AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #582
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Mike McKone
Inker: Andy Lanning
“Mind on Fire Part Two: Burning Questions”
After making sure that Liz and Normie are safe Peter changes into Spider-Man and races back into the house to confront the Molten Man. As Spider-Man does his best to stop the Molten Man Harry gets to his car and retrieves the X-90, a device designed to cure Harry’s ex-brother-in-law. Spider-Man takes the weapon, fires it and the Molten Man is cured. Harry and Liz mend a few fences as do Peter and Harry.
In the review I wrote for last issue I expressed a certain amount of displeasure at the fact that Liz and little Normie were living in the same house as a molten super-villain with anger management issues. Nothing has really changed over the last few weeks. I still think that detracts from the over all story. I really do.
Despite this I thought this was an incredibly well written issue of Amazing Spider-Man. Dan Slott hit all of the right beats and produced dialogue that made the story a lot of fun to read. The reaction of the neighbors, the back and forth between Liz and Harry and then Spider-Man and Harry and even the conversation with Peter and Harry at the end of the issue were paced in such a way that the story actually took some time to go through. I even liked the scene where Harry yelled, “Parker!” leading Spider-Man (and the audience to a certain extent) to believe that Harry had put two and two together. Most of the time this sort of device is handled poorly but here it worked well into the overall atmosphere of the issue.
There was also a lot of heart in this issue and as anyone who has ever heard or seen DAMN YANKEES you know that you gotta have heart. (Here’s a guy that just made a showtunes reference in the middle of a Spider-Man review.) One of the problems that I had with last issue that didn’t have to do with Molten Man in the Suburbs was the fact that the explanation of how Harry “came back from the dead” and his dealings with Liz and his son all fell a little flat. That turned around completely in this issue. I really bought into Harry trying to make amends with Liz and the conclusion to that worked out just the way it should have. Harry struck me as someone that honestly wanted to make up for his mistakes and the reveal of this was paced beautifully. I even like the previously mentioned conversation with Peter, which was a lot of fun.
And that is what has stuck with me about this issue. It was fun. This series has been so hit and miss over the past year that it is difficult to know what you are going to get as a reader, so when a good story comes along I have to take a step back and really look at it closely to make sure I’m not just relieved that it wasn’t as bad as the last storyline or single issue. In this case while the first part had a number of problems this second part really brought up my opinion of the overall story.
The Final Analysis
This issue was a lot of fun. Even the whole “Normie hates Spider-Man” thing didn’t bug me as much. Slott hit all of the right beats and made the revelation of how Norman cheated death enjoyable. I am not sure how I feel about the Spider Tracer thing at the end, but all of that is going to be resolved (finally) in the next month or two so while it felt tacked on it wasn’t a bad tacked on.
3.5 out of 5 webheads.