With Smythe, Boomerang, Vulture and Scorpion all released in the Vault with the power shut down, Spock is outnumbered four-to-one. He might be getting incoming help, as Jameson has donned a guard’s suit and armaments, and is joining the fray!“No Escape Part Two: Lockdown”
Written by Dan Slott
Illustrated by Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inked by John Dell and Terry Pallot
Colored by Antonio Fabela
Lettered by Chris Eliopoulos
THE PLOT: With Smythe freed and the other previous crippled inmates given power-ups, Peterpus is on his own. Fortunately he foresaw Smythe’s escape plan and counteracts with his Spider-Bots to regain control of the Raft’s power.
LONG STORY SHORT: Jameson escapes the force field that Spock has put the rest of the civilians under, and catches up with him, making him vow to murder Smythe before the day is out. Spock intends to keep this vow and announces that he plans to do so as opposed to saving people.
MY THOUGHTS: Nothing happens in this issue.
Alright, not ABSOLUTELY nothing, but still…
Aside from the movement of Jameson, there’s not really much of a difference between the conflict at the end of this issue and the last. Jameson wants Smythe to die. Spock intends to keep Smythe from escaping and plans to kill him. The supervillains want to kill Spock and/or the innocent people. How different is that from the end of issue #11? This story essentially wastes time reiterating what the motivations are for characters whose motivations didn’t need reiterating. We know from months and months of issues that Jameson wants revenge. We didn’t need this first page to establish that. We’re fully aware of the lengths Spock will go to stop Smythe at all costs. That was never in question, and even if it was, I can’t see how since Spock tries to kill or maim every enemy he goes up against. The only time we spend away from Jameson, Smythe, the villains and Spock are when we’re with the supporting cast who don’t contribute much.
This issue isn’t awful but it’s…almost boring. Again, why do we need a scene of Jameson saying to Spock “Are you aware of what I’m asking you to do?” We know they’re both evil, bloodthirsty monsters by this point. It’s moot to try and interpret otherwise. Does Slott really think it’s a surprise to have Spock prefer to kill Smythe over saving people? If that was intended to shock the other characters rather than the readers, then more time should have been focused on that. Analyze what Glory and Norah and the rest have to say in response to Spock’s “Screw those guys, I’ma kill me some Smythe!” line at the end. Make those characters be less that window dressing for the issue. Make their presence worth more than tertiary hostages.
I’m wondering if Slott wrote this issue in such a way to illustrate the differences in tone between Peter and Otto. The fight scenes are very uninteresting. It’s always “Ah I foresaw your master plan and responded with my own master plan!” junk-measuring between Ock and Smythe that it never goes anywhere towards interesting. With Peter, we’d see him think on his feet, show concern for the others and quip during the fights. With Ock, it’s always “I’m better than you! Ha ha ha ha!” Reading that has gotten tired as hell, and it’s time for Slott to shake up Otto’s approach, because he’s losing it by this point.
There’s not much in positives to say with this. Again, it wasn’t god-awful but it wasn’t the best reading experience I’ve had with this title by a long shot. It was just boring and pointless. We wasted time pretending that it would be a big deal if Spock went to kill Smythe rather than save people. Was that not always the assumed way he’d go about the situation? Even if it’s not, is it really that much of a stretch?