Judging by the cover, Iron Man’s getting his butterbean kick by the invincible Regent but never fear, true believers, Spider-Man is cleverly disguising himself as a club in order get past Regent’s defenses. Will our intrepid hero be successful? Read on and see!
The Devil in the Details
Writer: Dan Slott and Christos Gage
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Cam Smith
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Editor: Nick Lowe
Published: June 15, 2016
The Story – Pay Attention, This Will Be on the Test
Feeling rushed by Betty Brant’s discovery and now possessing Miles’s powers, Regent makes quick work of all of the Avengers, leaving only Iron Man and Spider-Man bumbling around unaware. In fact, the only hope superhumanity has left is Harry Osborn Lyman.
Harry goes right up to Regent’s headquarters and calls in Spidey. Spidey and Iron Man do little better than all the other heroes, their only advantage being that they know Regent is a threat. In the end, they cannot find a way to overcome all the powers that Regent has at his disposal, and we end with him standing over their bodies claiming victory.
Oh, and Aunt May is about to die. Again.
It seems that Miles is the most powerful being in the Marvel universe. Between his camouflage ability and venom sting, no one is immune. This arc would have been improved with more of Regent’s quest and less of Iron Man and Spidey bickering. I have mixed feelings on the MJ/Peter interaction outside of Miles’s house. I’m glad to see them interacting, but it still doesn’t feel like MJ talking to him. This feels a lot more like a Peter/Carlie conversation, but ever since the deal with Mephisto, MJ has not been very recognizable. MJ has dealt with the burden of Peter’s secret since Amazing Fantasy #15 so I’m not really sold on what was the straw that broke the camel’s back for her.
There is a lot of talk between Dr. Stillwell and Regent about the limitations of his body and the suit. My assumption is that we will end this by having him push himself too much and collapsing. Maybe adding Spidey’s power to his suit will be just a bit too much for him to handle with all of the other powers and that will enable MJ to save the day with the Iron Spidey suit that she keeps referencing. Then Spider-Man and Iron Man will work together and beat what is left of him and be besties forever.
I am curious about why Regent is so concerned about restraining Harry. O.K., he discovered his secret. Big deal. Who is there left for him to tell? Dazzler?
We do get a sub plot of Aunt May coughing up blood, but keeping this fact hidden from Jay. Coughing up blood is called hemoptysis. According to WebMD, there are lots of possible causes for this:
- Bronchitis (the most common cause) since this is rarely life-threatening, I think we can rule this out for the old bat (to use a JR phrase) (Crawlspace odds – 10%)
- Bronchiectasis – again, since people can live a long time with this, probably not the right disease for Aunt May (Crawlspace odds – 5%)
- Lung cancer – a good possibility here (Crawlspace odds – 50%)
- Use of blood thinners – probably not – too ordinary (Crawlspace odds – 20%)
- Pneumonia – if this were a good Victorian novel, she’ll die of this in a few issues. Probably got caught out in the rain last week (Crawlspace odds – 60%)
- Pulmonary embolism – basically blot clots in your veins – it can be life threatening, but it is treatable too, so maybe a chance here, especially if she is ignoring it and allowing it to get worse (Crawlspace odds – 25%)
- Congestive heart failure – well, we do have a long history of that (Crawlspace odds – 75%)
- Tuberculosis – a bit too 1800s for today’s magazine, but a good possibility if Slott is wanting to prolong this (Crawlspace odds – 30%)
- Dieulafoy’s disease – rare and treatable, so unless Slott is trying to bring awareness to this disease, almost nil chance here (Crawlspace odds – 5%)
- Inflammatory or autoimmune conditions and pulmonary arteriovenous malformations – (Crawlspace odds – 5%)
- Trauma, such as a gunshot wound or motor vehicle accident – very intriguing, especially if it is complications left over from the Kingpin attack (Crawlspace odds – 80%)
- Crack cocaine – that’s it! I imagine the issue to be titled “My Aunt, My Addict!” (Crawlspace odds – 100%)
Probably more likely that it will not have any explanation other than she is deathly sick (which I would be fine with). I assume this is a lead in to “Dead No More” where Spidey will be tempted to go along with the Jackal headed man in red in order to get his Aunt back. Since this is now a Spider-Man who will make a deal with the devil to get her back, what’s to stop him from going along Jackal-Man?
Lots of potential in this issue, but I left it feeling meh.
I’m not a fan or a detractor of Regent. His biggest plus for me in this issue is the way he uses multiple heroes’ powers at the same time, like how he used the powers of Ms. Marvel and Miles Morales to subdue Nova (although being stepped on is doubtful enough to take out Nova, so I assume he’s also using some super strength from somebody). If we are going to have a hero that can take all of these powers, I do like to see that he is using them. Plus the crowd reaction is pretty funny.
MJ and Peter seem to maybe be making some inroads to repairing their friendship, at least. However, I have little hope that it will last past this arc.
This web chute quip – the best part of this whole comic:
Speaking of failing…
Most of the usual that we do not need to go into detail. Camuncoli continues to draw outstanding costume heroes but a mediocre MJ and Peter. The story overall suffers from the fact that we just read this story in Renew Your Vows (we even get hint of MJ suiting up for next issue).
Fight scenes – We have Regent taking down almost every hero by sneaking up on them and securing them without a fight. One or two, maybe. Pretty much all of them? A bit cheap. Plus the ones that we do get have the scene truncated so that there is no actual fight. It is common in Slott stories to have fight scenes take place off panel and it is very annoying to me. Take Regent verses Thor. I know this isn’t a Thor comic, but she’s the only one who put up a fight. I would have liked to see this play out.
How exactly should we pronounce the word Thor when we see it like this? And come on! Regent punches Thor with that cool onomatopoeia and he only punches Spider-Man with a SPTAK? Whose book are we reading?
What fails the most is the pacing. This arc feels like it is going so slow and I can’t put my finger on why. Maybe it was the prolonged Iron Man and Spider-Man playground antics in the first two issues.
Iron Man references Super-Adaptoids powers. Bonus points for the first person to explain to us who Super-Adaptoid is in the comments section.
We have a great concept. Dan Slott is an idea machine, but the execution of many of these great ideas falls short. I so want to like this, but I’m left with the feeling that I’m paying too much for what I am getting. If I were not reviewing this comic, I would spend my money on a different one. That makes me sad.
Break out that read pen, people. What grade do YOU give it?
Regent’s master plan is working until Mary Jane Watson gets into the fray!
Oh good! The CONCLUSION will be rousing! And it doesn’t sound at all like the end of Renew Your Vows. Can’t wait until July 6th to get this one….