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As many of you already know, the 1990s was a decade of excess when it comes to American comic book publishing. It was a time when publishers released comic books with special covers (AKA gimmick covers) and high cover prices.
During that time, the presence of comic books with flashy gimmick covers really stood out among the many other comic book on display at retailers’. In 1993, there was this one time I spotted Web of Spider-Man #100 which not only had a flashy looking foil cover but also the introduction of Spider-Man’s armor. Unsurprisingly, I started speculating how significant Spider-Man in armor would be, what features the armor has and how will it be relevant for the foreseeable future of Spider-Man stories. Shortly after, I bought the comic book.
Here is a look back at Web of Spider-Man #100, published in 1993 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Terry Kavanagh and art by Alex Saviuk.
The story begins with Spider-Man facing off with Dragon Man, Dreadnought, Super Adaptoid and a few others on top of a building. After surviving the attacks thrown at him, he discreetly places a spider-tracer on Dragon Man before finally getting away.
The next night, Peter Parker works on a high-tech project at Empire State University where he is taking a graduate program. His experiment fails which ironically gives him an opportunity to use the equipment until the next morning. He did not just use the equipment to make more web fluid but also something new to wear.
Meanwhile, chaos continues to happen around the city with the involvement of Nightwatch, Dragon Man, Dreadnought, Super Adaptoid, and Blood Rose to name some.
I’ll say it straight. Web of Spider-Man #100 is a big disappointment when it comes to highlighting Spider-Man’s new armor, the 100th anniversary issue of the monthly series and even telling a compelling Spider-Man story.
What is clear with the main story of this comic book is that it is heavily loaded with action scenes which eventually resulted a hollow reading experience. The plot is quite shallow and there was not even a single moment that I found Peter Parker in anything interesting. You wanna see Peter Parker interact with Mary Jane? Nothing. You hope to see him pay a visit to his Aunt May? Nothing. Technically this story showed Spider-Man getting involved with a bunch of uninteresting troublemakers, take time out to make his armor, and get back to the troublemakers wearing it. As a story, there is certainly no depth at all.
Regarding Spider-Man’s highlighted armor, its use in the story is also a major disappointment. You will get to see the Spidey Armor for ten pages (including the silhouette appearance) but there really is no payoff for anticipating it.
More on the presentation, it is clear that this comic book served another purpose that is quite shameless and even irresponsible – to build up Nightwatch, a caped and masked character in dark costume that was arguably Marvel Comics’ blatant imitation of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn. This comic book even contained an origin story of Nightwatch which was not interesting to read.
To make it clear, Web of Spider-Man #100 was a big disappointment for me personally back in 1993. By today’s standards, this comic book is even worse in terms of quality, artistic value, entertainment value and literary value. As a Spider-Man comic book, it is a big letdown and there really is not much for Spider-Man fans to enjoy here. His armor was just a useless showpiece and it’s even insulting that a useless character like Nightwatch got a lot of spotlight. I suppose Marvel Comics’ executives at the time thought they could lure fans of Todd McFarlane and Spawn to their side with Nightwatch serving as a magnet. Quite obviously, Marvel failed.
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Web of Spider-Man #100, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $11. As for the near-mint copies of the newsstand edition and the Alex Saviuk-signed edition, they cost $39 and $26 respectively.
Overall, Web of Spider-Man #100 is not recommended. Do not ever waste your money on this comic book.
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