Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nova meets Spider-Man

Dream On over Nova’s helmet during flight 12.
Wolfman / Buscema / Giacoia / Rosen / Glynis Wein
Your chance to guess along in a Special Mighty Marvel Mystery
Spider-Man meets Nova---and together they try to discover---
“Who is---the Man Called Photon?”
Here we’re presented with ovals showing Futon, then the suspects:
Harry Daze Jason Dean Michael Lincoln Peter Parker Franklin Risk --
---across a tableau that finds Nova and Spidey standing beside a melted wall ---and who is this unfortunate corpse, fingers out stretched over torn calendar pages, July through December? The first clue was Charles Rider’s words to Rich last’s a week after that...Nova’s flying up to see Uncle Ralph. He changes to Rich Rider (who doesn’t need any Detroit Wheels) and goes inside the luxurious home, noting he is the only person in the family who isn’t punctual (but it’s poor Ralph who is now “late”). He sees a car screech off down the driveway, but it’s not Uncle Ralph; it’s Jason Dean, on his way to rush into police headquarters crying for help. He’s just witnessed a grisly murder at Doctor Rider’s home.
By Dean’s recollection to Inspector Steel: he waited in Ralph Rider’s living room, to bid on Rider’s latest invention. The wall begins to melt...and” a man dressed in a bizarre costume” threatens him and demands Rider. He swats Dean across the room, then melts the far living room wall, to vanish into the kitchen. Dean left a minute later and drove as quickly as possible here, begging them to hurry, for Doctor Rider may already be dead.

Angry, Richard looks for clues as they approach the scene, noting two melted holes and finding Harry Daze, who says he’s been grazed, on the floor. Richard’s shock cannot erase the scene: his uncle Ralph lies murdered. Immediately he’s determined to bring the killer to justice. He turns his violent rage onto Peter Parker, the photographer visiting at the unveiling of Dr. Rider’s new invention, found shambling to his feet beside his uncle’s body and the scattered calendar pages of the last of the year. With a laser cut across his forehead, Parker recovers to tell his side of the event. Parker enjoyed the extensive physics library, recommended by Dr. Connors, and listened to Dr. Rider play with some anagrams, such as his name (“You didn’t tell me you were a Super Hero! Kree Trapper---that’s an anagram of Peter Parker; aren’t those the aliens super heroes fight? “ and “Kept rare rep”---which is what secret identities are for, right?”) He stood near Dr. Rider at the moment Photon melted his way in: that is the self-professed name of the laser-wielding villain who disposed of Parker before taking the inventor’s life. Richard still senses a secretiveness about Parker, but he also must now call his father and tell him the awful news. Then he changes to Nova, still suspicious of Parker, looking for clues.
“Mysterious” Mr. Parker now slips away to change to Spider-Man. The fleeing man he intercepts uses exceptional strength, but as Spider-Man nonetheless subdues him, Nova spies them both. Influenced by Jameson’s editorial bias in the Daily Bugle, Nova decides to take no chances trusting Spidey and barrels into him from the sky. Spider-Man recognizes him, but Nova seems to be another bounty hunter trying to bring in the wanted super-hero. (In this era, Spidey is wanted for the murder of Norman Osborn).
In the face of attack the wall-crawler webs Nova’s helmet and punches him. Nova realizes flight is the one advantage he possesses, but Spidey flips his feet up into Nova’s face before they rise too high. Swinging down, Spider-Man sarcastically asks if Nova will listen. Nova exclaims he is still new and makes mistakes, but Spidey tells him don’t sweat it, he still makes them, too. Nova grabs Spidey’s sparring partner and hauls him before Inspector Steel, who is less than thrilled to have super heroes on the case.
The man, Michael Lincoln, is Rider’s frustrated assistant, who says he’s glad the doctor’s dead. Spider-Man upbraids Lincoln for his “over-looked genius” martyr ploy, saying Doctor Rider was already accomplished in his field years before. Steel notes Parker’s absence, so Spider-Man leaves to switch. Now Steel tells Parker no one leaves the room while they work through the suspects. *break*
Mr. Risk admits he is there to bid on a “transistorized nuclear device,” but Inspector Steel also brings up his background as a shady dealer and unscrupulous competitor. He says he was downstairs at 2:25 and will offer nothing else without a lawyer.
Manners, the butler, wants to share particular observations with Steel, and as they leave to talk, Jason Dean and Harry Daze both excuse themselves. Now while Parker confides his description to Nova, the wall is melted from the outside, and Photon appears, to kill the “one of you who saw me.” Nova engages him in battle quickly, and soon Spider-man leaps in as well, punches and lasers flying. Photon proves surprisingly strong.
Manners shares to Steel that someone in the room said the exact same thing he heard Photon say after shooting Parker. The heroes flush out Photon in the next room, but after zapping Nova, smacking Spider-Man, and setting a fire, he seems to vanish! Nova searches all corridors, and sees only Daze, who says there was no one there at all.
Dismayed, the heroes sense that Photon is still around; indeed, Nova’s patrolled the area for a half-mile around. Lincoln yells at Risk, that he did deserve credit in Rider’s latest invention and that Rider envied his genius. Now Steel reveals Lincoln was fired that morning, but he confesses no murder. Steel confronts Daze with the knowledge that he is there representing Advanced Idea Mechanics, wanted by every law enforcement agency in the world. Manners has testified that Daze called several times, threatening Rider’s life. Spider-Man grabs him to grill him further; he and Rider as well stood to make millions, but Rider planned to give the invention to the government.
Dean now confesses he represents the Maggia (Marvel’s Mafia), and Steel runs down the four remaining suspects: the paranoid assistant, the strong-arm business man, the weapons dealer, and the organized criminal.
Lincoln points out Parker’s absence, but Nova can vouch for his presence during the last Photon attack. Out go the lights, and Risk, Dean and Daze have fled. Manners will offer no more answers, either; after the above information, Manners was killed!
Who killed Doctor Rider? You have all the clues. (I’ll go back to visual descriptions if I left anything out you need.) Find out in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #171!

Yes I planned to post some KIRBY reviews but I had router trouble this weekend. Enjoy!

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