Inferno tie-ins (March 1989)
Amazing Spider-Man #313, by David Michelinie, Todd McFarlane, Bob Sharen, John Wilcox and Rick Parker. Peter and MJ are in a cab to Queens, and a shark in the Mid-Town Tunnel shears the roof of the cab off. Which gives us this:
I love superhero comics. Meanwhile, in Empire State University, Curt Connors turns into the Lizard. His family goes to the school to meet him, and a security guard brings them to the library so demons can attack them. As someone who wants to work in a library, I find this most upsetting. Libraries are safe spaces! The Lizard saves them, and Spider-Man comes by, but is distracted by the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon of himself. Then he fights the Lizard. There’s not a whole lot of Inferno influence on this issue. Still a good comic, though. Especially McFarlane’s art.
Power Pack #44, by Julianna Jones, June Brigman, Hilary Barta, Glynis Oliver and Joe Rosen. Power Pack are fighting demons and saving people. The demons finally get sucked back into Limbo, so the kids head home, where their parents have big forced smiles on their faces. They’re acting really weird. Creepy normal. It’s incredibly unsettling. The kids go out to help anyone who might need it, in the aftermath of Inferno. They meet up with the New Mutants at the hospital, where Dani creates an army of medical specialists. Nice. After helping at the hospital, Power Pack and the Mutants catch each other up on what they’ve been through, and Alex tells Dani about how freaked out their parents are. The Pack go home, and, uh, things have gotten worse. Luckily, the Mutants show up, and explain the whole thing was just a deception they pulled in order to catch Carmody. They bring in the “real” Power kids, who have no powers. The ones in costumes are just illusions. Gosamyr puts the parents to sleep, and the Power Pack takes the places of the illusory kids that Dani created. It’s a good comic. The parents’ breakdown is legitimately disturbing. The way the Mutants resolve the situation is really clever. It’s a shame the status quo had to be restored, but it was done in a really clever way, at least. Nice use of the Mutants. Also a really good Inferno tie-in.
Spectacular Spider-Man #148, by Gerry Conway, Sal Buscema, Bob Sharen and Rick Parker. Betty Brant has a waking nightmare where Ned Leeds, Gwen Stacy and Spider-Man all climb out of graves. Flash Thompson, who’s letting her stay in his place to keep her safe during the Inferno, runs in to comfort her. They talk about Betty’s breakdown after Ned died, and about Flash’s admiration of Spider-Man. Later, Flash is on the roof, and finds Spider-Man up there. And Spider-Man attacks him. In Flash’s apartment, Betty hears a knocking at the window, and opens the drape to see Zombie Ned, who smashes in and attacks her. Their mutual fights come together, and end with a boom. As any good story should. This is a pretty good issue. It’s just a way to get Flash and Betty over their hang-ups and to be stronger characters. Especially to get Betty to stop being crazy and weak. After this, of course, she’ll have a long career of being badass, including a hilariously stupid ’90s story. It makes some good use of Inferno to allow the horror story to happen. All in all, it’s not bad.
Web of Spider-Man #48, by Gerry Conway, Alex Saviuk, Keith Williams, Janice Cohen and Rick Parker. The Bugle’s offices are safe for the moment, and Spidey’s wounds are healing. JJJ grudgingly admits they’d all be dead without his help, but also says he’s probably behind it all somehow. Ah, Jonah, I do love his willingness to blame literally everything on Spider-Man. Spidey wakes up, and hallucinates that he’s surrounded by demons. And he webs Jonah’s mouth. I’m just going to say that was instinctive. Muscle-memory. Once he’s outside, Spidey snaps out of it, but now, instead of hallucinating demons, he’s dealing with real ones. He remembers MJ is at the studio, and swings off to help her. Meanwhile, Gloria Grant is with her new boyfriend, who beats up a little forklift-looking thing. And a demon is attacking Kingpin’s office, so he punches it out. Which is pretty awesome, honestly. He’s so indifferent to the whole demon invasion. Hobgoblin is in Central Park, freaking out over his new demonic eyes and yellowing skin, and he sees Spider-Man. Spidey follows MJ into some sewers, and Hobgoblin follows Spidey, and it’s a fight! It all ends with an explosion. It’s a pretty good issue. It’s very heavily tied into Inferno, with demons, and with Hobgoblin’s new demonic strength and reflexes. One thing I want to note is how much I enjoy MJ not being a Damsel-In-Distress. IT was one of the things I liked about the marriage. MJ was a strong, independent character in her own right, and she was as likely to save Peter as he was to save her. (This very issue, in fact, has her help him against Hobgoblin.)