Spider-Man Team-Up #7
Marvel Comics (June, 1998)
“Old Scores” (guest-starring the Thunderbolts)
WRITER: Kurt Busiek
ARTISTS: Sal Buscema & Dick Giordano
COLORIST: Tom Smith
LETTERING: Team Dave
EDITOR: Tom Brevoort
Show one power similar to Spider-Man and they assume he’s responsible for a crime leading to a man’s death. Not that the Thunderbolts mind when they’re called in to bring him in for questioning…especially Mach-1 (secretly the Beetle, who has had numerous run-ins with the wall-crawler in the past). However, it’s actually an android created by the Enclave, who are looking to rebuild their technology with the mission of creating a world ruled by scientists. When the Thunderbolts learn of this they’re more than happy to stop the plan but leave Spider-Man framed, until he joins in on the investigation and during a battle with the Enclave’s drones rescues Mach-1. Returning the favor he gives Spidey the evidence to clear himself, and starting to wonder if this hero stuff is contagious.
What they got right: It’s not surprising that Busiek does well on this story not just because he’s a great writer but because he’s written all of these heroes (including the fake ones) well in the past and present. The interactions with Spider-Man and Mach-1/Beetle work well and leads to an evolution Beetle’s been going through in the Thunderbolts comic, as we’ve seen recently.
What they got wrong: This is more a notation of someone trying to improve his craft than a critical complaint, but it is important to note because despite being a minor mistake it does make this story hard to place in a decent timeline. In the last issue of Thunderbolts I reviewed Four Freedoms Plaza was still undergoing the renovation into Thunderbolts Headquarters and Haley (who spoilers, will soon be joining the team) is not mentioned. So does this happen before last issue or after the end of the next issue, since here Four Freedoms is fully renovated but Jolt is nowhere to be seen or is even mentioned? It should still be in mid-construction or just started at this point in continuity. It’s the same writer so it’s something to be noted.
Recommendation: A really good story and the “bio-modem” in this story will come up again in the pages of Thunderbolts, so give this issue a read.