Alpha: Big Time 2-5
What has gone before:
Peterpus gave Andy back his Alpha powers. Little does Andy realize that Peterpus did this for the purpose of trying to harness the powers for himself. Andy is excited to play superhero again but quickly realizes that there is more to his power than meets the eye when he accidentally uses too much energy on a muggers head.
Andy is wrecked with guilt over the accident and considers asking Peter to turn his powers off. He changes his mind when he finds out the mugger survived their encounter, but a visit to the hospital reveals that Alpha’s powers have altered the man. Between slipping in and out of his coma, the mugger glows with energy and vows revenge. He eventually turns into an energy being called “Zeta” absorbing the people around him. In the meantime, Andy romances a classmate and becomes the target of the criminal underworld. He ultimately saves the day, but Peterpus reveals that his powers have unintended consequences.
* Andy is much more interesting here than he was in “Amazing Spider-Man”. We see inside his head and gain empathy for him as he goes through his inner conflict.
* The bits with “The Superior Spider-Man” were interesting. Coming from Andy’s perspective, we don’t know about the body swap aside from an editors note in the first issue. This leads to some fun bits, including Andy almost stumbling across the secret with his powers.
* Some interesting seeds are planted for future storylines. Did Alpha give his mother cancer? What’s the deal with Zeta? Unfortunately this pro is also a con (see below).
* As of now, no sequel or ongoing series has been announced. This means that a good part of the series was setting up plotlines and cliffhangers which may never be resolved. This should have been a more self contained story.
What an interesting plot thread…..which will probably never see the resolution of…
* The story had too much going on. The mob targeting Alpha and his family while Zeta was attacking the hospital seemed like two different plots. The story could have been streamlined and told in three issues.
* Andy’s relationship with his family is underplayed. He disowned his parents during the Slott arc. No fallout. His parents are getting a divorce and there is a chance he might possibly blame himself. Not explored. This is where the interesting story could have been.
* Unrealistic dialogue runs rampant. Ask yourself if people have conversations like this. Why is Andy’s Grandma discussing what to call her if they’ve been living together for months? Sure it’s exposition for the readers to show what kind of a grandmother she is, but there is no need for her to give Andy this information at this stage in their relationship.
Seriously, you’ve been living together months and this hasn’t come up yet?
The bottom line:
Unless you are a diehard Marvel/Spidey reader, this is worth skipping. The only parts of the story that were interesting were the bits which set up future stories. This wasn’t Marvel’s A game.
The grade: C - This had the potential to be so more but fell flat. Too much time setting up future stories.
If you’d like to check out a review of issue #1 click here.