Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Michael Lark
Inker: Stefano Gaudiano
Story Title: “Out For Blood”
Field trip to Mister Negative’s place. Black Cat helps out. Negative Aunt May strikes again. Mary Jane’s new roomie. Carlie takes a stand. Pig’s blood.
This issue was a solid one and done. There were parts of the story that I didn’t care for and there was one element that introduces a bit of drama that I am pretty sure is going to annoy me in the weeks and months to come but overall I was satisfied with the total package.
I was rather surprised that I liked the scenes with Black Cat as much as I did. I have found the Brand New Day Black Cat to be a little too…overt for my tastes. I could be wrong since it has been quite a few years since I read her initial appearances but it seems to me that she was flirty and forward but not to the degree she has been portrayed lately. Still I kind of dug her part in this issue and thought that the scenes with her and Peter breaking into Mister Negative’s place to be a lot of fun and I enjoyed that end of the issue because of that.
I dug the scenes with Carlie as well. Slott did a good job of resolving the sub-plot with her father coming back from the dead and managed to further Carlie as a character to boot, which was a nice bonus. The only quibble I have with the scene where she fakes him out with the supposed Devil’s Breath is that she distances herself from her father a little too quickly. I think I get what Slott had in mind when she calls Captain Watanabe and says that her prisoner is nobody special but there’s this part of me that imagines the next scene of Watanabe showing up and saying something to the effect of, “No one special? This guy is not only supposed to be dead but he’s also your father!” This is a minor quibble, though and didn’t detract from my enjoyment of that scene and the follow up where she and Peter have a heart to heart.
Negative Aunt May continues to be my biggest complaint with this series as of late. As I have stated in the past with the exception of how certain writers have handled the character I have never really liked Aunt May and while she is not of her right mind here I still find the whole “tell it like it is May” kind of annoying because it seems like we are getting the same scene over and over again. I hope this sub-plot is resolved soon and that I can get back to not liking Aunt May because her Brand New Day characterization is annoying and a throwback to previous versions of the character.
I am also un happy with the Mary Jane/Harry sub-plot that kicked off this month. It smacks of unnecessary drama. Sure there is something to be said of Peter having to deal with his best friend rooming and possibly getting together with his former fiancé and long time girlfriend but didn’t we see this played out in SPIDER-MAN 3? I halfway expected that Mary Jane and Harry would be dancing to an oldies tune while he made breakfast for her followed by him reading the play he wrote for her back in college. I just plain don’t like the idea and I am fairly sure that I will continue to not like it unless something drastic happens.
Overall I was happy with this issue, which was nice because I really didn’t like the last three. The art was strong in this issue and in places I didn’t recognize it as Michael Lark but the style I am accustomed to from him came through in certain scenes, like the one where Carlie confronted her father. Even Michelle was tolerable this time around snarky remarks and all. Slott delivered a satisfying issue, which is a nice thing to be able to write in one of these reviews.
3 out of 5 webheads.