Spider-Man: The Manga #25
Marvel Comics (January, 1999)
WRITER: Ryoichi Ikegami
TRANSLATING: Mutsumi Masuda
RETOUCH/PRODUCTION: Dano Ink Studios
COVER COLORIST: Bill Anderson
EDITOR: Dan Nakrosis
After a train accident Yu decides to become a blood donor at a time when supply is really low in the area. He turns out to be the right blood type to a man about his age currently in surgery. The man’s life is saved, but Mitsuo Kitano considers himself something of a ladies man and is rather mean to his sister, Yukko. He also has no trouble taking a car from a homely rich woman who likes him and uses it to take himself and Yu out girl hunting. So the woman brings a few thugs in to beat him up. However, will Yu’s “spider-blood” have an effect on Mitsuo?
What they got right: The idea of seeing what happens if someone else gets spider-powers fits into the theme of this incarnation, regardless of what I think of the theme or horror overtones. At least the characters are interesting and seeing what I assume will bt Mitsuo’s fall after gaining Yu’s powers should be interesting at least.
What they got wrong: When did Rumiko die? I checked through my untranslated manga and notice a very long story just prior to the “Winter Woman” arc but of course I can’t read it. There’s is actually nudity in there, which wouldn’t have passed in a US shelf comic at the time but they could have censored it. Heck, they passed most of volume three of the manga and it looks like an interesting story involving Yu continuing to make the wrong friends, like he is now. Instead they jumped right into the Winter Woman, the last story in volume three.
Checking volume four they passed a couple more stories and I think one of them is actually where Rumi passes, right before this story. The end result is that Rumi passing away comes out of nowhere for us readers when last we saw her she was embarrassingly running through the crowd away from Yu. Why did Marvel bypass so many stories? Yes, they’re long even for what was published as a weekly translated comic at the time and a couple of the stories had nudity (including Rumi nude at one point…how old are these two again?) but that’s what censoring is for. Cutting out three stories feels like a mistake.
Back to this story I have to ask why is Yu donating blood knowing his altered blood is the reason he has powers? I don’t even know why he’s at the hospital. it seems forced just to make this event happen. There were other ways to lead to Yu donating blood but here it’s as out of nowhere as Rumi’s death.
What I think overall: A decent start with a few questions even without Marvel bypassing three stories.