Spider-Man: The Manga #25
Marvel Comics (December, 1998)
WRITER/ARTIST: Ryoichi Ikegami
TRANSLATION: Mutsumi Masuda
RETOUCH/PRODUCTION: Dano Ink Studios
EDITOR: Dan Nakrosis
Yu goes in search of the “Winter Woman” as the chaos she’s causing continues, but even a woman who looks like her can hide in a city the size of Tokyo. Stopping to eat, he finds an old newspaper that may be the first account of the Winter Woman’s aftermath, a man frozen to death in his own apartment in the middle of a hot summer day. Yu goes to the publisher he worked at but nobody seems to care. Someone else at the company looked into his death as well, the reporter who broke the story and then disappeared. Talking a friend of the reporter Yu learns that the dead man was a horrible man who mistreated women after getting money from them. The reporter took pity on one such girl he saw the future ice cube abuse. When the man died the reporter learned there were tons of women he used and tossed away, ruining their lives. After writing the story about his death, the reporter went looking for the woman and disappeared. Yu is convinced this may be the “Winter Woman”.
What they got right: Yu is finally doing crimefighting stuff rather than getting dumped on. Maybe the encounter with the deranged soldier finally sparked that heroism a Spider-Man should show. (Take note for all these Spidey-types that Marvel is starting to dump on us in the Spiderverse. The latest one I heard about swings around on crutches because she’s crippled.) For such little space given the differences between Japanese and US layouts at the time the manga was made we get a lot of backstory.
What they got wrong: Then again, that’s the problem with putting these comics into a familiar US layout. I can’t even get the publishing history on this series so I don’t know how this was originally published prior to the untranslated graphic novels I have because I didn’t know they were untranslated when I pre-ordered them (or I did and curiosity took over, I can’t remember this far forward) but this was clearly not designed for this format.
What I think overall: This series was losing me with all the focus on dumping on Yu but these last two arcs are steps in the right direction. I’m actually interested in this story and hopefully the rest of the translated comics continue that trend instead of the one it was on.