Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chip Off The Old Block


Name This Marvel Villain??

As it turned out, the main scheme of the Schemer involved circumstances no one knew about--a hidden agenda, if you will. When we're first introduced to him, his goal seems to be to move in on the territory of the Kingpin, one of Spider-Man's foes who holds the reins to New York's crime syndicate. Using hit-and-run tactics, the Schemer and his men wreak havoc with the Kingpin's operations, causing the Kingpin himself to enter the fray--and, as a result, Spider-Man.

But the Kingpin has problems of his own--family problems. His wife, Vanessa, has learned that their son, Richard, might have taken his own life, disillusioned at his association with a known criminal figure. Yet the Kingpin brushes his wife's concerns aside--partly out of disbelief that his son would "betray" him in such a way, but mostly because he must deal with the escalating threat of the Schemer.

As for the Schemer himself, he didn't just waltz into New York's crime scene and expect to confront someone like the Kingpin unprepared. Good thing, too, because you'd need a pretty high-powered desk set to take on Spider-Man:

I know what you're thinking--how did an overhead light fixture turn into a solid slab to be used as a hydraulic press? Probably because it would be embarrassing if Spider-Man were in danger of being crushed by incandescent bulbs:

But in all the ruckus, the wily Schemer makes his escape, and goes underground for a little bit. Oh, not to another secret hideout, like any other respectable criminal. No, when I say underground, I mean, well...

I hate to burst your bubble, pal, but you're not too dangerous on the lam in your car, buried under a snow mound.

But what's Spider-Man doing, in the meantime? Well, remember those days when he was just starting out, only in it for the money? Then he grew a conscience and took on "great responsibility," as we all know. So naturally he's on the trail of the Schemer so that he can catch a dangerous criminal and keep him from hurting people, right? Boy, did WE get it wrong:

Even when the Kingpin has Spidey on the ropes, just look what motivates him to fight back:

Uncle Ben must be rolling in his grave.

Spider-Man doesn't know it at the time, but it's actually the Kingpin who's offering the reward money. Serves the greedy little twerp right.

As for the Schemer, things come to a head when he finally confronts the Kingpin, and reveals a startling truth:

Unfortunately, the revelation that the Schemer is actually his own son turns out to have a devastating effect on the Kingpin himself:

Spider-Man, present at this turn of events, decides that this family can be punished no further than to the extent they've punished themselves, and departs.

Or maybe the timing was just bad to walk up and remind them that, technically, they still owe him a check.

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