Adventures Of Spider-Man #6
Marvel (September, 1996)“Puppets” WRITER: Michael Higgins PENCILER: Andy Kuhn INKER: Don Hudson COLORIST: Kevin Tinsley LETTERER: someone forgot to credit the letterer…which is usually written by the letterer EDITOR: Mark Powers
With the rest of the Fantastic Four having some government meeting Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch, is Alicia’s escort to a statue showing at Four Freedoms Plaza, the FF’s home at the time. Peter is assigned to cover it while the Daily Bugle‘s usual event photographer is unavailable, and Peter and Johnny don’t get along. Things get worse when the Puppet Master appears to be using the Thing to attack the Torch and nab his adopted daughter, Alicia. However, when he uses his clay to control Spider-Man, Johnny remembers that Puppet Master can only control one person at a time, and reveals the “Thing” to be a machine controlled by the Mad Thinker, knowing Johnny wouldn’t go full-blast on what he thought was his friend. Puppet Master and Mad Thinker escape and Johnny has to borrow Peter’s tux because he burned his clothes off when he flamed on.
To their credit, they do explain that Johnny’s costume is made of unstable molecules, which is why it doesn’t burn up. This is the only praise I can give this comic. For one thing, it doesn’t feel like a Spider-Man story, but rather a Human Torch story guest-starring Spider-Man. And I know in the early days Peter and Johnny didn’t get along, but Johnny calling him “Puny Parker” like he’s Flash Thompson is just wrong. Also wrong is the artwork. It’s trying to emulate the show like a couple of issues ago but with all the exaggerated lines the 90s were addicted to. Also, I really don’t know why Peter stays here. Last issue we saw Peter get a job opportunity with a rival paper that was willing to pay more rather than be stuck with this freelance gig with a guy who purposely blows cigar smoke in Peter’s face this issue.
In other words, this is not a good comic, and I don’t recommend it.