Superman & Spider-Man
(reprint; 1995)“The Heroes And The Holocaust!” WRITER: Jim Shooter PLOT SUGGESTIONS: Marv Wolfman PENCILER: John Buscema CHARACTER INKER: Joe Sinnott BACKGROUND INKERS: Terry Austin, Klaus Janson, Bob McLeod, Al Milgrom, Steve Leialoha, Walt Simonson, Bob Layton, Joe Rubinstein, & Bob Wiacek COLORIST: Glynis Wein LETTERER: Joe Rosen EDITOR: Allen Milgrom
A string of worse luck than usual is getting Peter down. Having stopped a robbery he’s still being treated like one of the bad guys and now JJ is only interested in footage of Superman. Peter heads to Metropolis just as the Hulk is led to the spot where Parasite is being held away from people. His attack allows the villain to escape but a fight with Superman (which includes Supes destroying the buzzing drone that egged the monster on) costs him the intended “meal”. All of this is arranged by Doctor Doom, who has plans for the Parasite, which involve recapturing the Hulk and later seizing Wonder Woman. Meanwhile, Superman, suspecting Doom is up to something, temporarily relocates to the Daily Bugle in New York as Clark Kent while Peter’s pictures make him more money at the Daily Planet so he hangs around there awhile. However, Pete strikes out with Lana (and Steve pulls a mean joke about it, but Peter gets him back with the old webbed chair trick) and Spider-Man is still treated like a bad guy by Metropolis PD, making him feel even worse. Soon both heroes are led to Doom’s operation but are defeated by the two heroes. However, Parasite leached off some of Spidey’s powers, including his “spider-sense”, allowing him to learn that Doom actually had nasty plans for him (helping him absorb permanently the powers of Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Hulk will turn the Parasite into a key ingredient to his new energy source while Doom wipes out all other sources) and disrupts Doom’s operation, while Superman and Spider-Man shut down the reactor. Peter gets homesick and returns to the Bugle while Clark is able to rejoin the Planet and GBS by claiming he was working undercover for Superman.
What they got right: As far as the plot goes it’s better than the first meeting. While Doom plans to betray Parasite, it’s in keeping with Doom’s methods and it feels more like joining forces than Luthor and Octavius in the last crossover between Superman and Spider-Man. Clark gets to show off his investigative skills while Peter gets to show off his science skills, something that writers don’t use enough of. It’s also interesting seeing Clark interact with Peter’s co-workers and Peter with Clark’s.
What they got wrong: I know all about the “Parker luck” but while Spider-Man gets over his confidence issues to keep the reactor from exploding after it was damaged when Parasite fought back against Doom, I didn’t feel like the arc showed full resolution. Wonder Woman is too easy to believe Spider-Man is on Doom’s side. You’d think Superman told at least his closest friends about his encounter and that they could trust him, plus in this continuity the Justice League and Avengers must know each other and some of them have teamed with Spidey before. And did they really need seven inkers just for the backgrounds? This is shorter than the first crossover.
Recommendation: A rather enjoyable second team-up that’s worth reading.