“You put on that costume. You decided to represent something…and what you represent is bad for my business.”
Spider-Man in the clutches of the Black Cat! If he survives the encounter, what do his grandmother and personal life have in store for him?
WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
ARTIST: Sara Pichelli
INKING ASSIST: Gaetano Carlucci
COLORS: Justin Ponsor
LETTERING: VC’s Cory Petit
COVER ART: Sara Pichelli and Justin Ponsor
TITLE PAGE DESIGN: Idette Winecoor
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Devin Lewis
EDITOR: Nick Lowe
STORY: Goldballs pays Ganke a visit to clear the air. Together, they come across a video blogger who is showing the footage of Miles being abducted by Hammerhead. Rio calls Ganke, asking where Miles is. Gloria decides to hire a private investigator to snoop on Miles. Meanwhile, Spider-Man breaks free, capturing his captors, save for the Black Cat, and turns them over to the police. Jefferson meets with Maria Hill. Miles, Ganke, and Goldballs start to talk, under the eye of Jessica Jones.
THOUGHTS: This book might be finally starting to hit its stride as Bendis and Co. deliver another solid issue. The cover seems a little more representative this time as there are no mystery characters that can’t be identified. Though Miles should be snapping those chains and sticking to the wall no problem, I like the shattered eye lens on his mask, indicating there was a bit of a struggle.
Pichelli perfectly captured Ganke’s excitement over Fabio coming to room with them. It’ll be interesting to see how the dynamic of a trio impacts the Miles/Ganke relationship. The problem with this story element isn’t that Ganke overstepped his bounds by outing Miles to Goldballs, but that we keep hearing how Miles is “going through some stuff”, yet Bendis has yet to show us anything outside the norm for Miles or a Spider-Man. Problems with school? Check. Girl trouble? Been there, done that. Worried adults? Rio is no overbearing, frail Aunt May. In fact, post Secret Wars, Miles is significantly better off than he was in his last volume where his mother was dead and his dad missing after discovering his secret. So what is Bendis hinting at?
I can’t tell if YouTuber Danika is just really excited or a little crazy with her virtual stalking of Miles. I think you can interpret it either way-she’s just an innocent super fan with a crush or she’s gonna take her obsession to Kathy Bates in Misery proportions. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few issues down the road she pulls some Lois Lane like stunt to meet Miles, then becomes a villain when her affections are spurned.
Ganke repeating everything Rio said to stall for time to make up an answer to her questions cracked me up, but this Gloria storyline has gotten old fast. I would’ve liked it if she was less the “I know everything so I won’t listen to your or your opinions” type. How else is Bendis gonna throw in Netflix darling Jessica Jones, though?
Finding an unmasked Miles bound to a chair, hands tied behind his back, surrounded by his captors made me think of Amazing Spider-Man #39-40. Not sure if Bendis was doing an homage, or it just is something that happens to heroes a lot, but I was definitely picking up that vibe. There’s no insane Goblin here, though, just coldly dispassionate career criminals! I was stunned to see the Felicia Hardy who once dated Flash Thompson so cruelly dismiss her underling that they thought was having a heart attack. She is full on in “Queenpin” mode this issue.
I’d think Miles could break out of some ordinary chains, even if he is just regaining consciousness. I guess it gives him another chance to show off his “venom web” or whatever it’s been branded. Pichelli does a good job depicting the difference in stature between Hammerhead and Miles as they tussle. It’s important to note that when the bad guys run Miles’ prints the results come up negative, as in “S.H.I.E.L.D. has wiped all records clean” negative.
Miles gives chase to Felicia and they have a rooftop discussion. I really have to give it to Miles’ earnestness as he believes he’s going to take Felicia to jail. Despite how her character has been mishandled by others lately, Bendis has her depicted as a no-nonsense, ruthless businesswoman of the underworld. I wish it were different, but it is what it is. Her encounter with Miles doesn’t have the tension that it would with Peter, but then it shouldn’t due to their age difference and lack of history with each other. Her hate is all for the suit, not the man inside.
I got a kick out of seeing the gang wrapped up to a lightpole for the police to find and the officer asking where the note is. I could’ve done without Bendis’ swipe at DC’s Rebirth. I guess if you want to go meta with how DC is getting a better reaction than your mini-series you gotta keep the now cross country rivalry going.
Jefferson gets a page of focus. Not only is his S.H.I.E.L.D. backstory still in continuity, but he’s the reason why Miles’ identity is protected. I’m curious to see if he’s going to share this with Miles and if they’ll keep each other’s secrets away from Rio.
As Miles reunites with his roommates, presumably Jessica Jones is watching them from afar, unless it was Rio spying and I can’t tell the difference. It makes sense for Bendis to bring another of his creations in, I just wish it wasn’t from Gloria’s interference. Speaking of Bendis’ creations, I’m not looking forward to next issue crossing over with Civil War II at ALL. AT. ALL.
This was the best issue of this relaunch so far. It covered a lot of ground, gave focus to all the cast members, and the art was great. Pichelli once again dropped the chibi-style cutaways that seemed out of place in a title that focused on an older Miles. Yet something is still not hitting it out of the park for me since the relaunch. Well, since Ultimate End, really. I doubt next issue as we get embroiled in Civil War II will assuage that feeling. We’ll see.
MY GRADE: B+
JAVI’S HUH?: What exactly is Black Cat doing on the cover? Kicking Miles? Ballet?