Come Into My Parlor — Said The Fly!
Script: Michael Fleisher
Art by: Steve Leialoha, Jim Mooney
Colors by: B. Sharen
Letters by: Joe Rosen
Originally published: September 1980
Note: I read this in the wrong spot. It should come before Rupert Dockery goes to New York, so between Spider-Woman 29 and Amazing Spider-Man 208.
Action right off the bat! As Spider-Woman is talking to one Dr. Pederson about the possibility of curing Scotty McDowell, the Fly crashes into the lab. Yes, this is the same Fly that Spider-Man has fought before. He just swoops in and clocks Spider-Woman. It’s pretty brazen and cool. After receiving one of S-W’s venom blasts, he takes a powder. It’s unclear what he wanted, but he certainly screwed up the lab and in the process messed up Scotty’s cryogenic chamber. Spider-Woman fixes it basically by bashing it up more.
Later, we learn that Spider-Woman still has theft charges against her from hooking up with the Enforcer.
Also later, Rupert Dockery is about to accept his National Press Award when he is visited by an angry Enforcer. I thought that guy was in prison… Well, he knows all about Dockery’s earlier machinations and manipulations and he’s none too impressed. When Dockery cops to the whole thing, it is revealed that “the Enforcer” who visited him is actually Spider-Woman, and that the whole encounter was a set-up organized by her and Captain Walsh, in order to clear Spider-Woman’s name. Walsh sticks it Dockery and basically orders him out of town.
Meanwhile the Fly is being seen to by a creepazoid doctor, Dr. Malus. Malus (re-)warns the Fly that his powers are weakening and that the only way to restore them is for Malus to transfer some other super-human’s powers to him. Their choice? Spider-Woman, of course. That is why the Fly was at the hospital earlier, tangling with Spider-Woman.
The Fly goes out to finder Spider-Woman again, and forces a meeting by wrecking some streets up and putting innocent bystanders at risk. The Fly’s plan, it seems, is to take another venom blast. He does, then splits, but not before Spider-Woman rips some contraption off his arm.
A few days pass. We learn that Malus had installed what were basically batteries on the Fly’s arms — on of which Spider-Woman got — to absorb the venom blast’s energy. Learning from said energy, he learns about Spider-Woman’s limitation of one venom blast at a time, and her need for recharging it. I don’t really know if that’s super relevant.
That night, the Fly returns to the hospital and kidnaps Scotty from right in front of poor Dr. Pederson. However, it turns out Dr. Pederson was actually Spider-Woman in disguise. The disguise thing is getting ridiculous. It’s like Scooby Doo up in this series. Spider-Woman follows the Fly back to Malus’s lab, they fight, Somehow Spider-Woman deduces their plan, which, to be honest, is not clear or obvious at all. That’s cheap writing.
I was actually digging the issue up until this point, but it just gets filled up with a lot of needless weird exposition, which really slows down what should be an exciting encounter. When Malus is cornered he admits that he’s the one that created the Enforcer’s darts, and he offers to help cure Scotty in exchange for nothing… after saving Scotty he readily agrees to go to prison with the Fly. That’s just odd. But Scotty’s back to normal, so that’s good?
I really liked the first 3/4 of this issue, or maybe 2/3, and then it totally fell apart. The climax seemed rushed and uninteresting, the writing got sloppy, and the whole thing just ended up fizzling into yet another non-sensical snoozefest.