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Over the last couple of issues, Peter Parker had been worrying about his Aunt May's health. In the process, his web-swinging alter ego had become a coward in the eyes of the citizens. Now, with his aunt recuperating nicely, Spider-Man is free to fight the criminal element once more...and fight he does. He quickly establishes his grand return by foiling a bank robbery. This causes J. Jonah Jameson no end of grief, as he was prepared to give a lecture on Spidey's cowardice when the wall-crawler made his comeback.

Even as Spider-Man returns to action, another superhero gets taken down. It seems the Enforcers and the Sandman laid a trap to capture the Human Torch...and their plan worked perfectly. After placing him in a glass enclosure with barely enough air to breathe (and not nearly enough to flame on), the partnership of super villains set their sights on the friendly neighborhood web-head.

After an eventful day at school watching Flash Thompson and Liz Allan argue, Peter catches sight of Enforcer member Fancy Dan walking down the street and quickly bedecks himself in his Spidey britches to quietly follow Dan to a shady apartment building. Once there, Spidey is set upon by a gang of thugs who are working alongside the Enforcers. While Spider-Man is dealing with the underlings, however, the Enforcers slip away.

Showing up at the "Daily Bugle" building, Peter finds his on-again off-again love interest Betty Brant talking with another man who she introduces Peter to as reporter Ned Leeds. With his visit to the "Bugle" over, Peter becomes Spider-Man once more and extracts the Enforcers whereabouts from a small-time stoolie named Louie. He also learns that the group is holding the Human Torch hostage.

Smelling a trap, Spidey proceeds with caution...and even then almost winds up in the deadly clutches of the Sandman without realizing it. After a rousing battle between the web-slinger and his four arch-enemies, Spidey succeeds in freeing the Torch from his glass imprisonment.

Torch is more than eager to help Spider-Man...maybe a little too eager as he causes Spidey and himself to be tangled in one of the wall-crawler's webs. Fortunately they had already incapacitated the Enforcers and the police officers who arrive at the scene wind up collaring a very weakened Sandman.

The next day, Jameson is feeling all the more depressed about Spider-Man's heroic activities. That depression is alleviated when Peter shows up with first class pictures of Spidey and Torch fighting the bad guys (Peter had set his automatic camera before the fight began). Later that afternoon, as Parker leaves Mid-Town High School, a mysterious figure follows him home. After Peter turns out his light that evening, the mysterious figure makes a phone call where another as-of-yet unknown person tells him to keep Peter under surveillance.

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3.25 stars 3.25/5 Stars Average score of 2 user reviews

First Appearance of the Fastball Special? 0

"Spidey Strikes Back!" is meant to be the action-packed follow-up to last issue's "The End of Spider-Man!", and it is in fact a more action oriented issue. The Enforcers have joined forces with The Sandman, and through their coordinated attack, they're able to bring down The Human Torch who they use as bait to draw out Spider-Man. What follows is the expected all out battle between the villains and heroes.First 'fastball special'?Artistically speaking, this issue and the preceding one are a coup...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Solid Storytelling 0

I liked this book. The teaming of the Enforcers and The Sandman seemed a little off, but in the end it worked. As much as I spout of the love of a book that takes it's time with the characters, sometimes what is necessary is an all out brawl issue. That is what we get here. It starts right off also, With very few exceptions it doesn't let up until the final page either. Of course there is a matter of changing power levels, that's when a character is as powerful as the story needs him or her to...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
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