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 moments posted so far!
Today we take a look at Greg Rucka and Eduardo Risso’s Severance Package (from Tangled Web #4)
It’s hard to read a comic like Severance Package now and appreciate just how unique it was at the time of its release in 2001. Nowadays, Marvel is releasing one-shots that are similar to Severance Package pretty much every other week, by other notable authors like Gregg Hurwitz, Mike Benson and Victor Gischler (to just name a few of Marvels more recent additions to the fold).
But at the time of its release as the fourth issue of Marvel’s brand-new Tangled Web series (after an initial story arc by Garth Ennis and John McRea – Garth Ennis doing Spider-Man? Yeah, it was about as weird as you would think it would be), “Severance Package” by Greg Rucka and Eduardo Risso stood out in a big way. SUCH a big way that Marvel reprinted the story like, right after it came out, in one of those Must Haves reprint collections that they used to do a lot (they still do them today, just much much less frequently).
And it’s funny, because the basic set-up is so simple.
Spider-Man foils a plot of the Kingpin to steal something (I forget what, exactly), and later that night, Tom Cochrane is watching the news with his wife when he learns of Spider-Man’s victory.
Tom knows that Spidey’s win means death for him, as he was in charge of that mission, and even though he was not actually there, it is his responsibility, so he’s effectively a dead man walking. His wife tries to get him to run, but he won’t – he made a deal with the Kingpin, and he must live up to his end.
The set-up of his departure is beautiful….
He is brought to the Kingpin by a driver named Ritchie, and the two discuss things for awhile, before Tom changes the play…
What will happen, then, when he sees the Kingpin?
Well, I shouldn’t spoil that here (although I did spoil it back in October).
Suffice it to say that Rucka handles it very well, and boy, is Risso’s art amazing or what?
While nowadays this story would still be treated as a good story (because it is), at the time, this really stood out as a cool comic book.
The book is collected in the first volume of Tangled Web (I don’t know if it is still in print, though).