Writer: Mark Waid and Tom Peyer

Penciler: Paul Azaceta

Inker: Paul Azaceta

Story Title: Scavenging Part One


Electro helps out the new Vulture. Spider-Man vs. Simple Simon. The new Vulture and the mob. Mayoral scandal. What happened to Jonah?

The Commentary

Wow, we actually got some movement on the whole Gauntlet thing.

There is something wrong with that. I shouldn’t be legitimately surprised that a storyline that this book has been bannered with for some time is actually going somewhere. We should be hip deep in the story but The Gauntlet has been moving by inches not feet so there you go.

Maybe I am seeing this whole Gauntlet thing wrong. Maybe it was always supposed to be a vague concept that writers would use as a back drop to tell Spider-Man vs. (Insert Super Villain Name Here) type stories and I am expecting more from it than I should. I am willing to admit to that and accept it. I am also willing to accept the fact that this is how stories are told these days with sub-plots dragging on in true Chris Claremont style and that I should just let all of my prejudices and baggage go.

That’s probably not going to happen, but I should at least entertain the thought from time to time.

Despite all of that I was rather pleased with this issue. I am trying to remember my first impressions of this new Vulture. I think I liked him. I like the concept at the very least though I will admit that between the vomiting and the art that feeling quickly faded. It’s not that I don’t think the new Vulture is a bad villain and I like the back story that Waid began to reveal in this issue but man was he ugly. At least in the first appearance the character had a sleek look to him, but then again I didn’t care for the art in general on this issue so there you go.

I did like the idea of J. Jonah Jameson getting embroiled in a political scandal. Jonah has done some questionable things in his day with the Scorpion serving as Exhibit A and I am surprised it took this long for such a scandal to surface. Waid handled this end of the issue well and for the first time in a long time I actually liked the use of talking head political shows as a storytelling device. The one part I am confused about is the fact Peter wouldn’t entertain the notion that the allegations are true. Given their history he should at least think, “Wow, this smells like a frame-up but man I can certainly why people would think that.” Peter came to his defense a little too quickly for my tastes.

Parting Thoughts

Despite not feeling the art and wanting more to happen on The Gauntlet front I rather liked this issue. The background Waid is crafting for the new Vulture has a good number of layers to it and by tying it into Jonah’s stint as Mayor a lot more meat has been added to this comic book sandwich. The Simple Simon thing didn’t do a whole lot for me but at least it was worth a cheap laugh. The cliffhanger ending was great as well. Waid has always been good at this sort of thing so that didn’t really surprise me all that much.

3.5 out of 5 webheads.

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