The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) - #14
"Killing Me Softly... with His Hate!"
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Mike Esposito - 'Espo'
Irene Vartanoff - 'Nazalie Austin, Maggie Glessner'
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Cover Date: January 1978
Cover Price: US $0.35
Issue Tagline: Strike, Fools! Forget you are allies and DESTROY each other--the HATE-MONGER COMMANDS!
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 17 pages
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The Legion of Light
Letters Column: Spectacular Spider-Mail
Chapter Three of the four-part Legion of Light saga. Spidey, Flash and Razorback escape the Hate-Monger's deathtrap and head to the Yonkers Coliseum where the Hate-Monger plans to use the Legion of Light rally to spread his own message of hate. Our three heroes sneak into the basement passages of the coliseum, but are soon discovered by the Hate-Monger and a passel of his devoted followers. During the ensuing scuffle, the Hate-Monger uses a mind-blast that forces Spidey and Razorback to begin a fight to the death.
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This issue's title is drawn from Roberta Flack's 1973 Grammy Award-winning "Killing Me Softly With His Song" (the Fugees also did a popular cover version in 1996).
This issue's letter's page continues printing comments on the White Tiger two-parter in issues 9 and 10, this time taking Mantlo to task for mistakes in his Spanish. One writer pleads, "Don't have the White Tiger--or anyone else--deliver lines in Spanish, only to translate them in the same breath."
In addition to the story, this issue boasts an especially fun two-page spread of ads that will send readers right back to the '70s. On one side is an ad headlined "The '78's Are Here!" below which are the covers to the Frazetta, Tarzan, Star Wars and J.R.R. Tolkien calendars for 1978. On the opposite page is the "Poster Bonanza" ad with reproductions of posters featuring Farrah (alas, NOT the iconic red swimsuit poster!), John Travolta (as Vinnie Barbarino), The Six-Million-Dollar Man, the Bionic Woman and Donny & Marie Osmond.
And speaking of the '70s, Bob Underwood closes his Spider-Mail letter with a clever joke from that era: "So, see you next week for a look at that budding-but-blissful affair between Stan Lee and an ESU co-ed who just received her degree in Pyramidal Plumbing. Yes, you guessed it! She is a Pharoah Faucet Major."
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