Illogical Fights, and Racist War Lords are abound in this episode of The 60’s Spider-Man show….wait apparently this is from 2015…Uh-Oh.
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inks: Cam Smith
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Letters: VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Nick Lowe
PLOT: Our issue begins with Scorpio, one of the heads of the Zodiac cult getting his horoscope told to him as he plans his next mission. The two little individuals who are telling him his horoscope instruct him he needs to act now or he will lose everything. So Scorpio and the rest of the zodiacs prepare for an all out assault. Meanwhile Peter Parker is on the news debuting his latest acquisition The Baxter Building, which has been relabelled under the Parker Industries Banner. Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch sees the announcement on the news, and begins to get enraged. He breaks into the building formerly known as Baxter and attempts to beat the snot out of Spider-Man. The two fight for a brief period of time, until Spider-Man manages to calm Johnny down in order to show him around the building. Peter lets Johnny meet up with the head honcho of the building Harry Osborne who has changed his name to Harry Lyman after his mothers maiden name to avoid his connection with his father Norman. Then Peter shows Johnny his garage which for some reason sends him into another flaming rage. Clash dons some of his old super villain gear and attempts to save Spider-Man from The Human Torch. Spider-Man quickly changes back into his civilian garb and once again diffuses the confrontation. He then shows Johnny the front lobby of the building which has statues of The Fantastic Four, and he explains he purchased it to keep it safe until The Fantastic Four returns. In the other plotline Scorpio launches an assault on The Helicarrier which he uses to take the decrypted data, and to kill Leo for his failure. The issue ends with an african warlord hiring what appears to be Norman Osborne to remove Parker Industries from his country.
STORY: This issue is one of those issues you’ve probably read before, because its essentially a 70s comic. Two heroes have a silly pointless dispute, that is easily solved by the end of the issue. I mean seriously for the conceit to even work in modern day Johnny Storm would have to be completely hammered. Why else would he for no reason fly off the handle? He puts countless lives in danger because someone has bought his old building? I don’t mind the ending message of The Fantastic Four not being dead but that should have been how the issue began, and have the rest of it go on from there. Slott has written great interactions between the two before, and shown he understands the characters but not here. Here it just seems like complete filler, with a few entertaining moments. I did enjoy Spidey capturing torch in the exact same tube he fought through in Amazing Fantasy 15 but its a one off joke. Bottom line with the modern day attitudes of both characters, and their deep friendship there shouldn’t be any fight scene.
The subplot with the Scorpio attack also seemed rather insignificant and oddly unrealistic. My favorite element being the Twin Fairies at the beginning just because it seemed like something straight out of a Godzilla movie. Shield doesn’t bother to backup any of its files, and Scorpio makes a big deal about not leaving any traces behind. He includes biological aspects specifically mentioning “cells”. But we’ve seen that Leo only had a cynaide capsule with him, so he definitely would have left behind I don’t know…a body? Don’t go overboard on monologuing to dead bodies if you aren’t going to be truthful.
The final stinger in this issue is particularly troubling. It’s actually a pretty stereotypical, and racist view of an “African” Warlord. The warlord is dressed almost identically to many real life parallels and seems just a tad bit offensive. This also gets heavily into political territory that might be unwise for Slott to tread into. The impotence is that Parker Industries has been giving away free energy to a country ruled by a totalitarian government. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it breaks all kinds of trade embargo’s, and would be a very unwise thing for a company to do. Unless it has the sanction of the United Nations which isn’t really hinted at. Is his company messing around with all kinds of countries liberties? Also why would Osborn be decked out in a goblin nation ring, can we make it any more obvious as to who you want us to believe this is?
Overall this is an issue you would probably be best reading a summary of and getting on with your day. Its just more filler as we slowly continue to chug the story along. Unlike past issues we don’t really get any witty banter to enjoy, and the characters don’t act very intelligent. So I wouldn’t recommend it.