Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Amazing Spider-Man #14 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Well, that was...anti-climactic.

The Inheritors begin performing the ritual in this issue, but it's such chaos that I still have no idea what it was supposed to do.  By bleeding Kaine onto the web, the Other apparently won't be able to select a new totem.  Does that mean, if Kaine survives*, he'll no longer be cursed as the Other?  When the Spiders interrupt the ritual, Cindy says that the web is healing, but I'm not sure if she just means her part of the web or Kaine's part as well.  Speaking of Cindy, by bleeding her onto the web, no Spider-Totem will now appear by chance.  But, how many Spiders actually appear by chance?  After all, it seemed like chance that Peter got bit by that radioactive spider, but previous storylines involving the Inheritors and the Other have implied that he was destined for it.  What's destiny and what's chance?  Plus, why bother with chance when, by bleeding Benjamin, they would've eliminated all Spider-Totems all together.  Doesn't that cover the ones created by chance?  Why not just start there?  But, it all doesn't matter, because Otto literally cuts to the point and just kills the Master Weaver.  We're apparently all supposed to be aghast, since the Weaver is "the web of life and destiny."  Morlun acts as if time and space are going to collapse into itself, but...nothing actually happens.  Other than Peter's moral issues with his actions, it seems like Otto really did save the day here.

Beyond the confusion over the ritual, the problem with this issue is that the Inheritors suddenly become easily defeatable.  When Morlun first fought Spider-Man, he just kept coming after Spidey until Peter collapses from exhaustion after hours and hours of fighting him.  Here, they just sort of shrug and surrender when they can't complete the ritual.  Seriously.  Karn appears, and he and the other Spiders apparently defeat the weird unnamed Sister and the Twins off-panel.  Despite Slott building to this moment for months, we miss the actual fight.  We at least see Spider-Voltron engage Jennix, though all he actually does is grab him; we have to assume that they actually fight.  Daemos just folds when May threatens to destroying the crystal that contains Solus' spirit.  (Also, what the hell was that?  We've never seen anything showing the Inheritors putting their souls in crystals.)  In the end, the Spiders just dump the Inheritors on the irradiated Earth, hoping, I guess, that they all just stay locked in that bunker.  But, if Jennix is such a genius, isn't it possible that he'll invent a way to protect them from radiation?  Speaking of radiation, wasn't the Spider-Voltron supposed to have radiation as one of his power sets?  Is that how he stopped Jennix?

Looking over the story overall, I still have no idea why the Inheritors started on this latest killing spree.  It started when they became aware of Cindy, and I think that it's because it was the only time that the Bride, Other, and Scion all existed at the same time.  But, that's still not clear to me.  I assume in the epilogue that we're going to see the fates of the other Spiders, including the ones that have been killed.  We definitely need to see what happens with Otto, given that he essentially knows that Peter defeats him.  But, after all, he's always known that, since we've already accounted for his missing time in the main series.  I have no idea how Slott is going to reconcile that, but he better.

Look, I'm not saying that this event was terrible.  Slott is a victim of his own success, since "Spider-Island" was one of the greatest cross-over events of all time.  But, it's really hard to say that it even came close to meeting expectations.  We didn't gain any new insights into Peter or watch him defy unbelievable odds.  In fact, he barely played a role in this whole event.  He's just going to go to bed, wake up tomorrow, and hope "Secret Wars" doesn't wipe out his sexy time with Silk.  It's hard to see it as a win.

* In a great example of pet peeve #1, we learn that Morlun theoretically killed Kaine last issue.  Although it was clear that Kaine was wounded last issue, it wasn't clear that he was dead.  It reminds me of "Avengers vs. X-Men" #12 where I was surprised to learn from the title page that Scott had killed Professor X in issue #11.

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