The first issue in months that isn’t part of a large crossover, or a brand new number one, this issue goes back to classic Spidey storytelling. Is it time to strike a new chord, or is Spidey a dish best served exactly the same way every time.
WRITER: Dan Slott
PENCILER: Humbero Ramos
INKS: Victor Olazaba
COLORS: Edgar Delgado
LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Ellie Pyle
EDITOR: Nick Lowe
PLOT: Before the recap page we get another in the continuing trend of Original Sin previews with a lone woman in a room without windows preparing food and watching old Spider-Man fights on VHS. She fires a web from her fingertips to turn off a light and then remarks on how she wants to see Mr. Parker’s moves. From here we go straight back to last issues cliffhanger. Peter reveals that he is indeed Spider-Man and then wastes no time in spilling the “Mind swap” beans to a surprisingly bewildered Anna Maria. They discuss the ramifications of thee ole Mind Swap while baking cookies. They put the cookies in the oven and Anna Maria says she needs to go take a walk and sort through everything. Then he discovers Otto’s most evil act…CHANGING HIS RING TONE. Talk about a violation. Anyways the Avengers demand to talk to Spider-Man for like the tenth time in the last four months. They talk and eat cookies while explaining the entirety of the Superior era. Captain America demands a full brain test, and then he tells Spider-Man that Flash Thompson is the new Venom. So Peter promptly responds by punching Captain America in the face. The world’s most nonsensical punch, Captain America claims to have deserved the punch and the Avengers then leave to catch the super villains Electro broke out.
Meanwhile Electro is attempting to hide out at an old Flings apartment. She has a shrine to Spider-Man villains throughout her apartment and has an elaborate amount of piercings. They kiss and Electro loses control of his powers and kills her. Back at Parker Industries Peter is attempting to figure out how Doc Ock’s nanotechnology works. Anna Maria says she needs to talk to Peter by using the excuse that she’s pregnant. Sajani leaves the scene faster than you can say Baby May, and Anna Maria reveals that she was just making up an excuse in order to get alone with Peter. She says she knows all of Ock’s nanotech and can assist in running the company. Just then a flash of lightening appears out of the window causing Peter to run off and fight Electro. Spider-Man and Electro have a typical battle which is almost ended by Peter opening up a fire hydrant. Unfortunately Black Cat is in the crowd and she uses her bad luck powers to let Electro escape. Johnny Storm who was watching the fight at the time asks to meet Peter at their usual hangout. Since Johnny’s powers are on the fritz (Fantastic Four probs) they meet at the base of the statue. They have a nice heart to heart about reintroducing themselves to the world and he gives Peter a hard drive with all of the movies, music, and TV he missed when he was gone. This doesn’t really make that much sense since Johnny was off world for much of the past year. The issue ends with Peter announcing to that his company is going to cure Electro and build the best super villain prison ever.
STORY:This is for the most part a great issue that has some really weird random bonkers issue breaking moments that ruin it. For example WHY IN THE LIVING DORMAMMU WOULD HE PUNCH CAPTAIN AMERICA? FURTHERMORE WHY WOULD CAPTAIN AMERICA SAY HE HAD IT COMING? Like that scene makes no sense whatsoever and has no context to it. Oh I’m sorry Spider-Man it’s not like you were being a colossal douchebag to everyone for the past three months. Like when was Captain America supposed to divulge this information, he literally fought a WAR so that people’s identities were not being flown around willy nilly. You have ruined an entire city for months due to being mind-swapped you should realize you are skating on thin ice with the Avengers as is. Oh and the fact that he is still an Avenger is pretty annoying. It makes his iconic “I quit” panel mean literally nothing.
Another moment of mind-numbing stupidity in this book is Anna Maria claiming she was pregnant to Sajani. Yeah there is no way you can just tell a lie like that and not expect consequences. She will either have to tell Sajani she was telling a lie, or she will have to lie more in a truly depressing fashion. As someone who just had the revelation that your entire love life was based upon a lie you might be a little more cautious about doing it to others. For the most part Anna Maria was waaaay too calm this issue, it didn’t feel like it was all that big of a deal to her. I get that The Avengers would have no trouble believing the mind-swap story because they deal with crazy stuff like that all the time and have a prior knowledge of Spider-Man. Anna Maria on the other hand is a normal person who has no prior knowledge about what Peter Parker was like before Superior. I really hope they delve into the psychological damage a reveal like this could have on a person, and not just leave it at this.
Now that I’ve gotten my big cons out of the way I do have to bring light to some of the cool stuff about this issue. For one I am actually really interested in the new spider person Silk, she seems like she is going to have a lot of knowledge about our favourite web-head, and I think it would be kind of awesome to have her life. Electro’s arc in this issue is really horrifying. I felt bad that he killed this woman that he seemed to have some genuine affection for. He has a very real agenda for killing Spider-Man now which is a motivation that has always been lacking for Electro. This is the first time it is really a personal vendetta for him. Overall this issue was kind of a nice ease back into monthly Spider-Man I liked that the story was more contained, and that the stakes are not “city-wide”. It is always nice to see a more street level approach to Spider-Man as he oftentimes gets brought into crazy scenarios. One last note that I really enjoyed was a bigger use of Editor’s notes as they really give you that old school comic book feel.
ART: This is Ramos being Ramos. The faces all kind of look the same, but the action and environments look great. Nothing particularly stood out as bad this issue, but I am still not a fan of his general style.
ODDITIES: The Baby scene made me drop the comic and prance around my apartment in anger. Thankfully it was a joke. Silk is still using VHS tapes, even though she has a poster of The Matrix up on her wall. Anna Maria’s inconsistent forehead. THAT PUNCH TO CAPTAIN AMERICA…SERIOUSLY.
BEST BACKGROUND CHARACTER: Spider-Woman because in almost every panel of this book she is eating Anna Maria’s cookies. Not a euphemism.
ON THE NEXT AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: Spider-Man continues to punch people in the face whom he has wronged. “Hey Aunt May…YOU KNEW I LIKED WHEATCAKES” *punches Aunt May in the face*.