- –Carlie and Yuri Watanabe return to investigate Ock’s crimes/heroic actions
- –Mary Jane and Aunt May begin to get suspicious of “Peter’s” behavior
– Spider-Pus hones in on the Hobgoblin and enacts a scheme to flush him out and destroy him forever!
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“RUN, GOBLIN, RUN! Part 1 of 2, The Tinkerer’s Apprentice”
Written by Dan Slott
Illustrated by Humberto Ramos
Inked by Victor Olazaba
Colored by Edgar Delgado
Lettered by VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
THE PLOT: In the wake of Shadowland’s destruction, Carlie Cooper and Lt. Watanabe decide to take matters in their own hands and investigate where the money came from to pay for SpOck’s tech. While that’s happening, Phil (Hobgoblin) Urich has been bleeding funds since the apparent death of the Kingpin. He takes to robbing banks, eventually regaining SpOck’s notice.
LONG STORY SHORT: SpOck activates “PLAN OMEGA ONE” and broadcasts Phil’s double identity all over New York, just as Phil’s barged into the Daily Bugle.
MY THOUGHTS: Once again this is an issue which does a fairly solid job developing the story and setting up seeds for future issues…and again, I am really frustrated with how Slott chooses to tell his story.
It might honestly just be me, and I’m okay with that. Reviews everywhere are gushing about the brilliance of Slott’s Superior writing, but for the life of me I only see the opposite. There are developments in this issue which I found very intriguing, followed immediately by goofy, hackneyed dialogue and exposition that took me out of the story and made me cringe. Tiberius Stone is revealed to be in league with the Terrible Tinkerer, which is a genuinely interesting place for him to be at. As soon as that’s revealed however, Slott has him dip into an insane monologue that ends when he screams out loud to no one in particular “YOU MESSED WITH THE WRONG NERD!” Sure, it’s meant to be funny and clearly more of an active nudge to old-school villain tropes than not, but because it’s so nonsensical I don’t enjoy it.
Moments like these in of themselves aren’t big deals, and I’d be a tool for pretending that they were. They don’t make the difference between a passing grade and a failing grade, but when they’re repeated ad nauseam and lack the sense of tongue-in-cheek, they drag the book down.
What remains to be most egregious is the NYPD’s abject refusal to do anything about Spider-Man flagrantly committing murder. This time he has outright slaughtered people with no regard for due process in front of people. The only comment this earns? “Well, now we won’t have to spend money on a trial!”
This is bad. If Slott has to have Spidey act so demented in public, stop having Cooper and Watanabe treat it like a cover-up for their amateur private detective agency to look into and appropriate the necessary consequences to give the story its proper weight. How can the Avengers let this go? Why isn’t Mary Jane reacting at all? Daredevil? This is such an obvious jump from Spidey’s normal MO, wouldn’t they at least ask Peter about it? If Slott had Ock tell people that he as Peter has changed due to the events of #700, I would buy the lack of interest in showing the reactions from his closest companions. But this is just stupid. After talking to herself in the middle of her burned down nightclub as though she never left, Mary Jane says out loud to herself that Peter might not be himself before dismissing that as being crazy. Because she’s never seen him be cloned before, or heard of the Chameleon before, or some stupid shit, I don’t care anymore. We’re way past Mary Jane needing to play a bigger role in this title. The reasons why she should at least be talking to Carlie about it are innumerable. All Slott is doing now is showing what a moron she is for continuing to write off his bad behavior with a shrug.
The main point is this: If we’re going to read about Ock acting however he wants as Spider-Man, we have to be seen the natural consequences from those actions. It is the self-evident interest in reading the book.
The issue does improve in it’s third act with the Hobgoblin. After a needless scene of the ESU Chancellor that Peter will get credit for the tests that he aced (isn’t that the point of taking and passing the tests? Why is that in question?), SpOck goes after the Hobgoblin and immediately seeks to shut him down once and for all. Phil’s story has been interesting in how it’s been compared to Peter’s as a story of a young person turned hero/villain. To see it seemingly end with his identity blown is pretty cool, as most blown identity stories are usually about the heroes. I’d like to think we’ll be seeing more of Robbie and Ben Urich in response to this, but we won’t.
I also really like Ramos in this issue. The three-artist roster does well for this title, as every time Ramos returns his work looks fresh and energetic. Credit also goes to Edgar Delgado for the wonderful colors. He’s been a welcome addition to the character after Dean White’s work with Romita Jr. which I never cared for.
I hesitate to say that this issue isn’t good, because I think that, ultimately, it is. The crap that Slott is having SpOck get away with really kills my enjoyment, and it just feels like we’re wasting our time in reading the title. Slott could have SpOck murder Captain America at a kid’s birthday party and all we’d get is a “IS SPIDER-MAN ACTING STRANGE?!” news blurb and Carlie and Watanabe stroking their chins while they do nothing. I’ve really had it with that aspect of the comic.