Comics : Sensational Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #37

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This story is part of an Arc: "The Strange Case Of..."
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

This review was first published on: 2007.

In Detail...

Sensational Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #37
Jun 2007 : SM Title
Arc: Part 3 of "The Strange Case Of..."
Editor:  Warren Simons
Writer:  Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Pencils:  Ramon Bachs
Inker:  Paul Mounts
Cover Art:  Clayton Crain
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Articles: Black Cat

Zabo has turned himself into Hyde while Spider-Man finds a vast cavern filled with separate rooms – where Hyde has been experimenting on kids. Spidey sees Jordan, who calls him 'Mr Parker'. Spider-Man unsuccessfully tries to break the glass while Jordan says it was someone called Zabo who kidnapped him. Hyde appears as Spidey tells him his experiments are over.

Meanwhile Black Cat is at the police precinct checking on all the Spider-Men who have been brought in. The officer takes her in to see Jordan's mother (who clearly hasn't been killed by Zabo) and Madeline who tells Cat that Zabo still has Jordan.

Hyde attacks Spidey, who fights him off, while Jordan pushes a pipe into a crack that has been created in the glass by Spider-Man, breaking himself free. Spider-Man calls Hyde a monster, while Hyde retorts that the hero should look at his own costume and ask himself is he's embraced the darker side too.

Meanwhile Jordan has found some chemicals. He puts them together and is ready to throw the tube at Hyde in revenge because he thinks Hyde killed his mum. Spider-Man stops him off-panel, however, but not before some of it got into Hyde's eyes and blinded him.

Later, Spidey tells Cat how Jordan was a failed experiment of Hyde's because he tried to kill his kidnapper and that was something he would have to live with.

In General...

This is a story of metaphors. Hyde himself is the biggest one of course, with his split personality an allusion to the state-of-mind of Peter is in the aftermath of Civil War and his aunt's hospitalisation. Jordan becomes another. His decision to try to kill Hyde after believing his mother to be dead is the flip side of Peter deciding not to kill the burglar after his Uncle's Ben's death.

All this is very nicely put together by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with enough layers to the story for it to work on a purely superhero-rescue level, or on a much higher one.

There are other cleverly-written bits too. It's such an innocuous line but the part where Jordan calls Spider-Man 'Mr Parker' is a real indication of how the Marvel Universe has changed. It works well in the context of the story too and doesn't seem shoehorned in.

Aside from the writing, penciller Bachs generally does a decent job – but his Black Cat is, well, ugly. It might be the bizarre perm she seems to have received but every panel she's in is extremely off-putting for that reason.

Overall Rating...

The story ties up nicely and is well scripted too. Aguirre-Sacasa is doing a lovely job on the title at the moment.