The Amazing Spider-Man #236 (1983)

The Amazing Spider-Man #236 (1983)

Marvel Comics



While trying to get dirt on the shady dealings of the Brand Corporation, Spider-Man found himself in a battle with the revenge-seeking Will o' the Wisp. This fight is interrupted by the arrival of the Tarantula who is continuing to mutate into a massive spider form. Watching this from a video monitor is Roxxon official John Gamelin, who decides to record these events for his records. Meanwhile, Spider-Man chastises the Wisp for allowing the Tarantula to nab James Melvin so that he can kill him. However, the Wisp points out that James Melvin is still alive and orders the Tarantula to drop him. The Wisp explains that when he and the Tarantula seemingly perished in the water, he used his powers to put the creature under his hypnotic control. He then explains that Melvin is his prisoner and warns Spider-Man not to stop him, as he doesn't wish to battle him. The wall-crawler refuses to back down, telling the Wisp that killing James will not solve anything. When Spider-Man leaps at his foe, the Wisp becomes intangible, making the web-slinger pass harmlessly through him. By this point, the Tarantula looks down at Melvin and begins considering him for his next meal. When the Wisp tells him to stop, the two get into a fight, allowing Spider-Man to escape with James Melvin. Knocking out the Tarantula, Will o' the Wisp wonders how many others were transformed by the Brand Corporation and heads off after James Melvin.  From his office, John Hamelin fears that Spider-Man's interference will prompt the Daily Bugle to revive the expose they were working on against Brand and calls his superior at Roxxon, August D'Angelo. D'Angelo tells John to begin cleaning up the mess so that this embarrassment doesn't harm Roxxon. When John goes back to his view screen, he is surprised to see that the Tarantula has disappeared. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is trying to give Will o' the Wisp the slip, but his foe manages to catch up. Needing his hands-free, he leaves an indignant James Melvin webbed up to a chimney. He then confronts the Wisp and tells him if he wants Melvin he has to catch him. Still thirsting for revenge, the Wisp follows after the wall-crawler as the hero desperately considers what to do next. Meanwhile, not far away, a news reporter is upset at being assigned to cover a society fundraiser instead of covering Sam Wilson's congressional campaign. It's then that he and his cameraman spot the Tarantula moving across the rooftops. The two men find this a much interesting story and follow the mutated creature in their news van.  Meanwhile, Spider-Man has lured Will o' the Wisp to a local power plant when the Wisp bowls him over. When Wisp attempts to hypnotize Spider-Man to learn the location of James Melvin. However, the wall-crawler resists the hypnosis long enough to punch Wisp in the stomach, knocking the wind out of him. Spider-Man then picks up his foe and tosses him at the exterior of the power plant. Just as Spider-Man planned, the Wisp becomes intangible again to pass through the wall. The Wisp passes through three operating dynamos, weakening him sufficiently that when he comes out the opposite side of the building he collapses. With his opponent to weak to fight back, Spider-Man then takes him back to where he stashed James Melvin. On the way, he explains that the Justice Department is attempting to build a case against the Brand Corporation and turning James Melvin over to the authorities will force him to talk.  When they arrive where Melvin has been webbed up, they discover that the Tarantula has found him as well. Spider-Man battles the Tarantula, who continues to lose his humanity with each passing moment. The battle is caught on live television by the camera crew that followed the Tarantula. However, the broadcast is cut off due to the fact that the television station is owned by Roxxon. When John reports this back to D'Angelo, the Roxxon head orders the elimination of Melvin. Back at the battle, Will o' the Wisp breaks free from Spider-Man's webbing and instead of killing James Melvin, he frees him, deciding that he is through being one of Brand's monsters. At that moment, Spider-Man is surprised when the Tarantula manages to web him up. Spider-Man points out to his foe that he has completely transformed into a massive spider. Enraged at his lost humanity, the Tarantula attempts to take his rage out on Melvin. However, the Wisp transports him to safety.  By this time, the police have arrived on the scene and cordoned off the building. Seeing the officers, the Tarantula attempts to attack them only to be fatally shot and sent crashing to the ground. In the aftermath of the battle, Will o' the Wisp uses his hypnotic powers to force James Melvin to go to the police and confess. When he returns to Spider-Man and tells the wall-crawler that he is once more in his debt. Later, at the Daily Bugle, Peter Parker relates the whole situation to Joe Robertson. However, they catch a news report with John Gamelin of Roxxon saying that the corruption within the Brand Corporation will be investigated following the closure of the operations. Peter considers this a win for the good guys, however, Joe Robertson isn't too sure as a commercial airs that states the news program is sponsored by Roxxon Oil.

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