Monday, January 27, 2014

Piling On Peter Parker


Just five issues to go until Spider-Man's 200th issue, and look at all the things he's already got on his plate:



Not to mention all the nerve-wracking adjectives. "Final!" "Shocking!" "Frightful!" "Tragic!" Jeez, is there room enough in one 31-page issue to cover all of this ground?



We should probably start with the ground covering Spider-Man--or, rather, the ruins of a wall covering him, thanks to a deadly encounter with the Black Cat:



Not exactly the "end of the road" for Spider-Man (we'll get to that later), though he gets a broken arm out of it:



Now, let's get to those adjectives. First up:



Love triangles are seldom a happy place to find yourself in, and Peter Parker finds himself in one doozy of a triangle along with Betty Brant (his old love) and her husband, Ned Leeds. Betty has turned to Peter during her marital difficulties with Ned, and the moment arrives when all the drama is about to explode:



Peter, thinking his life as Spider-Man would make him an unsuitable husband, decides it's best for all concerned to play the louse in order to shock Betty into returning to Ned. Well, at least he gets the "louse" part down pat:



It's safe to say that everyone present probably agrees that Peter shouldn't indulge in any ideas of taking up marriage counseling as a profession:



Which brings us to another kind of ending:



Spider-Man is determined to bring the Black Cat to justice after she breaks her father out of prison (with the intention of returning him home where he could spend his last terminally ill days). But with Spidey's injured arm, the battle between them is a lengthy one, going back and forth until a misjudged leap by the Cat ends it:




And as long as we've seen one final fate of a character, we might as well go all in:



Peter's Aunt May currently resides at the Restwell Nursing Home, a state-run facility where she's been recuperating from a heart attack. But, unknown to either herself or Peter, the home's administrator has deadly plans for her, all because Peter is being such a nuisance by visiting so often:



A sinister development which serves to lump this latest adjective in with another, as this issue is fated to end, well, shockingly:



But let's lead into it by way of that "end of the road" warning the cover gave us:



And, since this is Spider-Man we're talking about, this is generally about the time when he really gets slammed through the wall.  So let's get to that climax:



And there you have it. Frankly, I think this may be piling on too much in one issue, even when we're talking about Peter Parker. A broken arm... a wallop of a slap to the face... misgivings about his life as Spider-Man... and the apparent death of not one, but two people he cares for. They say it's always darkest before the dawn, but sheesh.

At least we'd get some good news, when we flipped the issue and found that a certain franchise would be beaming back to vibrant life in just four short months:


Though I doubt it's going to have Peter doing cartwheels anytime soon.

1 comment:

maw maw said...

What a final page! Would have been better without Wolfman's captions, though. The art tells the story admirably.

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