recognitions: (this is the crisis I knew had to come)
recognitions ([personal profile] recognitions) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2010-11-16 08:38 pm

Enter: the Rapier!

Hey folks! I'm here to tell you about this obscure hero they used to make comic books about a loooong time ago. I don't know if anyone's familiar with him, but he was a really fun character and he was featured in lots of light-hearted, enjoyable, action-filled stories. I think you'll take a shine to him.

...Spider-Man, of all things! Can you believe it?

Boy, hopefully nobody read the tags to this entry before clicking the cut, otherwise my intro will totally lose its effect.

Anyhoo, we're about to take a trip to a magical land called 1980. Gas was a shocking dollar a gallon, Larry Hama was bumming around the M*A*S*H lot, and a young lad called Ronald Reagan was about to enchant America with the twinkle in his eye. And in New York, Spider-Man is all set to break up a waterfront heist, when he gets an unexpected assist from an unfamiliar face.

He calls himself Rapier, and his weapon of choice is a fencing sword that packs a zap; he's augmented it with an "electro-stun attachment". The futuristic technology of yesterday is the standard police equipment of today.

Did Spider-Man punch the black guy out after he gave up? Tsk.

The next day, Pete and Ned Leeds head down to the docks to get some more info on the "crime wave" taking place there. They get accosted by some unforgiving longshoremen, one of whom snatches Peter's press pass. Pete ushers Ned out of there for fear of getting into a fight and having his identity exposed. However, when Peter gets back to the Bugle, he finds the office being accosted by mobsters:

And this has been today's edition of How These Characters Are Supposed to Act.

Silvermane and his goons head back to their own headquarters. But when they get there, a surprise is waiting for them:

Seriously, is there a clearer distillation of what makes Spider-Man an appealing character? He makes superheroics look fun. He takes out the bad guys with elan, and has a helluva time doing it. Really, it's so not hard to make his character work. Why people keep straying from this, I'll never know.

Gotta love the timely references.

Making short work of the mooks, Spidey then does the old "dangle-you-out-a-window" routine to get Silvermane's attention, and once he's properly cowed:

I want to know who's picture is on Silvermane's wall. (Aunt May? We know she has a thing for bad boys.)

There's some business with Rapier and his girlfriend, but soon things turn grim--we find out Silvermane's goons have roughed up Robbie Robertson and put him in the hospital. I wish I had room to include the pages of Jonah; he doesn't tell Peter what happened, just gives him a very serious speech about how they won't back down in the face of the mob, and implores Peter, with an almost sick expression, "Don't let me down. I'm counting on you." The art is really something. Also, it's interesting that they kept going after Robbie; could Macchio have been trying to make a subtle point about racism in the Mafia? Or, sorry, I mean the "Maggia." Snerk.

Meanwhile, Silvermane received a message from Rapier that he wants to set up a meeting. Silvermane agrees, ostensibly to buy Rapier off, but you can guess what his real plans are. They agree to meet at "Cloisters, a sprawling antiquated monastery-turned-museum in Fort Tryon Park, north of the city proper." It's a real place, a branch of the Met. Looks like Jim Mooney did location scouting, because the work here is just sumptuous:

Always nice when the mooks have names and personalities. I think writers are more prone to have fun with Mafia stereotypes in general.

Rapier takes out Silvermane's goons with ease, and get ready for the big reveal:

The old bandanna around the eyes trick. Fools them every time.

A lot of backstory follows this, but honestly you can probably write it; Silvermane turns on his buddy and leaves him for dead, a beautiful woman finds him and nurses him back to health, but he's consumed with getting revenge. Exposition over (during which Silvermane probably could have plugged him at any time, but oh well), Rapier zaps Silvermane with his tasersword, and is about to carve him up when Spidey shows up. Rapier wants to duel Spidey with swords. Spidey isn't having it, but Rapier forces his hand(s):

They apparently both went to the Princess Bride school of talking while fencing.

And it's time for our regularly scheduled "with power comes responsibility" speech:

Things get a little spacy here. Rapier's girlfriend shows up and takes Spider-Man out from behind. But in true prick fashion, rather than be grateful, Rapier is basically pissed that he needed a girl's help, giving her the big "you little meddler, you've ruined everything" speech. He darts off, planning to begin his revenge all over again only without any icky girl cooties this time, but Silvermane shoots him in the back before he can finish his escape (another page I wish I had room for). Wounded, Rapier limps off into the night:

And scene. This has been Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #2, written by Ralph Macchio in between takes on the Karate Kid set, and drawn by Jim Mooney and Mike Esposito. We hope it taught you a little something about life, love and trusting strange men with grey streaks in their hair.

[personal profile] hyperactivator 2010-11-17 03:43 am (UTC)(link)
Yes! ^_^ This is my spidey!
perletwo: (spidey thwipp)

[personal profile] perletwo 2010-11-17 04:10 am (UTC)(link)
All that, and the layouts and art are clean and attractive!
althechi: (Default)

[personal profile] althechi 2010-11-17 04:16 am (UTC)(link)
Note to self: it's most definitely Rapier.

Stupid mind going into gutter. =P
sherkahn: (Default)

[personal profile] sherkahn 2010-11-17 06:56 am (UTC)(link)
But it's fun down here!

Oh look, they have Pen Is Mightier supplies.
althechi: (LOL!)

[personal profile] althechi 2010-11-17 07:25 am (UTC)(link)
And it's right next to ExpressionS Exchange!
sherkahn: (Default)

[personal profile] sherkahn 2010-11-17 01:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Right next to Therapist office.
tsunamiwombat: (Default)

[personal profile] tsunamiwombat 2010-11-17 04:31 am (UTC)(link)
Does anyone else read all of the Rapiers dialogue in Ricardo Montalbons voice?
roguefankc: Leomon (Default)

Wow, this was new...

[personal profile] roguefankc 2010-11-17 05:11 am (UTC)(link)
Rapier is an interesting character, although I'm not sure I'd peg him as a good guy since he was really motivated by revenge rather than justice, but he's a new take on how an effective swordsman can be against guns (although he needs to can the lengthy speeches). =)

And I like your icon, recognitions! Where is it from?

Re: Wow, this was new...

[personal profile] psychopathicus_rex 2010-11-17 07:17 am (UTC)(link)
I see him as one of those 'bad guy with the motivations of a good guy' types. He sees himself as an individualist standing against the forces of conformity, red tape and social oppression - in fact, of course, he's a crook, but he could easily BECOME a genuine fighter for justice, if he could just get over himself.
pallas_athena: (Default)

[personal profile] pallas_athena 2010-11-17 09:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I really liked this-- it reminded me of how much fun good comics can be. Thanks for posting it!