Spider-Man Unlimited #2
Marvel Comics (January, 2000)
“Where Evil Nests”
ORIGINAL TELEPLAY: Will Meugniot & Michael Reeves
WRITER: Eric Stephenson
PENCILER: Andy Kuhn
INKER: Harry Candelario
COLORIST: Mark Bernardo
LETTERING: Sharpefont & Paul Tutrone
EDITOR: Ralph Macchio
Peter needs to find work to keep his current place Naoko is allowing him to stay in. Meanwhile, the Counter-Earth version of the Green Goblin, a hero on this planet, runs into Spider-Man just as he fails to save two Beastials from tentacles from below ground that later also takes Naoko, with Shayne in pursuit. Blinded accidentally by one of Goblin’s pumpkin bombs while fighting Machine Men, Spidey needs Shane’s help to find her and they run into the symbiotes. They want to use Naoko to bring the baby symbiotes (not yet able to form a full costume-like body) to the upper levels so they can infect more people and control Counter-Earth. Spider-Man rescues Naoko and with help from the Green Goblin chase off the symbiotes. Peter takes pictures of Spider-Man he shot earlier to a JJ-esque publisher named Mineo, who was offering money for pictures of Spider-Man. Of course he tries to cheat Peter, but he’s played this game enough to know better.
What they got right: The Synoptic, a grouping of symbiotes similar to the changeling Founders of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, are the second threat Spider-Man has to deal with, and the reason Venom and Carnage hitched a ride to Counter-Earth. Apparently in this continuity the symbiotes were part of the Synoptic and came from Counter-Earth. I don’t remember if Marvel had an origin for them back then, but it’s as good an origin as any. The Green Goblin is an interesting friendemy for Spidey as the show goes on, and they do a fair job with his debut. They did get my favorite line that was used in the ads: “My Spider-Sense is tingling.” “You’re what is doing what?”
What they got wrong: The friendemy part really doesn’t show up as well here as it would in the show, as we would learn he was the result of one of Sir Ram’s experiments (a running theme; the mummy-man Git was also the victim of Sir Ram). It’s also odd that this Green Goblin also uses pumpkin-shaped bombs like the regular Earth version. The show, and as we’ll see the comic, liked to create Counter-Earth versions of Spidey’s foes, and it gets more obvious as we go. Other, admittedly more minor, scenes are also dropped to fit the comic space limit.
Recommendation: The episode is better than this issue, but it’s a decent story. We’ll be getting original stories for the rest of this short series. Worth checking out, but look for the episode first.