Illustrated by Guiseppe Camuncoli
Inked by John Dell
Colored by Edgar Delgado
Lettered by Chris Eliopoulos
THE PLOT: It is the day of Alistair Smythe’s execution, and Mayor Jameson has invited Spider-Man to ensure that he doesn’t escape.
LONG STORY SHORT: Smythe attempts to flee with the help of miniature nanobot spider-slayers, but Spock is ready and counter-attacks with his Spider-Bots. In a last ditch effort, Smythe has his bots infest the bodies of the Boomerang, the Vulture and the Scorpion, all recovering from their fights with Spider-Man, and upgrades them with super powers.
MY THOUGHTS: Meh.
I’m with Chris. This issue is just set up for a fight issue that will happen next week. I could argue that both the events in this and that could have been told succinctly here, but who cares. This was by no means bad, but there wasn’t much for me to attach myself to in terms of an interesting reading experience.
There are some interesting bits of characterization here and there, but I’m mostly left with the things I didn’t like. I enjoyed the scene of Max Modell telling Peterpus he’s getting tired of his condescending attitude. I like Modell and I’m glad to see he was shown to have responded negatively to Ock after all this time. The scene is compounded with the theme of Otto complaining in his head how he’s trapped in Peter Parker’s life and it being such a burden in the issue DIRECTLY AFTER he spent the day saying how awesome life was and how he was so much more appreciative than Peter. This kind of bi-polar writing is annoying, because it exposes the storytelling process as trite character beats that espouse emotions for the scene to hang on without carrying a progressive mood from one story to the next. It also keeps Ock as the irritating protagonist he’s been for the whole series up to this point. When he’s not measuring himself against Peter in every scene he’s crowding his inner monologue about how awesome he is in comparison to everyone and everything else. It’s perfectly in character, but because Ock is the central focus of the title it’s a beat Slott has to stop relying on at the risk of becoming repetitive. I find it continuously unpleasant to read.
Similarly, this issue has the return of the maniacal, evil Mayor Jameson threatening and yelling his way to get whatever he wants. His initial scene is granted the developed personality that the character’s earned over the past 50 years, but when Slott has him be angry he writes the character as a deeply corrupt thug who is just begging to be killed off. I understand that Jameson’s character started out antagonistic in the Lee/Ditko run but for Christ’s sake, can we not have our interpretations of our character depend on the black and white Essentials please? I can see Jameson going this route with having Smythe’s execution be as immediate as it is (to the point of utter ridiculousness) if he were written at a much more nuanced tone that matched the opening scene. As it stands though, this iteration of the character is almost impossible to like, which is sad considering Jameson’s the character we all loved to hate. At this point we just hate him.
That’s…honestly all I can say about this issue. The characterizations were off-putting and we have a fight scene next issue. I can’t wait..?