** (two of five stars)
Favorite Quote: "Come baaack! I only want to eat you! It won't hurt! I promise!" -- Tempest to Miguel, unconvincingly
Miguel is in free fall, with Tempest in pursuit above him, as he contemplates the events of the last few moments. He is convinced that the cure that he administered to Tempest last issue worked, since she no longer has cancer, but wonders why she's turned into a spider-wasp. He hypothesizes that it may have been a result of carrying it through dimensions and/or time (as he did in "Spider-Verse") or that Tyler Stone may have tampered with it. Whatever the answer, he pledges that it's the last time that he brings something from the future to the past with him, though admits that this promise might be premature, since he might not survive for a next time to happen. Miguel attempts to get Tempest to remember who she is, but instead she...emits some sort of tentacle from her mouth. They crash onto a news helicopter, and Miguel uses the moment to knock Tempest off him. He then dives to the ground, hoping to put some distance between them to think.
He heads to Central Park, since he realizes that he doesn't have to worry about her attacking anyone else (since she only wants a spider). He calls up Lyla and asks if she still has access to Alchemax files in her memory. She confirms that she does and he asks her to find out how they managed to restructure someone DNA simply by using a formula. (Meanwhile, Tempest is searching for Miguel and encounters a police officer.) Lyla informs Miguel that it is impossible to change someone's DNA from just one injection; at most, they could only be temporarily transformed (possibly to ascertain how a future long-term change might affect them). Miguel asks how long the change persists, and Lyla says that it lasts anywhere from six minutes to six hours. At that moment, Tempest appears with the cop in her clutches, threatening to kill her unless he surrenders to her. The cop tells Miguel to let Tempest kill her since the city needs him more. Miguel asks where she's been hiding, "considering all the hits cops have been taking publicly lately." He tries to reason with Tempest, but she demands that he choose. He then grabs the cop's gun and fires at Tempest, realizing that he exoskeleton will protect her from the bullets, but the impact of the bullets will keep her off-balance. With the cop safe, Miguel then pushes Tempest into the lake.
Under water, Miguel realizes that Tempest's wings do her no good. He tries to find a way to knock her unconscious, but he's at a disadvantage, since Tempest is trying to kill him while he's trying not to hurt her. She eventually overpowers him, and, as she's choking him to death, he tells her that he's Miguel. She expresses surprise, giving him the opening to knock her unconscious. He observes that he'd leave her to drown if he had any brains, but acknowledges that it's actually common sense that he's lacking. On land, the cop has radioed for help and tells her colleagues that she didn't get a look at the face of the guy that fired at her. However, Miguel surfaces at that moment, and the cops pull their guns on him. He's holding Tempest, and she suddenly reverts to her human form, sufficiently freaking out the cops. Rather than heeding the cops' instructions to release her, Miguel flees and heads to Tempest's apartment. She awakens as he's fixing her window, and he tells her that he gave her the cure for the cancer but that something unexpected happened. She thanks him for curing her and tells him that she doesn't remember anything. He leaves, wishing her good night, and she responds to the closed door, "Good night, Miguel."
As the "Summary" shows, this issue is remarkably single-minded: Miguel has to keep Tempest from killing him long enough for her mutation to fade. Uncharacteristically, David advances no other story or sub-plot: Miguel deals with Tempest and then goes home. The only event of real significance is Tempest learning Miguel's identity. However, with the series ending for "Secret Wars," it's unclear how significant that this development really is. Unlike every other "last" issue that I've read so far when it comes to "Secret Wars," the letter column implies that this cancellation may actually be permanent. I'm concerned in part because David doesn't really leave too much on the table here. The only ongoing sub-plot is Miguel's attempt to identify the threat that turns his world into the Maestro's world. But, it seems pretty easy to argue that said threat happened during "Secret Wars." David could wrap up this last loose end in "Secret Wars 2009" and then return Miguel to the future, bringing his story full circle. I'm hoping that it doesn't happen that way, but I'm afraid that it will.
Miguel asking Lyla if she still had access to the Alchemax files in her memory seemed to refer to an event in the past, but I didn't recognize it if it does.
1) David doesn't really give us any information about why the formula that Miguel administered to Tempest transformed her. Miguel has some theories, but we never learn one way or another if he's right. In fact, it appears that the purpose of the drug wasn't to cure cancer but to temporarily transform someone to allow scientists to study the impact of said transformation. Did they discover that it cured cancer as a side effect? Also, did they know that it would transform the recipient into a spider-wasp, or is it possible that Tempest could've transformed into something else? I get that we can't know everything, but I was definitely left unsatisfied by how little information that we were given here.
2) Can you really knock someone unconscious underwater? We're supposed to believe that Miguel lands some sort of devastating punch on a startled Tempest, but I'm not sure that it's physically possible to do that in water.