Spider-Man: The Manga #15
Marvel Comics (July, 1998)
WRITER/ARTIST: Ryoichi Ikegami
TRANSLATION: Mutsumi Masuda
RETOUCH/PRODUCTION: Dan Nakrosis with Rob Kuzmiak
COVER DESIGN: Jeffrey Huang
EDITOR: Glenn Greenberg
Yu has secretly been working as a stuntman to earn the money for the surgery. However, the fake Spider-Man stages another bank robbery, making it look like this is where the real one got the money. Not that it mattered since the doctor was lying about needing the surgery, thinking Spider-Man would do the “right thing” and give himself up. Instead, Spider-Man challenges Mysterio again, this time outwitting and countering the various techniques Mysterio used to defeat him last time, then reveals that Mysterio was the fake Spider-Man the whole time. Spidey also learns that Mysterio is one of the other stuntmen, jealous of Spider-Man.
What they got right: I do like how Yu uses his smarts to counter Mysterio.
What they got wrong: Everything else. Yu becomes a stuntman just to show off Mysterio’s identity later. The doctor is a easy sucker and a liar. And why was the stuntman wearing the Spider-Man costume (or at least the mask) under his Mysterio costume? Did he see Spider-Man heading for the hospital, somehow pull off the robbery and still beat him to the hospital and only had time to put the Mysterio suit over his fake Spider-Man suit? There’s also a recurring theme I’m noticing in these last few stories, of Yu being sworn off the superhero life for one reason or another and deciding to quit. Peter Parker didn’t try to quit this many times. I’d rather see him realize that with all these supervillains running around someone with superpowers needs to stand up as a hero. Plus I don’t want to see another fake Spider-Man ever again!
What I think overall: I actually ended up hating this storyline and I’m starting to lose interest in the series itself. Oddly, the way this issue ends could have been the final issue, but every storyline seems to be ending the same way. And yet we’re at best halfway through the second volume of the untranslated manga I picked up years before and not even done with the partial amount Marvel translated. I hope things get better because I’m starting to change my opinion on this series, even if I do think Yu Komori should be introduced to more people. There are good ideas here but a different ending would be nice.