Enter: The Smuggler
Writer: Roger Stern
Artists: Jim Mooney, Bruce Patterson
Letters: Rick Parker
Colors: Ken Fedu
Originally published: December 1980
The cover promises “the long awaited return of the White Tiger” …my ass. That dude’s the worst. Luckily he’s in the second story in the issue, and Spidey isn’t, so I got to skip him.
The art on the splash page is great. It gets less good for a lot of the smaller panels, but is overall still enjoyable.
We open on Peter Parker trying to grade tests, but distracted by his recent unemployment and the knowledge that Madame Web knows that he is Spider-Man. Phil Chang shows up and they decide to go to find wild, wild women. Seriously.
En route they run into Tommy Li, a member of the White Dragon gang who looks like a woman. These White Dragon guys showed up before, in Amazing Spider-Man 184 and 185. Naturally, Phil and Pete decide to chase the ganglord through the streets. When Li gets away in a van, Pete jumps onto a nearby wall and starts climbing up it! Right next to Phil! Where’s there’s no way Phil couldn’t see! But, of course, since readers are apparently brain-dead, we’re asked to believe that Phil has no idea where Peter went.
That right there just about ruined the issue for me. Put some effort in, dudes.
Anyway, it turns out Tommy Li is involved with some scam with a guy named the Smuggler. Dude is completely two-dimensional. There’s no real drama, no real interest being generated. It’s a weak issue. It ends with Spider-Man and Smuggler mid- (boring-) fight.
Other news: Aunt May is engaged to Nathan Lubensky.