Spider-Man: The Manga #20
Marvel Comics (October, 1998)
WRITER/ARTIST: Ryoichi Ikegami
TRANSLATION: Mutsumi Masuda
RETOUCHING/PRODUCTION: Dan Nakrosis & Rob Kuzmiak
COVER DESIGN: Jeffrey Huang
EDITOR: Glenn Greenberg
Yu and friends, plus the girls they picked up at the beach, stop at a roadside diner (I think) to get something to eat. They come across the gun-toting Harley-riding American from the highway on the boys’ trip to the beach and he invites himself to join them, the guys not being able to warn the girls how they know him. When the police comes looking for him he takes the teens hostage, holding a gun to one of the girls, then hijacks a plane headed to Osaka. As the plane goes down the girl tries to get away and he shoots her, then the controls of the plane.
What they got right: The story is getting rather intense, but in a good way. The still unnamed American makes for an interesting villain and I’m waiting to see how they’re going to get out of this, especially with Yu not having his web-shooters or his costume and thus unable to openly use his powers.
What they got wrong: But for the series, that’s kind of the problem. If this had been a story where Yu was active as Spider-Man this would be more interesting as a Japanese take on Spider-Man but based on where the story is right now it doesn’t feel like a superhero story where the hero has to figure out how to save people without revealing his identity. The manga style continues to not really translate well to the US monthly (bi-weekly in this case) format because that’s now what the pacing is meant for. And this came out before Marvel or DC became obsessed with trade writing.
What I think overall: I’m interested in seeing how this ends but right now I’m still debating holding on to this series. On it’s own the story is good but as a superhero series the best I can say is at least it’s not about dumping on Yu.