Spidey blesses the rains down in Africa.
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inks: Cam Smith
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Nick Lowe
PLOT: Our issue begins with Scorpio looking up to the stars asking his two mysterious prophets what his future has in store. The prophets tell him he can either continue following his plan, or he can go on the offensive tonight. According to the prophets attacking earlier will cause SHIELD to lose Spider-Man as an ally. From here we see Nick Fury preparing his allies to launch a full invasion on all known Zodiac bases. Spider-Man is distracted once he receives a call from Aunt May. May is in the country of Nadua, preparing to launch their solar farm which will power the entire village. Before they can turn the solar panels on, a group of Goblins begin to bomb them. Peter sees this and immediately changes course to save his Aunt and abandon SHIELD’s assault. SHIELDS assault is seemingly going well until it’s discovered that multiple bases are abandoned, and appear to have never really been used. Peter arrives in Nadua, fights off the Goblins, saves some children, and ensures his Aunt is safe. The leader of the village then commands Parker Industries leave as they have made the village a target. Parker Industries leave, and the leader gets on a phone in order to contact someone who can help keep his village safe if he delivers them the remainder of Parker Industries leftover technology. The man is who we saw in a previous issue offer the help of the Goblin’s, and who we are supposed to believe is Norman Osborn. Apparently at all times of the day the man has his face bandaged. The issue ends with The Lizard being greeted by the mysterious red suited man we saw in issue 1. He has brought back to life The Lizard’s son, and wife both of whom were previously murdered by the Lizard himself.
STORY: There is a common trope in many a western story commonly referred to as the “White Saviour”. Its when a nation of foreigners usually a different skin tone then us, can only be saved by the White man. While I’m sure this is not what Slott intended to display in this book, it really feels like it. The fact that Nadua isn’t even a real country makes the portrayal of their citizens even worse. Slott literally invented fictional, super clichéd, depiction of an African country. It really devalues the place of African countries in media when you belittle their existence to being universally the same. It looks like Slott just watched an ad for World Vision, and based an entire country off this. I would argue in the Marvel Universe this cliché shouldn’t even exist due to Wakanda being a world super power. The existence of Wakanda would drastically alter the landscape of the continent. I will give the credit to the story for at least having a citizen of Nadua come up with the idea to stop the Goblins, but its not enough.
The rest of the story is painfully simple, and at the end doesn’t really amount to anything. Spider-Man, and his company are told to stop meddling in the affairs of other countries, and then they are kicked out by the village. Spider-Man seemingly just leaves, and doesn’t even try to come up with a counterpoint or speech. So instead of taking a stance, or even remotely trying to say something interesting Slott just kinda backs away. Was Spider-Man right or wrong? Are there laws in the Marvel universe about these things? Is there any point to this scene other than to just make you feel vaguely uncomfortable? Slott just doesn’t tell you.
I think I know the true identity of the mysterious man recruiting old villains. HE IS…THE RETCONNER. Using his evil powers of Retcons he’s undoing years of terrible storytelling. In all seriousness I hope he tries this on Frank Castle next, as fans of the Remender series can remember how old Frankie reacted when his family was revived (it wasn’t pretty). In all seriousness these are either clones, or robots which is all that we ever see in Spider-Man comics ever, and will no doubt disappoint everyone.
Spider-Man’s tech for web air bags doesn’t work properly, the same which probably could easily have been said about Mockingbird’s Wings who she didn’t even know she had. Spider-Man easily could have just killed her there. The whole sequence with Mockingbird made little sense. She states she is going to take over the ship, how exactly will she do that? Clearly Peter has the main controls, so he really didn’t need to force her out of the plane as she couldn’t do anything about it regardless. So Human Torch is just all of the sudden completely on board with SHIELD and leading his own squadron? Sure…and the dialogue is really bad even for Dan Slott.
ART: The art is this issue is really bad, I like Camuncoli a lot but this issue wasn’t up to par. Some of the shots make Spider-Man look alien.
Overall I really didn’t care for this issue, it just leaves a sour taste in your mouth. Whether it was intended to or not I can’t say but what I can say is that it was a pretty big misstep.