Monday, March 27, 2017

Amazing Spider-Man #25: Because Apparently the "Clone Conspiracy" Wasn't Terrible Enough

For reasons that are unclear to me, Marvel decided to follow the bloated "Clone Conspiracy" with a 70+ page installment of "Amazing Spider-Man."  It cost $9.99.  Needless to say, I didn't see it as a "treat."

In the main story, Slott makes the odd decision to ignore the aftermath of the "Clone Conspiracy" almost entirely.  We learn from the introduction page that the public at large views Webware as wonky as a result of Peter using it to destroy the Carrion virus.  It seems Parker Industries hasn't explained why the devices "malfunctioned," and Slott doesn't make clear why it hasn't.  Won't people be happy Parker Industries saved them from becoming a zombie?  I know some people will be upset, like when Apple gave away that U2 album for free, but it seems better than pretending to be incompetent.  At any rate, Peter doesn't seem all that worried about it, though Slott hints in one of the back-up stories that Parker Industries isn't long for this world.  In this story, Peter is attending the test of a new piece of equipment at the Shanghai HQ of Parker Industries.  However, he leaves during the test when he learns some villains have taken hostages nearby; they plan on killing the hostages unless people on social media contribute a certain amount of money.  (I'll admit this part is clever, and I'm surprised it hasn't happened yet.)  After defeating them, Peter returns to the lab and discovers the test went haywire, causing millions of dollars in damage.  One of the scientists tells Peter that Spider-Man could've stopped the damage from being as bad as it was and warns him that Parker Industries can't afford to keep underwriting Spider-Man's "no one dies" philosophy.  (Peter justified his actions because he saved one woman's life.)

Anywho, in the main story, Peter visits Aunt May, who seems not to mind at all that Jay is dead.  Seriously.  In fact, she seems to be having a great time.  If anything, she seems younger.  After "Brand New Day," Marvel de-aged her from her 80s to her 70s, but she now appears to be in her 60s.  Peter asked Harry and Betty to watch over her in the wake of Jay's death (and while he was battlin' clones), and they're on hand during the visit.  Harry warns Peter that Betty is acting weirdly, and, on cue, she tells Peter she wants May to see the "spiritual advisor" who's been helping her; she has all the sads because the Ned clone called her.  However, instead of telling Betty that it wasn't Ned, Peter again stays mum on the clones.  Really, is there a reason we're keeping it secret?  After all, everyone in the world experienced the onset of the Carrion virus.  Do we really have to keep it a secret?  I just don't get it.  At any rate, Peter decides to attend an Uncle Ben Foundation event in Hong Kong in Aunt May's place, because, as we learned on an earlier mission in this story, he believes Norman Osborn is there.  He invites Mockingbird to go with him, and they have to fly commercial because apparently -- no, seriously, I'm not kidding with this next part -- the plane is tired from all the flying it's been doing.  (Is it like the Secretary of State?  Maybe they can take naps together.)  [Sigh.]  Of course, the real reason why Slott needs the plane not to be available is so Aunt May and Harry can surprise Peter and Mockingbird by sitting right fucking behind them in First Class.  (No, for reals.)  Moreover, they announce their presence as Peter is asking out Bobbi.  To make matters worse, May does so by criticizing the way Peter hits on women and declaring his shitty game to be the reason she doesn't have grandchildren.  No, you old biddy, you don't have grandchildren because you don't give your nephew the space he needs to actually have sex with a woman.

Continuing our run of amazing coinkydinks, Norman does just so happen to be in Hong Kong.  He also just so happens to decide to have the city's criminal gangs meet him at the Uncle Ben Foundation event, for reasons I don't think Slott ever makes clear.  (No, I'm not fucking reading this terrible issue again to see if he does.)  Bobbi and Peter learn about Norman's invitation from one of the gang leaders, and they head to the event with Peter bemoaning his luck.  (I can't remember how they found the gang leader in the first place, but, again, I'm not re-reading the issue to learn.)  I'm also going to invoke pet peeve #3 here:  Slott doesn't get to blame the "Parker luck" for creating this ridiculous series of "coincidences."  It would be better if we didn't have them in the first place.  Anyway, a sniper in stealth gear tries to take out Harry (not Norman) Osborn (as far as i can tell), but Peter stops her, only to discover it's Silver Sable.  OMG, ISN'T SHE DEAD?  Yes, yes, she is.  Except she's not.  Just like the Rhino.  And, you know, pretty much everyone else now.  End terrible story.

OK, here, I'll say something nice:  Immonen's art is amazing and he can draw Peter whenever he wants.  There.  OK, I can say something else nice:  I liked the Clash back-up story.  Gage has turned him into Robin Hood, and it's a great development.  First, he lets Peter off the hook; Clash tells Spidey he's no longer mad at Peter or Spider-Man for allegedly pushing him into becoming a criminal again, because it feels right.  But, he's using his crime for good.  Here, he steals a bunch of diamonds from Roxxon, who's using them to turn shelter animals into laser-wielding cyborgs.  (Just go with it.)  Clash has one of his henchmen fence the gems and, after paying his henchmen, turns over the proceeds and animals to a no-kill shelter.  Peter watches the scene and decides to leave Clash to his own devices, hoping he doesn't screw up this chance.  Clash is one of the best things Slott has created, and I think this version of him really levels up the character.  The Otto back-up story is also interesting, even if it feels a little forced.  After fleeing New U, Otto goes to one of his previous bases and discovers HYDRA has seized it.  Arnim Zola is there and offers to provide Otto with a squad of henchmen, because HYDRA also wants to destroy Parker Industries, for reasons Slott never gives us.  (Seriously, don't they have enough on their hands?)  But, Otto's new costume is great, fitting his sexier figure now that he's basically a modified version of Peter.  There, three nice things!  

All in all, though, this issue is terrible.  Someone needs to pry Spider-Man from Slott's hands.  He 100% improved Peter's game over the course of his run, defining the post-"Brand New Day" character.  He's a better, more modern character for it.  But, it's time for new ideas.  And, Marvel:  if you ever charge me $9.99 for a comic again, we're done.

No comments:

Post a Comment