Spider-Man vs. Wolverine #1 (1987): Ned Leeds Dies

This was a giant-size, direct market book that cost double what you’d pay for a “regular” comic—kind of like a graphic novel, only on 8×10 sized glossy paper rather than oversized.  It delved into Wolverine’s history a little bit, tying him to missions against the KGB, but the real thing this book did was kill Ned Leeds.

The story is largely forgettable, but not bad.  Peter Parker takes an international photo assignment accompanying reporter Ned Leeds, and simultaneously Wolverine is in Europe looking into the death of some old friends who happened to be KGB.  He passes Parker in the street, smells him, and figures out he’s Spider-Man.

Nice touch.

Peter is also out of costume for most of this story, which is another interesting spin.

He and Wolverine go doing their super-sleuthing and when Parker returns to the hotel, he finds Ned dead.

That’s right: The big bad Hobgoblin is killed off-screen.

The remainder of this comic doesn’t really matter.  It’s not bad—in fact, it’s pretty good.

Spidey and Logan distrust each other for the whole thing and keep trying to expose whether the other is really KGB.  They fight for almost the entire comic.

It’s cool.  But it’s worth is completely overshadowed by the fact that one of Marvel’s biggest villains just died and he wasn’t even in costume when he did.

Also, this book reunites the best Power Man and Iron Fist creative team. It’s one of the best James Owsley comics.

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