Peter Parker Spider-Man #53-55 (2003): Rules of the Game

Last arc, Spider-Man took on Hydro-Man and Shocker, both of whom appeared to be connected by some hidden force. In the first issues of this story, he takes on Boomerang, Scorpion, and a robot. But by the end, we see that all these villains were hired by four millionaires that call themselves the “Game Players.” Their goal is to televise super-powered folks fighting, and each of the villains Spidey fought were wearing body cameras.

After taking down the Game Players’ robot, Spider-Man takes it to the Fantastic Four where Reed Richards discovers the broadcasting camera.

The next contestant is Rocket Racer, who pretends to defeat Spider-Man but actually gives Spider-Man the location of the millionaires, so Spider-Man can go take them down. The millionaires have no idea it was a fake-out. How were they fooled by this? Easy: They’re cocky idiots. I mean, if Hydro-Man teamed up with Shocker couldn’t beat him, how could Rocket Racer?!?

Nothing super-important or legendary here. It’s a solid story and Zeb Wells is a good writer, who is able–just barely–to overcome the grossly cartoonish art.

Next will be the final arc of these series, which will be reborn as another volume of Spectacular Spider-Man. Fitting. Going from Peter Parker Spider-Man to Spectacular Spider-Man. The first comic book I ever read was Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man #1.


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