Web of Spider-Man and the entry of Alex Saviuk.

We’ve talked about the importance of 1987 in the development of the Spider-Man comics, beginning with Spectacular Spider-Man and the return of its original artist, Sal Buscema. The next step was taken in the then most recent comic of the wall-crawler, Web of Spider-Man and the entry of Alex Saviuk, who is considered one of the most representative illustrators of the hero.

In the ’80s, it was known that Spider-Man was Marvel’s flagship character and had been so, practically since his debut in 1962. He was also one of the Marvel heroes to have more than one comic, as was the case in the “Distinguished Competition”, where Superman and Batman had come to have a whole family of titles.

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(Alex Saviuk’s first issue with Gerry Conway in Web of spider-Man)


In the so-called House of Ideas, the X-Men comics had a spin-off (or derivative), which was The New Mutants, in addition to having provided Wolverine with his own four-issue miniseries in 1982. The company wanted to expand the magazines of its main products.

Spider-Man had three main titles, The Amazing Spider-Man (started in 1962) and Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man (from 1976), as well as Marvel Team-Up, a comic that actually belonged to Spider-Man and where each month he made an alliance with different Marvel heroes. This one was more difficult to coordinate, because the continuities of both Spider-Man and the guest hero had to be synchronized.

At some point, it was decided to end said comic and officially transform it into a third publication for the arachnid.

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(First page and credits)


Marvel Team-Up came to an end with issue #150, dated November 13, 1984, with special guests, The X-Men. I present a note where I review some of the encounters they have had with each other over the years:


On December 25, 1984, Web of Spider-Man #1 was released, with writer Louise Simonson and artist Greg Larocque. Within a few issues, however, the two switched projects and the comic was slow to catch on with a regular creative team.

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(First edition of Web of Spider-Man with a beautiful cover by Charles Vess)


Stability came to him on October 6, 1987, with issue #35. Illustrator Alex Saviuk, famous for his work at DC Comics such as Green Lantern and Action Comics, was named the magazine’s headliner.

Saviuk took the commission quite seriously, since he illustrated the magazine for almost 7 years, in non-consecutive issues, from 35 to 116, the last one being published on July 5, 1994, just before the start of the Clone Saga (where it was revealed that Peter Parker was actually a genetic copy, while the real Peter had wandered for 5 years under the name Ben Reilly -Ben after his uncle and Reilly being Aunt May’s maiden name-).

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(Spider-Man journal strip)


Later, Saviuk participated in the production of the daily and Sunday Spider-Man newspaper strip, with Larry Lieber, Stan Lee and Roy Thomas, until the end of it in 2019.

In Saviuk’s (and the writer’s) debut issue, we see Spider-Man battle a foe we haven’t seen since 1964, when he appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #8, by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee. He was The Living Brain, a robot created to identify Spider-Man and reveal his true identity.

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(Comics by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee)


As for the plots, from #35 of Web of Spider-Man, the writer Gerry Conway was present. Conway is one of the writers who has worked with Spider-Man the most times, since his initial run in 1972, when he was just 19 years old. It was Conway who was responsible for the first Clone Saga, as well as the death of Gwen Stacy.

But before the storyteller fully took on the assignment, other writers collaborated on Web of Spider-Man, including Peter David, James Owsley (Christopher Priest), and Fabian Nicieza. Beginning with Web of Spider-Man #47, and running through #70 (dated September 4, 1990), Conway was almost the sole writer on the title, as well as doing several stories for Spectacular Spider-Man simultaneously.

After the change in writer, Saviuk worked with the likes of John Byrne, Tony Isabella, Terry Kavanagh and Howard Mackie.

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Alex Saviuk printed a classic style to the Spider-Man comic, generating a good contrast with some of his stories with darker characteristics, such as the appearance of “The sect of love” or the hero’s fights against Demogoblin (a demonic version of Hobgoblin). , successor to the Green Goblin), as part of the Marvel crossover Inferno.

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Other interesting stories were the kidnapping and identity theft of J. Jonah Jameson by The Chameleon; an interesting crossover with the Hulk comic (when he was known as Mr. Fixit); the time when Spider-Man had cosmic powers; the return of Molten Man; some early appearances by Tombstone (created by Conway and Saviuk); a savage war between mafia groups; the intervention of Silver Sable’s mercenary team, known as The Outlaws (Sandman, Rocket Racer, Will O’The Wisp, The Prowler and Puma) or the transformation of Spider-Man into the Hulk, to name just a few.

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Spider-Man cemented his position as Marvel’s most popular hero of the decade, thanks to editor Jim Salicrup, writers Peter David and Gerry Conway, and artists Sal Buscema and Alex Saviuk.

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However, Salicrup still had an ace up his sleeve and saved it for his flagship comic, The Amazing Spider-Man. It was about the arrival of illustrator Todd McFarlane. But we leave that for the next occasion.

It marks the 35th anniversary of the entry of Alex Saviuk, Gerry Conway, and the change of address in Web of Spider-Man.

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Web of Spider-Man and the entry of Alex Saviuk.

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