Spider-Man: The Manga #19
Marvel Comics (September, 1998)
WRITER/ARTIST: Ryoichi Ikegami
TRANSLATION: Mutsumi Masuda
RETOUCH/PRODUCTION: Dan Nakrosis & Rob Kuzmiak
COVER DESIGN: Jeffrey Huang
EDITOR: Glenn Greenberg
Yu, Araki, and their friend Kame are trying to get to the beach but they’re stuck in traffic. Yu fantasizes about tossing all the cars away as Spider-Man but even in his fantasy he’s reminded why that’s a terrible idea for a superhero. When they finally get past the traffic Araki ends up in a race with a foreigner on a motorcycle until the cyclist shoots at the car, causing them to almost crash. (Luckily Yu’s Spider-Sense detected the gun early.) Though they end up getting rained out at the beach they do manage to pick up a couple of girls but on the way to get something to eat they see a bunch of cars crashed on the road, and suspect it’s the same cyclist.
What they got right: A story where Yu isn’t being dumped on either on his own or as Spider-Man? Could we be that lucky? After shocking himself out of his car-tossing fantasy he gives what may be the theme of this version of Spider-Man: “In this world we have to learn to control our anger and lust…there are some things you just can’t do! That’s why I have to remain calm…” The villain for this story is set up well.
What they got wrong: The problem with translating the manga layout to the US layout shows up again, as Yu’s fantasy takes up a bit of real estate for this story. Yu’s hanging out with guys lacking a driver’s license and of course Araki takes the car without permission. Dude needs better friends.
What I think overall: Given the direction the comic’s gone lately I’m still a bit hesitant, but it is off to a good start.