- Writer: Dan Slott
- Penciler: Mike McKone (pages 1-17), Stefano Caselli (pages 18-20)
- Inker: Mike McKone (pages 1-17), Stefano Caselli (pages 18-20)
- Story Title: Fantastic Voyage Part 2
What’s up with the new Sinister Six? What tattoo did Carlie get? Will Spider-Man ever be alone in his title again? Two of those questions are answered in this issue. Read on…
The Future Foundation (now with 100% more Spider-Man) continue their battle with the Sinister Six. Spider-Man figures out that four of the six are actually robots but the real surprise happens when Sue Storm lights up like the Human Torch. Back at the Baxter Bulding Doctor Octopus, Electro, Rhino and Sandman are able to break in thanks to the kids opening the hatch to fly off and help the FF. After the Rhino rips open a door Doc Ock is able to take the last thread he requires to finish the tapestry of destiny he has been weaving. Back on the island the FF along with Dragon Man and the kids start changing and then changing again into alternate reality versions of themselves thanks to the instability created by Doc Ock to serve as the distraction to the Baxter Building break-in. Sue uses the tachyon pack on Dragon Man’s bag to reverse the stream of particle through the rift and seal it but the children are caught in the blast radius. Spider-Man steps up to the plate and saves the kids, which firmly cements his place in to the family that is the Future Foundation. Later Carlie reveals that she got a tattoo because she was mad at Peter. When Peter finds out it is a Spider-Man tattoo he thinks it is the sexiest dang tattoo he has ever seen.
Blah, blah, blah…Spider-Man needs some alone time in his own book…blah, blah, blah, if I wanted to read Spidey with the Future Foundation I’d read that book…blah, blah, blah…something, something, something supporting cast and villains.
Now that THAT’S out of the way I can honestly say that despite all of the baggage I brought with me when I started to read this issue I did end up somewhat enjoying the finale to the three issues worth of Future Foundation guest appearances. I had some problems with it. Big ones actually but overall it was a fun romp with a few interesting twists and turns.
I’ll tackle the good points first because…well, that’s how I feel like doing things today. By bringing in the Sinister Six Slott managed to ground this more as a Spider-Man story than a Future Foundation tale. To me this was the spoon full of sugar that made the medicine go down a little easier because at least we get to see some of Spidey’s rogues in his own title. The bait and switch with the robots was rather cool as well. I like these sorts of revelations halfway into an issue. It keeps me on my toes as a reader. I also thought the FF and Spider-Man being altered throughout the middle of the issue was neat as it played into the cosmic nature of the story. We got to see ramifications of the rift rather than the heroes standing around and talking before finally sealing it. There were a few comedy beats in there as well, like Spider-Man wearing Spider-Woman’s costume, which I got a chuckle at. What sold me on this idea was Sue’s comment about Johnny when she gained his powers. It was a nice touch and was the first time I felt anything regarding the Human Torch’s death.
More than anything I appreciated that Spider-Man was the center of the funny this time out. For the past few issues everyone has been vying for the comedy spotlight, which as I have mentioned doesn’t really work for me because then everyone has the same characterization and the book reads like a Kevin Smith or Quentin Tarantino movie. Here Spidey was the comedic center both in dialogue and in wardrobe malfunctions and I thought that was keen.
There were some parts of the issue that I didn’t enjoy all that much. First, while it was all well and good that Doc Ock, Sandman, Electro and Rhino broke into the Baxter Building I am not a big fan of having a large scale story end with the villains making enigmatic statements about their real intentions and then disappearing. Ock gets into the Baxter Building, says he has what he needs for his ultimate plan and then their part of the story is over. I realize that Slott is using this story to build towards something bigger which in and of itself is cool but we go through this whole FF type story, have the Six revealed as the true bad guys and then at the end when they disappear we get Reed saying, “Well, next time they surface they’ll have to face us!” No one stops and says, “Hey, wtf was up with that anyway? Why did four of them turn out to be robots? What’s going on here?” This serves to reinforce my feelings that this story served no other purpose than to advertise the fact that Spider-Man is in the FF.
And then there is Susan’s comment towards Spider-Man right there at the end of the FF side of the story. She says, “Yeesh! You are really hard on yourself.” Really? Sue and Ben and Reed are all trying to make Spider-Man not feel guilty about letting the bad guys go? Aren’t these the same people that tried to make him feel bad about the costume he designed way back at the beginning of this story? Or do we need to ignore that because it was a throwaway joke meant to reinforce the whole Spider-Man guilt thing. I liked that they welcomed Peter into the family. This was just a hypocritical way of doing so.
Oddly enough I had no problems with the tattoo. It was a long way to go for a gag and Carlie did not look like Carlie in the scene but it beats her getting a Goblin tattoo and the horrendous drama that would have played because of it.
Not a bad issue at all, really. Mike McKone’s art through the bulk of the issue was great and it is always nice to see him work on Spider-Man. The Infestation two pager was interesting though it kind of sucked that the bully ends up killing his victim even though he does have to go on the run. Sure the guy Rich tortured was going to shoot him but frankly I have little sympathy for bullies so I wouldn’t have been too broken up about it. I know that wasn’t the point of this two-pager but I can’t help feeling the way I do. I have to admit that I didn’t read the Ghost Rider team-up in the back. After seeing Spider-Man constantly joining forces with other heroes in the main story I have no interest in seeing it in a back up with a character I don’t really have much emotional attachment too.
3 out of 5 webheads.