Web of Spider-Man #70
Writer – Gerry Conway
Artist – Alex Saviuk
“A Hulk By Any Other Name…”
Spider-Man hitches a ride on top of a subway train back to New York City with the biokinetic energy transference device in tow. He changes into his civilian clothing and leaves the device in a locker in the train station. Peter’s next stop is Jameson Publications where he drops off his camera roll of photos. Jonah and Betty are mad at Peter because he left Betty behind. Betty has returned with the full story: the scientist that had the device was named Armond Jones and was killed in the Spider-Man/Hulk fight. As Betty and Jonah continue to chastise Peter’s behavior in Connecticut, he leaves in a huff.
Pete heads to the roof and changes back into his Spider-Man costume. He begins to feel strange and as two security guards stop Spider-Man from leaving, Peter hulks out! The guards open fire and shoot him repeatedly. Unfazed, Spider-Hulk swings away and lands near a junkyard. As Spider-Hulk calms down, he reverts to Peter, who passes out from exhaustion. A group of homeless people check on Spider-Man and feed him hot soup. Peter heads back to his apartment to get a new pair of clothes then visits Betty Brant.
Betty gives Peter the location of Armond’s lab. As Spider-Man, Peter investigates the lab and find a notebook, containing the work of the scientist. An unseen alarm goes off which startles Peter and his transformation back into Spider-Hulk starts but he’s able to calm himself down before he goes full Hulk.
Pete reads the notebook and learns how the device works and how it can remove the Hulk’s bio energy from his body. Spider-Man swings to Grand Central Station to retrieve the device. Two teenaged punks are breaking into the storage lockers and stumble upon the device. When Spider-Man sees the locker empty, he hulks out. Spider-Hulk chases after the punks as police officers open fire on the massive monstrosity. Spider-Hulk uses his web shooters to pull down a giant clock on top of the officers, who manage to escape harm. Spider-Hulk asks for the device from the punks. As one kid gives the device back to Spider-Hulk, it activates and draws the bioenergy from Spider-Hulk. During the transference process, Spider-Hulk destroys the device by accident as Peter reverts to his human self.
Spider-Man swings away from the train station before police backup arrives. As he catches his breath, he laments the fact that all the goodwill the Daily Bugle has finally touted about him is all for naught after this current misadventure.
In junior high, I collected the Fleer Spider-Man trading cards. One of the subsets was “Spidey’s Strangest Transformations.” When I got the Spider-Hulk card, I was excited and couldn’t believe this happened in the comics. As I got older, I was able to track down the two-issue story and I finally got around to reading it. During the War of the Hulks storyline, other Marvel superheroes become Hulks for a time. Spider-Man was the first and the best because it was a surprise to comic readers. As much I would have loved to seen this storyline play out just a bit longer, it would be awesome to revisit this event in a future What If?