Sunday, October 4, 2015

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #4 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Slott gets right to work here, and I have to say that I'm really impressed by how much ground he covers without it feeling forced.

We learn right off the bat that it was S.H.I.E.L.D., not Regent, that grabbed MJ and Annie at the end of last issue.  Moreover, we learn that Sandman is a double agent; he tries to convince Peter to follow him to safety, but Peter (not really all that surprisingly) refuses.  So, while MJ and Annie find themselves safe and sound in one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s safe houses, Regent arrives on the scene and takes Peter and Flint captive.

At the safe house, we get a lot of information quickly.  The Avengers have been using the Spot's abilities for the type of mission that they just launched to save MJ and Annie, but it's slowly killing him.  Ben Urich tells MJ that he has been covering for the Parkers at the "Bugle" for years to help Peter's identity stay hidden, but MJ reveals that Peter's inhibitor chips were really why they had successfully avoided detection.  Hawkeye immediately realizes that the inhibitor chips could help them win the war, since all they would need to do was get some of Regent's blood to inhibit his powers.  (You have to wonder if Peter thought of that.  If he did, then it's all the more guilt that he's been shouldering.)

Meanwhile, at Regent's HQ, we learn something very important:  Regent only has so many "goes" of each power that he steals before he loses access to it.  He uses one of his "dead telepaths' abilities" to learn Peter's identity and, from Flint, the location of the S.H.I.E.L.D. base.  While he sends his minions to take out S.H.I.E.L.D., he monologues to Peter that he's really a good guy:  all he wants to do is defeat Doom.  The interesting part of this revelation is that Regent refers to Doom as a "mad god."  It makes you wonder what he knows exactly.  (Presumably, we'll learn next issue.)

At the safe house, almost all Regent's enforcers arrive to do battle.  Jarvis leads the Power children through one of Spot's portals, but Annie defies her mother and stays to fight.  The heroes hold their own, buying enough time for Flint to open one of Spot's portals that he had hidden inside of him, providing a back door into Regent's HQ.  Clint leads Dagger, Mockingbird, and Prowler through the portal to collect some of Regent's DNA, and Annie and MJ follow them to save Peter.

Next issue is clearly going to be epic.  Of most interest to me is why exactly Regent thinks that Doom is a mad god.  This series might prove to tie into the main event a lot more than I thought that it would.  Moreover, Regent puts Peter into his farm of superheroes here, announcing that he's dead like the rest of them.  But, since he appears on the cover for next issue, it seems possible that all the heroes are actually alive but in some sort of suspended animation.  Talk about a battle royale if they all awaken!

*** (three of five stars)

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