“But when you fall tonight– And you will fall— The city will fear me”
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Andre Lima Araujo
Colors: Jim Campbell w/ Java Tartaglia
Lettering: Travis Lanham
Cover: Andre Lima Araujo & Jim Campbell
Editors: Devin Lewis, Darren Shan, Nick Lowe & Axel Alonso
Spidey fights against his arch-nemesis, the Green Goblin!
Story: The story begins with Peter meeting Harry and Norman Osbourne after school. Norman offers to pay Peter if he tutors Harry. Peter accepts and then leaves to do some patrolling as Spider-Man. Shortly after his spider-sense goes off and he takes down two suspicious men. However, the two men were only meant to be a distraction for the real threat, the Green Goblin.
The Green Goblin employs hit and run tactics as well as using Spidey’s concern for the public against him. Green Goblin’s tactics work as he is able to corner Spidey. However, though cornered Spidey does not give up and manages to get the upper hand against the Green Goblin and forces him to flee.
The next scene shows the next day as Peter and Norman are observing each other with suspicion. Peter notices that Norman has a broken arm and Norman notices that Peter is limping. They collectively dismiss these suspicions and later in the day their alter egos prepare for the fight ahead.
Pros: Issue #5 has many of the aspects that I enjoyed about issue #4. Like issue #4 it moves away from the “moral of the week” formula that issue 1-3 followed. I did not like this approach because I felt it was out of place for a Spider-Man story because it watered down Uncle Ben’s original message.
The second pro that I have with this issue is that the artwork has improved since issue #4. Araujo has put more detail into the background which I appreciate. Also what I failed to mention in issue #4 which is present here is the design of Spidey. Although I do prefer Nick Bradshaw on this title I do appreciate and prefer Araujo’s design of Spidey himself. The body structure and even the detail in Spidey’s boots look excellent. It is believable through Araujo’s work that Spidey is a fifteen year old boy.
The third pro of this issue is that the reader can really see that the world is passing Peter by. In living up to his Uncle’s teachings and taking up the mantle of Spider-Man he has grown distant from Gwen, the girl he tutors and who tutors him. Prior to this issue in issues 1-3, Peter and Gwen were growing closer together but now she is dating Flash. In Peter living up to his Uncle’s legacy it has put a toil on his happiness but he has stayed with it.
The fourth pro/positive of this issue is the villain and his interaction with Spidey. The villain like in the previous issue is decently characterized and has a great confrontation with Spidey. Although I did not feel that the Green Goblin is depicted as interesting as Dr. Doom he is still depicted nicely in this book. Through the dialogue and action sequences the reader is able to get a feel for this villain. His unique mannerisms and personality are put on display for the reader to enjoy. It is clear that this is a dangerous opponent for Spidey to overcome.
The final positive is that the solution to the Green Goblin is not a super convenient one. Spidey simply catches the Green Goblin off guard. This is refreshing considering that most issues dealt with Spidey coming up with some convenient solution or somehow instinctively knowing how to take down his foe. This issue on the other hand went differently and I appreciate it.
Cons: The first con/negative of this issue is that the reasoning behind Peter not defending himself against Flash is changed yet again. The first explanation we get is in issue 3 and in that issues it tells us that Uncle Ben told him that doing certain things would upset a certain balance. In issue 4, Peter says that the reason he cannot do it is because his Uncle did not like an “eye for an eye type justice.” And in this issue we get another reason, that in order to keep his identity a secret he has to take the abuse. Although these may all be loosely related they are still different. Its almost as if the writer feels he needs to defend it over and over.
The second negative I have with the issue is the question I initially had with the Spidey comic books and that is the question of intended audience. There is a panel of the Green Goblin, Spidey and the Hulk. At first seeing that panel I was a bit disappointed that there was not more information about that situation. After reading the book I later found out that the panel is an allusion to an older Spider-Man story. But the allusion begs the question who is this book really meant for.
Is the book meant for old school fans that want to read new content that feel like the good old days or newer and younger fans that want to know more about Spidey?
The third negative I had with the issue is a problem that has yet to be addressed and may never get addressed. I do not believe the story offers enough information on why Peter likes Gwen. A book should stand on its own and not rely on other comic books and movies to support its story. I believe in this instance and some others that the Spidey comic books is relying on outside material to characterize Gwen and Peter’s relationship. However, I believe this is a bad move.
Overall: The Spidey comic book has been changing for the better but I would like the comic book to continue to grow because there are still many problems with it. I want Spidey to truly earn his victories against the villains and for the book to decide what it really is, in terms of being a new reader friendly book or one for older fans. With all that said I did enjoy this issue and I award this issue with a grade of B-