AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #395-396 and SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #218-219 (1994): Back From The Edge

Yet another crossover with another spider-series. The mid-’90s are f-ing exhausting. And technically these are considered part of the dreaded ’90s clone saga–so it’s already started, and I wasn’t even aware.

The “edge” referred to in the title of these four issues is the edge of … I don’t know what. (Actually, I do. He’s going crazy. This is part of the clone saga event.). Peter Parker is mad because Aunt May had a stroke so…Maybe that? Anyway, he’s pouting on the splash page…

If that’s what they mean by “the edge” then Mary Jane is there, too.

She’s having visions of her adverse childhood experiences.

While Peter and MJ are busy being glum, Puma is back. I’m not a fan of this character, and I make no secret of that. He and Nocturne are now partners and they seem to be doing the Cloak-and-Dagger thing, taking on low-level drug dealers, and like Cloak, Puma relies on Nocturne to keep his own abilities from consuming him. Where Cloak needs Dagger’s light to keep from being devoured by darkness, Puma needs Nocturne to prevent him from becoming a wild animal.

And that’s ASP #395. Really. That’s an entire comic book issue. From there, we jump to the first of the two Spectacular Spider-Man issues in this arc. And look! Spider-Man and Puma are still fighting on the cover!

Aaaaaaaand that’s pretty much what passes for story, too. Lots of rasslin’. then we get to Amazing #396, which opens with Daredevil looking for James Owsley. Owsley just launched Milestone Comics and changed his name to Priest, and Marvel desperately needs some solid writers in its stable right now.

I’m kidding of course. He’s looking for The Owl. But I like my version more.

Spider-Man goes to talk to Daredevil because Spidey needs a “friend.” I guess this is part of coming back from the edge? I dunno. But he joins DD on his owl hunt. What does this have to do with Puma and Nocturne? Nothing.

Owl is teamed up with Vulture now, and both are looking much younger.

Like every other partnership in the ’90s, there’s constant infighting. I can’t help but thing of this whole issue as meta. From looking for Priest to come write for Marvel to the complete inability of individuals to be on a team or even just be civil to each other.

Vulture has a plan to randomly kill people by releasing infectious birds on the city. The heroes move to stop him.

Spidey gets hit with the virus. And this arc ends with Spider-Man having a deadly illness. We see him drinking an antidote, above, but he’s still sick in the next issues.

Yes, we’re supposed to believe he’s going to die.

And with that, these two titles closed out 1994.

Leave a Comment