Spider-Man’s Tangled Web #16-17 (2002): Spot dies

Tombstone has a heart attack while robbing a bank. 

That alone is a great idea. 

He’s taken to the hospital where they can’t administer an IV or take X-rays because of his hardened skin, but the Feds show up and take custody, bringing him to an island prison called The Cage, where his powers are nullified. Now, we get one of my favorite genres: A prison story! 

I’m sure I missed some of the villains in this story when I did the character tags, below, because they’re all in civilian clothes.  Tombstone forms a gang with Rocket Racer, Big Ben (a minor villain from Luke Cage’s old book), and Hypno Hustler, who then feud with the gang run by Kangaroo. 

There’s all the familiar prison tropes: Shank stabbings, Tombstone being put in the hole, corrupt guards, and implied prison rape…

Ultimately, Tombstone manages a prison break with the help of Spot, who he then kills once he is back on the streets.

Spot was never a major character and was always kind of annoying and dumb (although he was great in that recent Spider-Man animated movie).  Still, for his final appearance it’s sad that they miscolored him to look like a leopard. 

In all, this is a fun story and one that I wish had been a few issues longer (but again, I’m a sucker for this genre).  The main weakness is the cartoonish art, which doesn’t do great service to a story that’s otherwise fairly gritty. 

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