These three comics make up the Missing in Action arc where everyone wonders where Spider-Man and Peter Parker are. You’d think they’d have looked under the mountain where Joy saw him last.
Spectacular: David/Buckler. A couple different mini-stories going on here.
1) Alex, now homeless after running away (his mom accidentally vacuumed up his dad) meets a couple potential kidnappers and blows up their car and maybe kills them. He feels guilty about killing his dad, not so guilty about the kidnappers, but wonders how out of control his power is.
2) Robertsons: Tension between Randy/Joe because of Mandy. Martha is the peacekeeper. Amanda saves Joe’s life with the Heimlich, he’s grateful, she announces she’s Jewish.
3) Black Cat: I’m interested a lot in this story because of how it seems to parallel the current arc. Felecia fights Dr. Strange’s house, can’t fight Astral-Strange, he offers to see if he can help, she gets mad, goes home, almost gets killed by The Foreigner, but then decides to partner up with him. “When we’re through, Spider-Man’s life will be rubble.” Oh, and she lost her bad luck powers, but maybe has cat powers (can see in the dark).
Amazing: DeFalco/Leonardi. Silver Sable wants to find Spider-Man to hire him so he can help capture Jack O’Lantern. Jack O’Lantern wants to kill Silver Sable because Sable has a contract on him. Sable apprehends some street thugs who shot an innocent bystander (she’s good on the inside, not only greedy) and gets attacked by Jack. Sable wins, Jack gets away while Sable deals with the thug shooter, Spidey is still missing. This isn’t a terrible story, but kind of treads water.
Note: Jack O’Lantern is Jason Macendale. I’m pretty sure Macendale ends up as some version of the Hobgoblin (who was featured around Spider-Man 690ish). I want to find out where he started – I’ll get to his transformation eventually.
Web: Michelinie/Silvestri/Sharen. Pete shows up at (his place?) and MJ comforts him and wants to know where he was. He tells her. He escaped Fire Mountain, hitchhiked home, got in trouble (including a completely ridiculous side story about a rich jerkwad who buys criminals and hunts them with his super robots), but made it home safe and sound and exhausted.
Note: Last page of this issue: A magenta sleeve is shown pushing Peter into the path of an oncoming train. He escapes (because he’s Spider-Man), but THERE WAS NO SPIDER-SENSE. Serious question – is this a Venom prelude? I don’t recall how this turns out.
End result – This wasn’t a terrible mini-series and I could even see it tied in with Webs 16 and 17 for a decent little trade paperback. Actually, there’s so many little things going on in Spectacular that wouldn’t make much sense. But not a terrible two month long arc.