Sunday, January 18, 2015

Amazing Spider-Man #11 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Slott covers a lot of ground here, and he does it in a way that doesn't feel too rushed.  In other words, if it feels rushed, it's because events move quickly; the participants in this issue probably feel rushed themselves.

Peter's fight against Otto seems to be the marquis event, taking up the first few pages.  Slott reminds us how clever Peter is, as he realizes that Otto can't imagine that he could be from a future where he loses control over Peter's body.  Peter uses this insight to his advantage.  He stops the fight to suggest that Otto deliver the killing blow, the one that he criticizes Peter for never landing.  However, Otto realizes that he can't kill a "past" incarnation of Peter without killing "himself."  Subsequently, Peter gets to land the coup de grace due to Otto's moment of indecision.  Slott uses Peter's victory not just to establish Peter as the king of the Spiders, so to speak, but also to allow Peter to observe that the killing blow isn't going to work against the Inheritors, since they've cheated death.  In other words, Peter isn't just the king of the Spiders because he beat Otto; he's the king of the Spiders because his non-lethal method -- requiring creative ways to defeat opponents -- is the only thing that's going to save them all.  It's that sort of tight writing that made "Spider-Island" such a joy to read.

Speaking of the Inheritors' command over death, Slott addresses it in other ways here.  We're seen Morlun exhibit fear over "our" Peter, presumably because he's previously killed him (twice).  But, that fear doesn't really seem to make sense in a guy that has been killed and resurrected numerous times.  Sure, maybe you'd be wary of him, but it doesn't make sense to fear him, since the worst that he can do to you is something that gets instantly undone.  Slott addresses that disconnect by making it clear that Morlun is afraid because this mysterious prophecy seems to be unfolding, given the presence of the Bride, Other, and Scion (who we learn is May's brother, Benjamin). Slott makes it clear that the prophecy portends the fall of the Inheritors, so it makes sense why Morlun is nervous.  However, I will say, I'm still not sure why only Morlun is nervous.  His other siblings don't seem to be as concerned, and Morlun seems particularly wary of Earth-616.  I'm still hoping that Slott gives us some more details at some point, despite seemingly answering the question here.

Slott then surprises us by making it clear that Peter's fight with Otto was just a warm-up exercise, as Solus and Morlun take the fight to Earth-13.  It make sense why Solus decides to strike, since he wants control over the important players, like the Scion.  However, you'd think that he'd go after the two easier marks (Cindy and Kaine).  But, he announces that he wants to go after Ben in the Safe Zone to disabuse the Spiders of the notion that they even have a "safe zone."  To be honest, killing Captain Universe Spider-Man pretty effectively accomplishes that goal.

Slott makes it clear here that we've got a long way to go before this fight is done.  I had figured that we'd end with the Inheritors storming Earth-13.  The fact that it happens in Part 3 means that I'm clearly not getting the scale of what Slott is doing here.  I was genuinely surprised by this development, and I am really excited to see what Slott is planning.  I will say that I wish that we had a little more space for interactions between the Spiders.  For example, Gwen and Peter have a moment in this issue where they talk about the fact that they couldn't save each other's counter-part in their worlds.  It would've been nice if it could've happened in more than a panel, because we're talking about some legitimately heart-breaking stuff there.  But, given the rate with which Slott is killing off Spiders, we might have a chance to get to know the remaining ones better than we think.

*** (three of five stars)

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