“If I can walk away from that, I can walk away from everything.”
Time to review some Iron- I mean Spider-Man… whew. Close one.
Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #10
“Scorpio Rising, Pt. 2: “Power Play”
Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Gieussepe Camuncoli
Inks: Cam Smith
Colors: Marte Garcia
Editors: Nick Lowe and Devin Lewis
A) So, we kick off with Scorpio being the biggest jerk as he uses a fallen Spider-Man as a punching bag (Ooh, somebody’s really trying to fail his Klingon conversion exams) and when Peter retaliates, he decides to throw a car at some random civilians. Spidey decides to save them, only to have himself crushed by the car. (DEAD!) As Scorpio is about to finish off a somehow not-dead Spidey, he gets a call from Gemini, which buys the civilians time to use themselves as a human shield. Scorpio, instead of cutting them up like a hot Zodiac Key through butter, instead just throws some guy off his moped and hijacks it, making his getaway. (Behold, the Scorp-mobile! Spidey may have his dune buggy, but Scorpio has his moped!)
Anna Maria and the Living Ock pick Spidey up in their flying car (Why do I keep saying sentences in these reviews that would make no sense in the real world?), and through very simple process, they don’t think that Scorpio could make a hundred mph on his Scorp-mobile (Blasphemy!), but is instead making his escape on the Chunnel. (And apparently that’s a real thing. Bravo, Slott!) The group catch up, with Spidey trying to cling to the top of a train going 186, reasoning that since his hands have stuck to Thor’s hammer and Silver Surfer’s Board, they’ll work here. (Excellent reasoning there, bruiser. You want a cookie?) Somehow, Scorpio is leaning out the side of the train, and is only using one hand to hold on. (Because yeah, Spider-Man is having trouble, but a non meta-human, totally okay) Scorpio takes advantage of Peter’s “No-One dies” ideology (I thought that was gone) and cripples Anna and Living Brain’s ride, forcing him to take action.
While Scorpio makes his escape, they do track down his place of residence, which happens to be one of Peter’s shareholders…. Mr Jacobs. (Um… what a twist?) They look through his tiny closet (Well, somebody hasn’t seen War Room) and his mini planetarium, to find a giant prayer circle room. With no way to figure out what it is on his own, he special summons holographic versions of his best and brightest employees, including Harry Osborn, Clayton, and the whole Horizon Crew (wow, they found relevance through a plot device), finding out they used Chronoton Particles to store nearly every piece of information on Earth. (Because chronoton particles, which are related to temporal sciences, are used as storage) So a hologram of Scorpio tells him literally everything we and Spidey already know, and Spidey retaliates that if he has to risk it all to stop him, so be it.
B) We get more setup for Dead No More as we see Red-Suit man and Rhino outside a penitentiary, as Rhino charges out to retrieve their package. A depowered Electro is broken out and brought to what I’m guessing is Mephisto, as he says “What can I do for you?” (Foreshadowing! My favorite!)
I will be very honest with all of you. Part of me want to say that this is crap, that this has no relevance to Spider-Man as a character.
On the other hand, I want to say this is great, say that it’s a return to form. But neither argument would be completely honest.
Let’s start with the art. Camuncoli continues to nail it with his stunning and clean lines, and Garcia’s colors compliment those lines perfectly. There were some facial expressions that looked like they were trying to pass a kidney stone or going insane on us, but for the most part Camuncoli’s contribution is amazing compared to his usual standard.
The writing in this issue is hit or miss. Slott seems to be in that familiar pattern we’ve expected of him. He lays a few issues (or even several arcs) as set-ups, then lays down a “Big” finale. In the most recent cases of Goblin Nation, Spider-Verse, and Dark Kingdom, this has proven to be a failed process; however, by having cooldown time from the first five issues, Slott has had time to revise himself and bring around a good foundation-laying issue that hopefully pays off. His humor has also improved with a few lines actually making me chuckle (Never thought I’d say that during my tenure). If anything, his script to Camuncoli must have been one helluva read, since I want to know where Slott got the idea to have Scorpio just shove a guy off his mop
ed and run off on it.
I feel like the reveal that Mr. Jacobs was Scorpio would have had a lot more weight if we had had more of him in previous interactions. The fact is that, because we have no knowledge of his past actions, we have no basis or frame of reference to base how big or shocking this twist was. But overall, it could have been handled far worse, and Slott did do at least something half-decent with it even though it was revealed five issues ago.
The B-plot of having Mystery Red-Suit Guy and Rhino break in and retrieve a depowered was nice cornerstone laying, but can be skipped. This also lays down a large plot pothole which could be devastating if not covered correctly, which is that this guy only gives people life again. How does this power help him restore powers? Where did it come from? Guess we won’t guess answers until Dead No More, which could be a while.
Overall, it’s fairly obvious that this is Slott’s set-up issue for the finale, but it’s at least a decent set-up. There were some things that could have been done better, but in the long stretch things came out far better than could have been anticipated considering Dan Slott’s track record.