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Spider-Man Super Special #1 (May 1995)

Spider-Man Super Special #1 First Story:
Michelinie St. Pierre Adams
Second Story:
Robertson Palmiotti
Third Story:
Kavanagh Smith Buscema

the plot: As a young man, bonded with the Venom symbiote defends himself against a guard at a science expo, Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider team up to take down the growing number of symbiotes found in New York with the help of the symbiote-less Eddie Brock. But when the trio are out matched and out numbered, they are pushed into a weird symbiotic machine, while the amused symbiotes look on. In an additional story, a married couple on the cusp of a divorce find themselves in a dangerous situation that makes them realize their love again, and the mysterious mercenaries of Shadowforce Alpha take on the Scarlet Spider and Armstrong in a hospital.

the review: This was the second part of the five part "Planet of the Symbiotes!" story, presented in various character specials. While potentially not a bad story, it's unfortunatly not worth the twenty bucks it would have cost to get all five parts. Released at a time already full of "go-nowhere" books like this, the Spider-Man Super Special was easily overlooked. And while that's perfectly fine with most of the book, the ten page Darick Robertson story was a hidden gem if there ever was one.

The main story by long time Spider-Man writer Michelinie is a bit of a let down. The story doesn't really seem to go anywhere for a long while, and when things do begin to move along, it's the end, and leads into the third part. Michelinie has done nice work elsewhere, but it's obvious his symbiote story had to be spread to span five books, and as a result it lags. The third story by former Web of Spider-Man writer Terry Kavanagh, while not very interesting is at least fast paced so it gets some points, but it's about another boring mercenary group gunning after Spidey.

The second story by Robertson is the sole reason for anyone to want to pick up this book, since it's a rather well done story. Robertson, mainly an artist proves himself as a writer as well, crafting a brief, but nice story about a arguing couple who find themselves reuniting after a robbery attempt. The story is well paced, and the visuals are vibrant and detailed. It was an excellent effort from Robertson, but seems out of place considering the companion stories.

So, while the "Planet of the Symbiotes!" might have been an exciting story, spreading it along five books made for a boring, overlong read. The uninteresting Strikeforce Alpha story didn't help matters either, though Robertson's brief second story brought an iota of credibility to an otherwise useless book.

The Spider-Man Super Special #1 gets *1/2 out of *****



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