These issues came out bi-weekly starting november 1991 (making this story 20 years old- BOY DO I FEEL OLD...)
This story is essentially a team up that only nineties comics can do.
In this story Spider-man teams up with:
- The Punisher
- Moon Knight
- Night Thrasher
So lets dive right into these issues.
Writer: Al Milgrom
Penciller: Mark Bagley (For EVERY ISSUE. Now I suppose that he only had one inker but this story insists on being creative with the credits such as calling the writer and artist mechanics and the others pit crew)
We start in the danger room of the X-men... No I mean the stronghold of The Secret Empire, a clandestine organisation. Here there are martial artists and a ninja. Now the martial artists getting their arses handed to them.
The ninja is revealed to be Midnight a cyborg of Jeff Wilde. Through nineties style exposition writing we out from the heads of the secret empire (Which incidently wear Roman numerals on their clothes- this becomes important later) that HYDRA and A.I.M. battled Spider-man, the Punisher, Iron man and Moon Knight.
We also find out that the secret empire has planted a pain inducer in Midnights brain. So after a little more exposition writing we find that The Secret Empire need Elliot Franklin (AKA Thunderball...cue James Bond music) to mass produce the cybernetics that powers Midnight.
Cut to Aunt Mays place...yada yada yada Mary Jane doesn't want Peter to go out on patrol AND HERE WE FIND OUT THAT AUNT MAY LIKES WRESTLING! So no wonder she doesn't like Spider-man! She's probably still peeved that he's no longer wrestling!
Spider-man swings past a police station where Thunderball is being held just as Darkhawk is walking into the police station, where incidentally his father works. (THIS IS NINETIES COMICS PEOPLE COINCIDENCES HAPPEN ALL THE TIME).
Cue Exposition about Darkhawks origin before Midnight crashes through the building and breaks Thunderball out of jail despite Darkhawk attempting to stop the breakout.
Cut to The Punisher shaking down a drug dealer so he can find out about The Secret Empire (which I'm beginning to suspect is an ironic name- AS IT DOESN"T SEEM TOO SECRETIVE).
The dealer explains that he doesn't know and tries to kill the Punisher. Cue The Punisher killing the dealer. HE'S BADASS!!!
Back to the fight! Spider-man has joined the fight and pulls off Midnights mask revealing that Midnight looks like The Terminators love child.
The Secret Empire (Which sounds like The Cat Empire) rescue both Midnight and Thunderball. Spider-man shoots a tracer onto Midnight. Now these trackers look about the size of a 50cent piece but no villain ever notices that they are on them.
Pros: The back cover has an ad for LAFFS trading cards. Now get this LAFFS are trading cards include Full House, Family Matters and Perfect Strangers. I wonder who collected those cards???
Cons: Old comics really make you appreciate how far we've come in terms of colouring. Flat colouring does not help this story as it seems to highlight the rushed nature of Bagley's pencils. Now we know Bagley can do work faster than this (his work on Trinity for DC prove this).
Now as I don't have the next issue in 2 days I'll review 355!