Last issue, Spidey learned the error of his childish ways. There would be no more silly fights with heroes or chasing after a girl out of his league like Mary Jane. Will he be able to hold to this development? Will Aunt May kick her drug habit? Read on!
The Devil in the Details
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Guiseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Cam Smith
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramanga
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Editor: Nick Lowe
Published: August 10, 2016
The Story – Pay Attention, This Will Be on the Test
Jonah Sr. is in the hospital after last issue’s coughing attack. The doctor decides to let them know of a new “cutting edge” treatment by New U Technologies. Jonah Jr. storms out, refusing to allow his dad to be a test subject. Peter gets more information. Aunt May makes him be responsible and go tend to his business. The Jackal man is attempting to bring back Max Dillon’s powers. They bring back Janice for him. Dr. Clarkson from New U is with Jackal boy. A PI chemical plant in Oklahoma explodes and Spidey shows up to save the day on his Spider-Cycle. One of the men is going to die despite his best efforts to save him. Peter decides to use the New U doctors to save the man and is surprised when the healed man sets off his spider-sense. Jonah decides to use every penny he has to get this new treatment for his dad. The sweeten the deal, New U Technologies reveals that they have brought back Marla from the dead. To be continued!
Onomatopoeia of the Issue (OOTI)
We have a more subtle pop culture allusion this issue. This is Dr. Clarkson. Which pop culture show does Slott borrow her name from:
a. Dr. Who
d. Penny Dreadful
e. Downton Abbey
While we don’t have the traditional super hero vs bad guy fight and this is the set up issue for the new arc, this story seems packed and well paced. I feel like I’m getting actual story instead of just lead up.
We get a view of non-New Yorkers and their reaction to Spider-Man saving them:
I still don’t really enjoy Camuncoli’s faces, they aren’t a distraction for me this issue. Plus we get two really neat panels. On is the long thin panel with the Spider-Cycle going down the building. The next is the explosion of the chemical plant. The blurred image reminds me of a real camera that got shaken by the shock of the blast.
One Word – Spider-Cycle 🙂
Not much, actually. We still have many of the same issues that have plagued this series since the rebooted vol. 4, but not all of them. This actually feels more like a Spider-Man story. He doesn’t call in S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Avengers. He goes over the science of New U Technologies himself rather than have Tony give it a once over. He doesn’t need Miles Morales to come in a venom shock bad guys for him. Best of all, he doesn’t web swing from his jet this issue!
If I were to get nit-picky, I’d have to point out how money seems to be no object for Peter when it comes to his personal use to help Jonah Sr. Sure he is the CEO of a company, but hasn’t he prided himself on personally getting no money from this gig other than middle management? Doesn’t he still have to buy his clothes from JC Pennies instead of having them tailor made? But that can be easily explained by the panel that shows him thinking of incorporating New U Technologies into Parker Industries to make it affordable to all people.
One Word – Spider-Cycle 🙁
For the first time in quite a while, I am intrigued about how this is going to play out. Let’s look at some of the information revealed in this set up.
Jonah Sr.’s malady is better revealed:
So, let’s go back to my pitiful obsession with figuring this out. I had pulled up on WebMD al the things that could lead to coughing up blood. Now, with this new information, we can fine tune the Crawlspace odds (for the last time, thankfully!):
- Bronchitis – not hereditary, not dramatic (Crawlspace odds – 0%)
- Bronchiectasis – not hereditary, not drastically life threatening (Crawlspace odds – 0%)
- Lung cancer – not hereditary (Crawlspace odds – 0%)
- Use of blood thinners – not hereditary (Crawlspace odds – 0%)
- Pneumonia – not hereditary (Crawlspace odds – 0%)
- Pulmonary embolism – not rare (Crawlspace odds – 0%)
- Congestive heart failure – not rare (Crawlspace odds – 0%)
- Tuberculosis – not hereditary, not rare (Crawlspace odds – 0%)
- Dieulafoy’s disease – it’s rare and it’s hard to find information on it. Doesn’t seem to be hereditary, but it I can’t find information on it not being hereditary. (Crawlspace odds – 5%)
- Inflammatory or autoimmune conditions and pulmonary arteriovenous malformations – still not really sure what this means (Crawlspace odds – 0%)
- Trauma, such as a gunshot wound or motor vehicle accident – not hereditary (Crawlspace odds – 0%)
- Crack cocaine – Dang! No match! (Crawlspace odds – 0%)
So it appears we have some disease so rare that even WebMD doesn’t have info on it. Better bet, it is some strange comic book world disease and all my efforts to figure it out are for nothing. Oh well. This does add some interesting future plot developments for JJJ Jr and John Jameson (as if John need ANOTHER physical problem – I’m sensing the return of the Man Wolf).
Wait, I know what you are thinking (because I thought it too) – what about Aunt May coughing up blood too? Well, there are two explanations for it. Aunt May and Jonah Jameson Sr. are actually brother and sister! They were separated as children to keep their nefarious biological father from finding them and were never told the truth! Ewww. Or, more likely, we misread the original panels and the old bat isn’t sick at all. Let’s go back to ASM #14 and see what really happened:
Well played Camuncoli! The word panels and word balloons are placed just so that it is impossible to really figure out who was coughing. So it was Sr. coughing and Aunt May just discovered the bloody handkerchief being hid from her, not her hiding it from him.
This throws everything a bit in a tailspin. Up to this point, it seemed, at least to me, that the plot was going to be an obvious, “Oh no! I’ve got to do anything to save Aunt May!” But now we know she’s fine and in no danger of contracting whatever it is from him. Also, it seems that the Jackal faced man may even have no real desire to bring in Peter Parker on this deal. When Peter asks Dr. Clarkson to apply her technique to the dying employee, Jackal guy reveals that this was not part of the plan, but decides to allow Mr. Parker a chance to “see the magic”. To me, this implies that whoever is wearing the mask doesn’t know Peter Parker as anybody other than the CEO of Parker Industries, someone who has no real part in his plan. Whatever that plan is. The plan includes the use of several villains and TV exposure (the need for Jonah Jameson Jr.).
So, I want to explore what the Jackal is doing. My theory, this is not Miles Warren (or at least not our Miles Warren) and he is not using clone technology.
Consider this panel:
The Jackal has to clarify that he meant Dr. Curt Connors. But since when has Martha Connors ever been a doctor? My five minute Google research only revealed that the Mrs. Connors from the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon was a doctor. So, is this a mistake, or do we have a Martha from a alternate universe?
Consider the name of the company that is implementing the Jackal’s technology. New U Technology. What would the U stand for? Every other time in comics the U stands for “universe”. In fact, when she first said it, I flashed back to the failed New Universe line from Marvel back in the ‘80s. Does this mean that he is taking people from other universes instead of really bringing them back from the dead?
Why would we get this panel:
If all they did was clone organs for Jerry, then Peter’s spider-sense shouldn’t be going off. Did they bring back an evil version? Is this connected to Amazing Grace and we have a body inhabited by evil forces (I hope not)? If New U is evil, why didn’t Pete’s spider-sense go off around Dr. Clarkson? Is it just inconsistencies in the way the spider-sense works or are there clues here? Finding clues was much easier when we had blue paw prints to look for.
O.K., there are some flaws in my thinking. For one, both Peter and all of Jameson’s “egg heads” reviewed the filter cloning research and it seems to be legitimate science instead of multi-dimensional kidnapping.
The people seem to have memories of their death. Max Dillon’s girlfriend thanks him for killing her (sarcastically of course).
Electro calls the Jackal Warren at one point and Miles at another. My theory could still work if this is an alternate universe Warren. Or Max could just be misleading us. Whatever the case, how does Max know who Miles Warren is? Did he reveal himself to Electro? Do people in the 616 universe know who Miles Warren is? I didn’t think so, but what do I know?
In the letters pages, Nick Lowe reveals a few things. One is that MJ will not be appearing for quite a while in ASM, but will continue to star in IIM (which leads one to believe that she may continue to be a side character for the new Iron Girl/Woman/???. But that is not the extra credit. He also reveals that he just came out of a TOP SECRET meeting and the last time he was in a TOP SECRET meeting was when they discussed the last video game. He said this was not for the video game. He also mentioned that it was nice to have pictures of the new movie popping up online, which I felt it was mentioned as something in addition to the TOP SECRET meeting. So, if the TOP SECRET meeting was not about a video game and it was not about the movie and Lowe is excited about it, what could this TOP SECRET meeting be about? Any guesses?
The comic flowed well and intrigued me. For the first time I have a care or two to give about this Dead No More / Clone Saga Conspiracy. Will I be disappointed as this story plays out? Maybe. But you know me, ever the eternal optimist. I’m holding out hope that it only gets better from here.
What grade do YOU give it? Post it below in the comments.
- The Prowler (and our readers) meet the new Electro!
- Who is this woman and what does she have to do with the Man in Red?!