May The Enforcers Be With You!
The cover: 4½ stars
This cover gets a lot of bad press and has made the “worst Spider-Man covers ever” list more than once. I really like the cover for its simplicity, Spidey is just hanging on his web looking at his latest new villains; there’s a mysterious masked man, a really big, tough looking guy, a small, mean looking man and a cowboy. Let’s face it; The Enforcers don’t look like the most dangerous foes that our hero has faced. There’s less writing on this cover, so we’re left to wonder more about what this issue is all about. I much prefer this cover to the alternative cover by Steve Ditko that wasn’t used.
The Enforcers (22 pages)
I like the story in this issue, again it’s not really rated very highly, but it’s a good little mystery story with plenty of red herrings. The Enforcers aren’t really much of a challenge for Spidey, Stan realises this and makes it a more even fight, weakening Spider-Man by having Peter give blood to Aunt May.
Stan and Steve are still busy weaving the fabric that made this series what it is; again it’s more about the characters that populate the Spider-Man universe, than fighting villains. An important new character, Frederick Foswell, is introduced, the Betty Brant mystery continues, Aunt May recovers from her operation and we learn why Jonah hates Spider-Man so much. Although they’re not great major villains, The Enforcers are important, as they will return time and time again, usually supporting more major villains.
Is this the first appearance of Aunt May’s neighbour Anna Watson, under the name of Abbott?
Spidey suspects Jonah may be the Big Man.
The last panel says there will be a new villain next month, but as we now know, we had the return of Doctor Octopus instead; I wonder which new villain they had in mind?