Writer: John Ostrander
Artists: Todd Nauck & Michael Ryan
Inkers: Mark Pennington & Victor Olazaba
Colorist: Ian Hannin
Cover: Paolo Rivera

Warning – SPOILERS below!

How This Review Started: **Brad walks over to Nathaniel’s cubical in the Crawlspace office**
Brad: “Collins, there’s no review for Spec Spidey #1000. Everyone else seems to be too busy dealing with Fear Itself, the Death of Ultimate Spider-Man or prepping for Spider-Island. I need that review!”
Nate: **Mumbling to himself** “I’m helping with Death of Spider-Man…”
Brad: “You want to review Spider-Man Marvel Adventures??”
Nate: “No Mr. Douglas, I’ll get right on Spec Spidey.” **Sighs**
Bertone: **In the back ranting to JR on how the world would be a better place without Betty Brant**

The Story
**Note – this story takes place a couple years ago when Peter was a teacher**

This issue revolves around a high school jock, Craig Williams. Football player gets smacked around by his dad when he screws up, sells drugs to his fellow students and bullies nerds. The Punisher and Spidey team up to take down a Russian mob and on one night interrupts a drug dealing which Craig is a part of. Punisher kills some thugs, Spidey shouts, “CASTLE, NO!” and as Frank is about to shoot Craig Spidey intervenes and lets the kid go.

Craig returns home thinking that Spidey is just like him, a guy who doesn’t take crap from anyone. The next day at school he decides to be a nicer guy for the day, that is, until the very nerd he was giving a swirly to the other day pulls out a gun on him. Noah Talbert, the nerd, watches Craig cry as Peter talks to him, understanding what it’s like to be picked on. Peter manages to calm Noah down, helping him as everyone in the hallway looks at Craig like a loser for causing this to happen. After the events that have happened Coach Flash kicks Craig off the football team to which when the jock comes home he gets a beating by his father. The two of them fight to which Craig comes out on top, takes some money out of his old man’s wallet and leaves home.     

Craig rejoins a newly assembled mob gang and becomes an enforcer. During one of their heists Spidey shows up and puts a stop to it. As the mob gang is webbed up, Craig tells Spidey that the web slinger is his hero though the web head doesn’t care, giving him a speech about that thugs like him is the reason why he became who he is today and that their nothing alike. The last page ends with Craig being sent to Ryker’s and deciding he needs to start listening to himself… and never look back.

The backup is a reprinting of The Amazing Spider-Man #129, the Punisher’s first appearance by Gerry Conway and Ross Andru.

The Good
I didn’t want to bother reviewing this issue, hell, I didn’t pick it up. But when Brad asks you to review a specific title, how can you turn the guy down? Now that I’ve read the issue, I thought it was pretty good. I liked the setting of this comic, it was nice to see Peter in the role of a teacher again and Flash being a coach. It kind of reminded me of that feeling when I started reading comics on an ongoing basis (yeah, I started reading during the JMS run too).

It was nice to see the Punisher in action, haven’t seen a whole lot of action by Frank Castle since his recent mini (which by the way I’ll probably pick up the first issue of his upcoming new series). The artwork by Todd Nauck was great as always, we should see more of his art soon. I miss it personally.

When I was reading Craig’s story, it felt like he was Flash if Flash had chosen a different path for himself. One reason I liked this issue was because is helped raise more of awareness when it comes to bullying. We’ve all seen these kinds of things happen on the news and it sucks. No one deserves to be treated poorly because of their gender, race, sexuality, and beliefs. I could go on about it but you guys get the picture.

I liked the last two pages of the story, pretty much showing that being Spidey doesn’t mean you don’t take crap from anyone but it means doing the right thing responsibly. Craig made some pretty bad choices and look where it got him. The reprint of ASM #129 was cool, I didn’t mind it. Spidey, Punisher and some Jackal action mixed in. What more is there to say?

The Bad
I can’t really say a lot of bad things here, the issue was decent. I should note that why would Spidey team up with the Punisher? You think the guy is actually going to use rubber bullets against thugs by now? Yeah, and Superman is going to give up his U.S. citizenship… hahaha… haha… wait, that actually happened? –AHEM- Never mind then.

And since when was it okay for the wife and someone else watch a man hit his own son. The guy in the chair is smirking with a beer in his hand. Smirking! BEER! –Ahem-

With this being #1000, is this even a landmark? On an episode of the Wolverine Berserker Podcast (there, I did a plug in) one of my fellow podcasters asked this question when we reviewed Wolverine #1000, “What does this signify? Is this a milestone or one of those fake ones?” With the issue being five dollars it just seems like a way of getting into your wallet. It doesn’t affect the ongoing series.

Favorite Spider-Quote
Craig Williams: **While caught in the web** “Spider-Man! C’mon, let me go, okay? I coulda shot you but I didn’t! You’re my hero!”
Spider-Man: “Spare me. A thug like you is why I became what I am. You? You’re nothing like me.”

If you’re a collector, pick this comic up. If you don’t have the money or was wondering if you need to get this, you don’t have to. It’s a solid read nonetheless. 3.5 out of 5 webheads. And now, I leave you with this quote from the last page.

“I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.” – Bob Dylan

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