Spider-Man #38-40 (1993)

It’s time for a three-issue character study of Electro, which begins with him being a carnival freak who gets electic-chaired for spectators.

He’s jealous that Spider-Man gets positive attention (uh…Daily Bugle, anyone?) because Electro was neglected as a child.

That’s the sum and substance of it.  Obviously, with three issues there’s a lot of time to tell this story in a decompressed fashion, and along the way we see Spider-Man resisting positive press because of his guilt about Uncle Ben and his low self-esteem, so the characters are foils for each other.  Just like JM DeMatteis did in Kraven’s Last Hunt and his more recent focus on Harry Osborn/Green Goblin.

I don’t hate these villain-focused tales, but I wish they weren’t so similar.  Not every asshole in the world was abused as a kid.

Also, not every villain should be redeemed.

This is the end of the story, and it’s terrible.  But the first 2 issues of this 3-issue arc aren’t this offensively stupid.

I do like Janson’s art.  He’s stepping out from under Frank Miller’s shadow, and adopting his own style that keeps the best of what he learned inking Marvel’s most famous Daredevil artist.

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