Saturday, 9 May 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #91. Bullit

Amazing Spider-Man #91, Bullit
(Cover from December 1970)

"TO SMASH THE SPIDER!"

Written by Stan Lee
Drawn by Gil Kane
Inks by John Romita
Lettering by Sam Rosen

What happens:
Blaming Spider-Man for the death of her father, Gwen pledges her support for would-be district attorney Sam Bullit. Bullit's campaigning on a tough-on-crime ticket and she reasons that only someone like him can bring Spider-Man to justice.

Unknown to her, he's as big a crook as the people he's campaigning against and is just using her to get publicity. To get votes, Bullit starts a witch hunt against Spider-Man and has his men try to lean on Peter Parker. In his Spider-Man guise, Peter deals with the thugs but when he swings into his apartment afterwards, he's careless. Bullitt and Gwen are there - and now they have proof that there's a connection between Spidey and Peter Parker.

The Verdict:
Another of those issues that I have surprisingly little to say about. Odd, given the importance of it as it deals with the aftermath of George Stacy's death, and that it continues the recent trend of dipping its toes into the issues of the day; this time how best to deal with a tide of rising crime. It's probably because there's never a genuine debate here. Bullit isn't just a hard-line campaigner, he's a thug and a crook and so we're left in no doubt as to who's in the right in the debate that runs throughout the issue. Maybe it would've been dramatically stronger if Bullit was sincere in his beliefs but used dubious methods and was ultimately forced to confront the wrongness of what he was doing; that, by using underhand methods, he's no different from the people he's opposed to.

The cliff-hanger's a little odd. As it's been established repeatedly and publicly over the years that there's a connection between Spider-Man and Peter Parker, the "discovery" could hardly be called alarming or incriminating.

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