“It’s good for a god to spare people, isn’t it?”
Miguel confronts the latest Inhuman…Glorianna! Will she be a former friend turned foe?
WRITER: Peter David
ARTIST: Will Sliney
COLOR ARTISTS: Rachelle Rosenberg and Wil Quintana
LETTERER: VC’s Cory Petit
COVER ARTIST: Francesco Mattina
EDITOR: Devin Lewis
STORY: Rhonda has been turned into an Inhuman by the Terrigen Mists and quickly banishes Lash. She recognizes herself as a god and heads to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral to be worshiped. Miguel confronts her and in the scuffle, Rhonda, now calling herself “Glorianna”, severely injures her girlfriend Jasmine. Rhonda/Glorianna flees to parts unknown and Miguel takes the unconscious Jasmine to the hospital.
THOUGHTS: Taking over reviewing this title from Gentleman George is your friendly, neighborhood Spidey-Satellite reviewer, Javi! It’s an honor to be here as I’ve been reading Miguel O’Hara’s adventures since the character debuted 24 years ago back in 1992, when I was the ripe old age of 15!
When Miguel made his debut it was a VERY big deal to me. Not only was it during Spidey’s 30th anniversary celebration, but it was ANOTHER Spider-Man, and he was of a Latino background like me! It’s hard to stress how major that was, how difficult to imagine a Spidey other than Peter Parker, especially in this post clone/ultimate/spider-verse world where we have three different Spider-Men in the 616 New York alone, not counting all the Spider-Men and Women across the Marvel Universe! And yet, there he was, a Spidey similar to Peter, but oh so very different. A Spidey with an edge and a dark sense of humor. I enjoyed every panel! (well, except for the Kelley Jones fill-in issue. That took me some time to get there.)
I could wax on about Peter David’s original run back in the 90’s but what you’re really here for is what Miggy is up to today in our timeline. Full disclosure-this is my first issue of the latest volume to spout out of Peter David’s perilous pen. I was there for volume 2, but Secret Wars derailed me and I decided I’d most likely switch to trades on this latest run. So, I’ve got six issues to catch up on, but catch up I will! Thankfully, Lyla was most helpful in getting me up to speed for this latest tale!
Turns out, Miguel/Spidey had been mixing it up with the Inhuman, Lash. I appreciate what Kirby has done with the Inhumans, but they were never amongst my favorites and the current spotlight on them in this and other media hasn’t endeared them to me further. The solicits for this issue were misleading as well, heavily hyping Lash, when he is blinked out of the scene by the second page, never to return this installment! That’s fine with me. It gave David the chance to focus more on the latest Inhuman, Glorianna, and the themes he wanted to bring up with her character.
Quickly realizing her newfound power and shiny, fresh exterior, complete with seeming halo, Rhonda has elevated herself to a god, casting aside her name of old, much like other Mutants and Inhumans. Amongst her first thoughts are that she needs to find worshipers. It didn’t take long for absolute power to corrupt absolutely. Recounting the personal tale of her experience on 9/11, she rationalizes that God didn’t answer her prayers, so she will do one better by showing up in person to respond. She’ll answer everyone’s prayers as long as they worship her because that’s what a god requires. If not, they’ll die. She is very matter of fact about all this and in typical Peter David/Spidey 2099 fashion, Miguel’s reaction is perfectly in line with his character, cynical and sarcastic.
Miguel doesn’t believe in the existence of God, or at least in the one that most people worship. Glorianna brings up Thor and Miguel concedes the point. Miguel’s atheism harkens back to the original series and his interactions with Father Jennifer, where he mentions he is a lapsed Catholic. In fact, Miguel chases Glorianna to the current day St. Patrick’s, the very church he first encounters Father Jennifer in 2099!
Miguel was able to locate her by scanning Twitter inside his mask (I’m not making this up). In a little Easter egg, apparently most of this issue’s creative team worships at that church, or is at least in the vicinity! It’s actually not a bad way to figure things out as social media has become so prominent, with even public safety agencies using it to announce incidents and warnings. Hey, Russo Brothers! With a MySpace mention in Iron Man, I’d love to see Stark’s H.U.D. copy how Sliney used Twitter in this isssue! Give him a nod just like he got here!
David starts to push against the boundaries here when Glorianna calls out God. She flaunts that she is breaking the First Commandment to a statue, who of course does nothing to stop her because statue. I’m not sure of David’s own religious beliefs and if he is spouting them through any particular character here, but Glorianna compares God to an abusive boyfriend. Miguel realizes her insanity as Glorianna tries to rationalize that she’ll have to become the very thing she is against now to get the love and worship she seeks.
As the talk breaks into a fight, Sliney has the action burst out of the panels. I have to say, I’ve enjoyed his art on this and the prior volume, but I’m not totally won over by the new costume yet. It’s not that I love the original so much that I hate any change, but it still needs to grow on me. Outside of the Spider-Man Unlimited mobile app, this is my first experience with it. I definitely preferred the eyes on the old mask.
After re-enacting the Hulkbuster Iron Man/Hulk battle from Age of Ultron (gotosleepgotosleepgotosleep) the fight predictably ends with Glorianna impaling her girlfriend after Spidey dodges an organ pipe. David’s timing of Spidey’s reaction to his failed pleas for help is as perfect as ever and always gets a small chuckle out of me.
It was good to catch up with Miguel again as I haven’t followed up with him since his last series ended back in May of 2015. I’ve got some catching up to do before the next issue hits as I didn’t know any of the supporting characters this time out. David’s writing was fun and familiar. Sliney’s pencils are nice and clean and have defined for me how Miguel looks in the 21st Century. I appreciate David raising some interesting theological ideas, but the resolution to the conflict was a bit on the cliched side for me. Still, David is one of the best Spidey writers out there and I’m now anxious to get back into Miguel’s world!
MY GRADE: B+
JAVI’S HUH?: Miguel has a new costume and mask, yet the issue concludes with the face pattern from the old one to signify the end?