Spiderman #231 was a clear indication of this. Entitled Caught In The Act, it featured Spiderman’s weakest and most pathetic villain, The Cobra.
The Cobra was already an established villain, making a return appearance here. As well as spitting snake venom, he was able to slither into small drains and pipes in a fashion later associated with Eugene Toombs in The X-Files For the Cobra, this skill made him a very good jewel thief.
Alas, the Cobra’s crime wave is in jeopardy when a fence he tries to sell his purloined jewels to tries to double cross him by selling him out to a reporter of questionable moral integrity.
The reporter concerned is working with another Daily Bugle reporter, Betty, a friend of Peter Parker’s, and in his alter ego identity, as Spiderman, Parker is watching proceedings personally.
As Cobra realizes he is being set up and tries to attack Betty, Spiderman spoils the fun and a rather short-lived battle ensues, which Spiderman wins ridiculously easily? The Cobra is quite a snivelling wimp.
The tension only returns with the unexpected arrival of a second super-villain, Hyde, who wants to kill Cobra for leaving him for dead after a fight with The Avengers. (Hyde has not tangled with Spiderman before).
Part Two (#232), entitled Hyde In Plain Sight, has a much better fight for the web-slinger as Hyde uses his Hulk like rage to pick up walls and any other heavy object to throw at Spiderman.
Spidey holds out well against a crime-dup who had managed to hold a whole team of heroes like The Avengers at bay, and he does it with a twisted ankle too. The fun starts when Spidey glues the villains together, even though they escape from Spiderman temporarily.
Hyde is not Jeckyll in his human form, but a mad scientist called Dr. Calvin Zobo, though he too uses potions to help him change from one evil persona to the other. As battle is rejoined, Spiderman manages to knock Hyde unconscious, and the police arrest him. Cobra proves just what a wimp he is by surrendering to the police instead of running away. Spiderman / Parker goes home for a bath.
This has to be one of the greatest let down endings in comic-book history – it’s as though the authors just could not e bothered drawing a better conclusion to events.