Comics : Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #2

Staff Only
Edit Review
Edit Title

This story is part of an Arc: "Down Among the Dead Men"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Some villain has discovered Spidey's identity and has used the knowledge to defile Uncle Ben's grave and has now kidnapped Aunt May.

In Detail...

Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #2
Jul 2004 : SM Title
Arc: Part 2 of "Down Among the Dead Men"
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  Mark Millar
Pencils:  Terry Dodson
Inker:  Rachel Dodson
Cover Art:  Terry Dodson
Staff Only
Issue
Review
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (SM:MK) #1
Articles: Black Cat, Green Goblin I (Norman Osborn), Owl, Vulture I (Adrian Toomes)

We begin Pete arguing with MJ. Pete wants MJ to get out of harms way while he finds Aunt May and tracks down whoever's currently terrorising them. MJ eventually agrees.

Back at his apartment, Pete wonders how he's going to track down Aunt May. He calls the Black Cat for help, she tells him she can't be there right away and gets him to think of the villains that know his identity. When she lists Norman Osbor, Pete's barin starts ticking over...

Later, Spidey pays good old Norman a visit at Riker's Island prison (Spidey put him there last issue). Spidey demands to know what Osborn has done with Aunt May. Osborn riles Spidey up and tells him that he has told at least one other villain of Spidey's secret. He also gave that person instructions to get vengeance if Spidey ever put him away. Of course Spidey is freaked out by this. He knows he needs to find May fast. And he knows he'll need help.

So, Spidey visits the Avengers. Of course Avengers' security mistakes Spidey and his intentions and there's a battle. Finally, as the dust settles, Spidey asks for help, but as the conversation conitues it doesn't pan out well. The Avengers want to know Spidey's identity and since Spidey is in this mess becuase of people knowing his identity, he doesn't want to give it up. The Avengers think he's stupid, Spidey thinks he's given too many clues already and swings off.

Spidey's next port of call is the Owl, who is currently the closest thing to a Kingpin in New York. Spidey makes a deal with the Owl that he'll 'owe' him if the Owl can get info on who's holding his Aunt. The Owl agrees and returns with two names: Electro and the Vulture...

We cut to a club\brothel where Electro and the Vulture are hanging out. They're discussing a big score they've made while hooking up with some girls. When Electro enters his room with his girl, he finds Spidey waiting... to be continued...

In General...

Overall, MK: Spider-Man is going great, this issue is better than the last, which was pretty good itself. Despite it being a slick production, there were some developments that I really enjoyed this issue.

Firstly, I liked the fact that there weren't any glaringly obvious continuity issues! But, most of all I loved the scene with Norman Osborn in jail. I complained that last issue Norman was wrapped up to easily and that some great issues were left untouched. That still holds true, but at least we get the benefit of this great scene. Norman is at his manipulative best and its really creepy. I felt when Norman was first brought back that it wasn't the best idea, but JM DeMatteis turned it around for me with his stories of Norman being a manipulative mastermind. It was great stuff! When Byrne and Mackie took over and since then, I've felt Norman's been wasted and weakened as character by ill use. This issue changes that for me, I really think Millar has really hit upon what makes Norman such a great villain. Great stuff.

I also liked the Avengers scene and particularly how it brought forth Spidey's building frustrations. It made the next scene a little more believable.

But, eventhough you can see the logic that led Spidey to his deal with the Owl, I think its a little hard to swallow that Spidey would make such a deal. It seems more likely that his frustration would've led to him beating on the Owl until he got what he wanted. I would've thought that Spidey would've checked in on Daredevil or someone else before going to this extreme. A minor complaint I guess.

I do think that the Owl is probably leading Spidey on a wild goose chase though. I have the feeling that the Owl has a beef with Electro and the Vulture and just took the opportunity to sic Spidey on them and do his dirty work for him. It just seems too easy and too obvious to be Electro and the Vulture. Plus, the way they are talking doesn't seem to indicate guilt.

Another thing to be glad of is that with this story it seems that Ron Zimmerman's work on the Vulture (and hopefully other characters) has been well and truly swept under the carpet! Yay!

Overall Rating...

Great stuff.