The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) - #16
"The Beetle and The Badge!"
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Elliot S! Maggin
Mike Esposito - 'Espo'
Phil Rachelson - 'Phil Rache'
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Cover Date: March 1978
Cover Price: US $ 0.35
Issue Tagline: None.
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 17 pages
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Letters Column: Spectacular Spider-Mail
A self-contained fill-in issue written by Elliot S! Maggin. Spidey saves the life of hot dog cop Joey Macone, a police officer who thrives on being the hero despite the pleas of his wife who worries about his safety. Spidey meets Macone again when assigned to photograph the hero cop at his unhappy home. They cross paths yet again when The Beetle, one of Spidey's oldest foes (dating to the Ditko-era), plots a daring raid on the evidence room of the NYPD Midtown West precinct. He empties the precinct by having henchmen unleash a mini-crime wave in the area that sends every available man scurrying... except for Macone, who was asked to stay behind by the captain. Instead of being out of the action, Macone ends up in the middle of it, watching as Spidey and the Beetle battle and coming up with a clever way of winning.
"The Beetle and The Badge" is only incidentally a Spider-Man story, focused more on the danger-loving Dirty Harry and Serpico-inspired cop Joey Macone and on how such thrill-seeking troubles his marriage, which perhaps was intended as a commentary on Peter Parker's own proposal to Mary Jane that was occurring at this time in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.
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Editorial comments on the letter's page note that over on THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Len Wein will be passing the reins to Marv Wolfman, and that "once all the little wrinkles are ironed out, Bill and Marv have committed themselves to an intricate cross-continuity, the likes of which you ain't never seen, fella!"
TRIVIA: Primarily a writer for DC Comics, this is Maggin's sole issue of PPTSS and his only handling of the Spider-Man character (unless one counts SPIDEY SUPER STORIES #29).
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