Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #17: Review

Apr 1978
Bill Mantlo, Dave Hunt

Story Name:

Whatever Happened to the Iceman?

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #17 Review by (June 20, 2023)

Review: A sad coda to the Champions, breaking up in acrimony five minutes after their final issue closed out. Despite the promise in that issue that the Champions would return, that was it. Marvel didn’t appear to have a lot of faith in the title, switching the creative teams around for the first ten issues then buckling down and assigning the book to Bill Mantlo and John Byrne but that may have been too little too late, so here we are with Spider-Man observing the team’s postmortem. Otherwise, it’s an unremarkable issue with Spidey and Angel versus a bandaged bad guy and his brainwashed hero henchman.

Comments: Part one of two parts. Final story featuring the Champions, their book having been cancelled a few months earlier. Flashbacks are to the aftermath of the events of CHAMPIONS #17. Hercules, Black Widow, Ghost Rider, and Darkstar appear only in the flashbacks. Stuart RampageClarke was introduced in CHAMPIONS #5-6 and blown up by the bad guys in issue #8, though he blames the Champions. Iceman calls Angel, “Daddy Warbucks,” a mocking reference to the wealthy industrialist from the LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE comic strip. The 2016 CHAMPIONS features a new and unrelated team as do all subsequent volumes.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #17 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The Daily Bugle sends Peter Parker to Los Angeles to cover the break-up of the superhero team, the Champions. Pete arrives at their deserted office building HQ early so he walks around, brooding about his usual troubles. Two windowpanes pop out from a high floor and plunge toward him. Angel spots them and dives out and manages to grab one and flip it into the Bay but the other keeps going. Pete then notices and leaps out of the way; Angel talks to him and, discovering Pete is the Bugle photographer, tells him the Champions are all gone but for him. Pete then discovers that his camera was destroyed in the accident….

Warren buys Pete a new camera and tells him that the building was poorly constructed and the team failed as well. Warren relates the story of the end of the Champions: When it was learned that the Sentinels had bypassed all the building’s defenses, most of the team were fed up with the place and wanted to go. Ghost Rider walked out, saying none of the others ever wanted him there. Darkstar wanted to go home to Russia; Iceman confessed his love for her, which she did not reciprocate so he walked out too. With the team breaking up, Hercules and Black Widow decided to go back to New York, leaving Angel by himself.…

That night Pete returns to the building as Spider-Man, discovering that the two windowpanes were deliberately loosened and pushed out. Spidey finds Angel arguing with a heavily bandaged man (Stuart Clarke, the former Rampage) in a wheelchair who gloats over his revenge against the Champions who left him the way he is, with a shadowy figure in the background the instrument of his vengeance. Warren balks and Clarke presses a button and Rampage jumps forward and punches him. Spidey jumps in, webbing Angel to keep him from hitting the wall. Spidey challenges the armored bad guy but Angel pleads with him not to fight him. Clarke orders Rampage to kill the Web-Spinner and Angel again tries to stop the hero so Spidey knocks him out. The hero and the henchman fight and Spidey is amazed that Rampage seems to feel no pain. Angel recovers and hurls a power-rod which electrocutes Clarke; the feedback hurts Rampage too and he ices over, destroying the armor and revealing that the powered henchman was a mind-controlled Iceman, still under Clarke’s orders to kill Spider-Man….

Dave Hunt
Dave Hunt
Janice Cohen
John Byrne (Cover Penciler)
Joe Rubinstein (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Sal Buscema. Letterer: Bruce Patterson.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Warren Worthington)
Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider

(Johnny Blaze)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Champions, Rampage.

> Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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