I’m group reviewing this series because my patience with late ’90s Marvel is just about evaporated, like web fluid after a few hours.
It’s actually not a bad comic and it’s got a nice concept behind it–the reason I’m group-posting on it is because it’s another example of Marvel trying to sell us something in the late ’90s that they’re not willing to stand behind. The book has some complex narrative devices and multi-dimensional characters, but just as they’re wrapping up what was essentially a one-year origin story arc, they’re cancelled. Plus, the issues are essentially one long story.
The story introduced four new characters, each of whom took the identity of one of the four heroes Peter Parker pretended to be while he was wanted for murder.
The man behind the team was Golden Age hero Black Marvel. He’s the Charlie to these angels, sending them to fight the Maggia, mutated rats led by a mutant named Griz, etc., until it turns out he’s actually a villain and betrays them. He was just using them to try to set up a situation where he could look like a hero.
Spider-Man tries to catch them, too–since they’re using his old costumes.
In the final chapters they go to Hell to fight Mephisto for Black Marvel’s soul. By this time, Dusk has “died” and come back–and their trip to Hell makes them all question what they’re doing with their lives. So, they break up. Which, again, is good storytelling: Going to Hell and meeting the equivalent of Satan should shake a person up a bit.
I especially like the ending, which has Ricochet telling his team-mates that they had a “few good Wednesdays.” (Wednesday is the day the new comic books come out each week.)
All but #0 were created by newcomers Joseph Harris…
…And Chriscross Williams.