‘Goodbye, Farewell and Good Riddance’
WRITER Nick Spencer
ART Steve Lieber & Rich Ellis
COLOR Rachelle Rosenberg
LETTERER VC’s Clayton Cowles
EDITOR Lauren Sankovitch
Here we are at the end of the ride. Questions are answered, dreams are made and broken, guest stars pop in and we say goodbye to one of the best Spider-related titles of the last several years.
SUMMARY: While the appearance-changed Fred is busy on the mound trying to break his own pitching record we find out just who it was the Owl and the Chameleon caught up with. Turns out Fred used the same serum he stole from Chameleon to alter his old pal and parole officer Abner Jenkins’ face and let him take the fall with the villains. It all works out for Abner in the end, though. He gets a save from Iron Man, as well as a new reason to go on living.
The fake Doctor Doom painting? Well you won’t be surprised to find out that the real one was stolen by Fred and Mirage during the big heist as a double cross on the rest of team, leaving Mirage to get double crossed by Fred in return. Knowing the painting is safe, Fred figures his financial future is secure. That is until we find out that the gal he’s been dating in this series is none other than the Black Cat, who takes the painting for herself. She find where Fred had stashed it: behind his Katherine Heigel poster. Sorry Fred!
And right before Fred can break his own record in disguise he gets a blutooth call from the Owl, who is in the stands watching the game and who knows exactly what Fred’s done. He gives Fred a choice: throw the game so the Owl can make money off a large bet, or get killed by snipers. Fred’s win quickly turns into a loss.
Later, Fred recounts the whole story and about what went down with the rest of his ‘pals.’ Speed Demon made out okay and managed to successfully sue Iron Fist on a personal injury claim. Beetle and Overdrive run into Doctor Doom, who wants his painting back in a bad way (too bad he gets the fake!) and Shocker? Well just as I predicted many, many months ago Shocker finally gets his groove back, saving the Maggia and all the warring factions – including Silvermane – from the Punisher. With a dune buggy. Silvermane then openly declares Shocker’s the new Don.
In the end, the ‘friends’ split a small pile of cash and look back at the whole affair with fond memories and newfound respect for one another. Which means they can’t wait to get back to backstabbing one another somewhere down the line. And the guy Fred tells the whole story to in a bar? He introduces himself as ‘Peter.’
ANALYSIS: This was a great way to end the story – with a defeat but finding triumph in it somewhere. It’s a perfect wrap on what has become one of the best Spider-related titles in many years and it goes to prove a point I’ve made before: any character can be awesome with great writing.
The twist with Black Cat floored me, and I really love that it was the ‘classic’ Felicia and not the psycho wannabe mob boss we’re getting these days. And knowing Felicia fans the way I do they will really enjoy her appearance here.
I’m going to miss this book quite a lot. It made me laugh harder than any comic I’ve read in my 40+ years. It’s an amazing win for Spencer & Lieber and I look forward to seeing what they do next.
That’s a wrap!