After the 3 issue "The Thousand" story, Marvel offers this wonderful one-off issue called Severance Package.
It's late at night, and a phone rings at Tom Cochrane's house and tells him to turn on the news. It's a story about how Spider-man has foiled a delivery of illegal guns. Tom breaks out in a could sweat and his wife starts weeping. The phone rings again and a voice tells Tom to be ready in an hour.
Turns out Tom set up the deal that went bad and the Kingpin is pissed. Tom puts on his nicest suit and, after contemplating taking the easy way out, leaves his family and gets in the car.
The drive is a young lackey named Richie, who recently botched a Chinatown deal. Outside of the Kingpin's building, Tom clocks Richie, steals his gun and shoots him in the head.
In the elevator, Tom heads up to the penthouse, where the Kingpin waits. After telling the Kingpin about Richie, Tom asks about his family. The Kingpin tells Tom he was a reliable man and tell Tom to attack him. Tom shots at the Kingpin, misses on purpose, and the Kingpin chokes him to death. We close on a scene with the Kingpin on the phone telling his associate to leave Tom's family alone.
What an awesome issue. Spider-man is in one panel, but he can be felt through out the entire story. Does Spider-man realize his actions cause harm no matter what he does? Had he not stopped the guns, Tom would have lived - but he kept guns off the streets, so a man died. Heavy story. The art is good - not great. There are a couple stand out panels where the subtlety is the high light.
All around a satisfying read.
Well, time to go Christmas shopping. Until then - happy reading!