A Secret Wars II tie in. From 1985. Danny Fingeroth, script. Mike Harris, layouts. Zeck, Layton, Simmons, and Mooney finishes. Bob Sharen, colorist. Felix and Parker, letters. Published by Marvel Comics.
I grabbed this comic from a random box in my collection tonight. During the Secret Wars II story the Beyonder comes to Earth to learn how to live, how to exist, how to be human. When he learns some people have money and others don’t he decides to make things better by transforming a Manhattan office building into solid gold. Spider-Man leaps into action to help.
Meanwhile, the Kingpin organizes the demolition of the gold building. This much gold would rock the global economy and could shatter the world’s status quo of wealth. Countries could collapse. Stocks would drop. Mass hysteria. Spider-Man is not worried about any of that, he’s here to help any of the office workers who were inside when the gold switch happened late at night.
Elsewhere, both Aunt May and Mary Jane are having moral struggles. Aunt May is trying to find some way to get money so she has a place to live. MJ is admitting that she loves Peter, but can’t be with someone who risks his life every night. She wishes Peter could be more selfish. Do something for himself once in awhile instead of for the greater good.
These side stories come together to finally push Peter over the edge. Spider-Man goes into the building to rescue anyone inside and is shot at by the government agents trying to stop the theft of any gold. When he finally rescues the last person, after convincing him to drop any bits of gold on the way out, Peter sees the true man in charge. The Kingpin himself. He is negotiating his fee, gold typewriters! Millions of dollars worth. Roll up, get paid, move on. Whereas Spider-Man was shot at for having the gall to save lives.
This is a moment in which something snaps within Peter. He grabs a gold notebook and tells the agent in charge to stuff it. This could help Aunt May, and have plenty of money left over for anything else. Does he keep it? What happens next? This story is continued in a later issue of Amazing Spider-Man, which I don’t appear to have in my collection.
I’m all for Peter slipping every so often. Once every reading generation maybe? A fresh story to remind us all why he’s responsible. I don’t know when I’ll track down the rest of the story, but maybe he’s criminally charged. Maybe the gold reverts back to its original form after awhile? Something to bring back that good ole Parker luck.