THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #572
“Easy Targets” (Part 5 of “New Ways To Die”)
WRITER: Dan Slott
PENCILS: John Romita Jr.
INKS: Klaus Janson
COLORS: Dean White
It turns out the escaped sweatshop workers endured medical experiments at the hands of Norman Osborn, who has taken to creating new pharmaceuticals with the captive villain Freak’s adaptive powers. Norman injects Freak with Anti-Venom’s human-alien hybrid antibodies and harvests the potent toxin Freak secretes as a counter measure.
Norman returns home to find his secret Goblin locker raided, and, assuming his son did it, scolds Harry over the telephone. Right then, Bullseye and some Thunderbolt goons following the camera-honing device in Spider-Man’s suit attack the Coffee Bean. Spider-sense tingles, the others get away, and Pete slips on his tights. With the cape-killers armed with homing bullets, the fight goes against our hero until Anti-Venom decloaks and tells him about the tracking device. Spider-Man tears the doodad off and sticks it to Bullseye, causing the next volley of bullets to riddle him.
Norman, now fully dressed as the Green Goblin, arrives at the Oscorp building with gifts for Mac Gargan. First, Gobby cures Mac of the Anti-Venom antibodies killing his symbiote with a dose of Freak’s toxin. Also, since the symbiote needs protection while it heals, the Goblin gives Mac a modified version of his Scorpion armor to wear on top of the Venom suit.
Dan Slott has built Bullseye up as someone so psychotic and unstoppable that the Green Goblin himself locked him in a chair only to be released in an emergency. Anyone who took that as reason to expect an epic battle for the ages when that emergency arrived surely came out disappointed with the brief, simple affair the battle became. I love the bit with Bullseye throwing a spider-tracer like a projectile, and the way the bout ends, but Slott could have gone so much further in exploring this fight’s potential for creative action. Especially after all the set-up and foreshadowing dedicated to that scene, that it didn’t draw out longer let me down more than anything else from this arc.
I sort of dig the use of Freak here. As a character, he has zero depth, but his power set lends itself to innovative uses, of which creating this poison was one.
There’s not much left to say about Part 5, since the issue doesn’t do much else besides reveal the new Scorpion, who looks like something out of fan fiction. I could make this review longer by repeating my still-applicable points from the past few months, about how none of the subplots seem headed toward resolution or how the interactions between characters like Norman and Harry have no meaning to an audience not privy to what they remember about each other, but I don’t like writing the same basic thing week after week. I guess that’s why I’ll never be a Brand New Day writer.
FAVORITE QUOTE: “HA HA HA! Small world. Bullseye, you have permission to make it smaller.”
2.5 webheads out of 5.
REVIEWED BY: CrazyChris