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A Year of Cool Comics – Day 277

by  in Comic News Comment

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

Today we look at the classic Spider-Man story by Peter David, Rick Buckler and Brett Breeding (and many other hands), the Death of Jean DeWolff!

Enjoy!

There are a number of notable themes explored by Peter David in the classic Spider-Man tale, “The Death of Jean DeWolff,” which ran from Spectacular Spider-Man #107-110.

However, before we get into that, let’s take a look at the striking opening to the tale, which begins with a spotlight on the back story of Captain Jean DeWolff, a police captain who was always nice to Spider-Man (in direct contrast with how the police normally treated him)…




Isn’t that a really strong opening? Wow. Buckler and Breeding did a great job on the art, as well.

Okay, now let’s get into the major themes of this storyline – essentially, what David is doing is exploring Spider-Man’s famous credo, “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.” Okay, but how best to BE responsible with power? And how do morals and ethics work in there?

It first comes up when Peter Parker sees one of his Aunt May’s boarders get assaulted…


Here’s an aside where Peter (after learning of DeWolff’s death) rides along with another cop talking about Jean…


Back to the themes…those thugs who mugged Aunt May’s boarder are released without bail due to the legal wrangling of Matt Murdock. Naturally, Peter and the boarder are displeased…


So, again, how is Murdock supposed to use his legal “power?” Is he handling himself responsibly? How about ethically? How about morally?

Things get even murkier when the judge Murdock was discussing things with ALSO gets murdered by the bad guy (now identified as the Sin-Eater)…


In the next issue,we get a quick aside where we learn that Jean DeWolff had a thing for Spider-Man…


Chapter three ends with a heck of a cliffhanger, as the Sin-Eater was targeting J. Jonah Jameson and came to his home, where Betty Brant was working with Jonah’s wife, Marla…



When the Sin-Eater is finally found out, Spider-Man and Daredevil clash over what the moral/ethical/”right” way to use their power.

It’s a really well-handled story, although the art changes from issue to issue (Buckler pencils/Breeding inks in Part 1, Buckler pencils/lots of inkers Part 2, Buckler layouts/Breeding finishes in Part 3 and Buckler pencils/lots of inkers Part 4), but it is still good artwork even in its inconsistency.

But the story – wow, Peter David sure began his run on Spectacular Spider-Man with one heck of a story!!!