Sunday, February 8, 2015

Amazing Spider-Man #13 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

I'm conflicted about this issue.

On a positive side, everything flows more or less logically, even if Slott pushes the boundaries of our willful suspension of disbelief at certain points.  Anya's connection to some sort of mystical cult enables her to read the scrolls that Jessica sent to Peter; the prophecy is that the Spiders will defeat the Inheritors in a thousand years unless they sacrifice the Bride, Other, and Scion to wipe out all the Spiders, now and forever.  Fortunately for the Inheritors, Silk has decided to go to Loomworld to save Jessica, given her guilt over abandoning her there, and an enraged Kaine decides to avenge Ben's death by taking out the Inheritors on his own.  (The fact that Marvel clearly puts "Scarlet Spiders" #3 after this issue on its checklist knocked off a full star in my book.  It's a careless mistake that unnecessarily spoils the ending of that mini-series.)  With all the pieces in place on Loomworld for the Inheritors to complete the ceremony, the Spiders are left little option but to get there to try to prevent them from doing so.

My problem, though, is that we are really, really rushing at this point.  Slott has been building to this event for the better part of a year, ever since we got our first peek at Cindy in "Amazing Spider-Man" #1.  But, with only one issues left, we still have an incredible number of questions on the table.  Who are the Inheritors?  Why do they only feed off Spider Totems?  What happened to Karn?  He was a big deal in the "Edge of Spider-Verse" issues of this event, but we haven't seen him for a while.  Also, I thought the female Inheritor that isn't Bora was Solus' wife, not daughter.  If she's a daughter, does that mean that the mother really did die in in "Superior Spider-Man" #33?  If so, does that mean that they only invented cloning after that incident?  Turning to the prophecy, why did the Bride, Other, and Scion manifest now?  Or, if they always exist in some form or another, why are the Inheritors trying to conduct the ceremony now?  Moreover, why did Ezekiel send Uncle Ben to a bunker?  It makes sense why he would want to send the Bride to the bunker, given her connection to the prophecy, but does this version of Uncle Ben also have some sort of connection to it?  I know that Ezekiel invited our Peter to go to the bunker as well, but are we really supposed to believe that some form of Ezekiel tried to get every Spider-Man to go into a bunker?  Moreover, how did Ezekiel know so much about the Inheritors in the first place?  In other words, I feel like we're missing really basic information about the Inheritors, their goals, and their history, and it seems unlikely that just one issue is going to answer all of them.

Moreover, Slott barely has time to incorporate the events from the tie-in series into this issue.  Ben's death is mentioned in passing, and we never learn what Miguel and May were trying to invent in 2099.  Moreover, Solus barely acknowledges Jennix revealing that they can no longer clone themselves, a fairly major development given that he himself dies at the end of this issue.  I get arrogance, but you'd think, at some point, he'd acknowledge that they have to be a little more cautious than they normally would be.  But, we move right past it, despite it being possibly the most relevant development of this entire event.

I'm hopeful that the four tie-in issues remaining before issue #14 will help answer at least some of these questions.  But, at this point, it's hard to describe this event as "fun."  I'm mostly just looking for Slott to check these remaining boxes, since I've given up hope of seeing meaningful interaction between all the Spiders.  Let's just wrap up this event so that we can move onto..."Secret Wars."  [Sigh.]

** (two of five stars)

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