Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #441

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This story is part of an Arc: "The Final Chapter"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Since the re-emergence of Norman Osborn in Spectacular #250, the tension has been building between the Green Goblin and Spider-Man. So far, Osborn's been able to manipulate Peter every step of the way. Recently, he's been collecting together five ancient shards necessary to enact the ritual of the five, which could grant him godlike powers.

Meanwhile, Robbie Robertson has found Alison Mongrain in Greece, and they are racing against time to find the Parkers with an important secret. Mark Raxton -- the Molten Man -- has been brainwashed by Osborn to find and kill Mongrain.

In Detail...

"And Who Shall Claim a Kingly Crown?"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #441
Nov 1998 : SMURF 441.500 : SM Title
Arc: Part 1 of "The Final Chapter"
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  John Byrne
Pencils:  Rafael Kayanan
Inker:  Bud LaRosa
Cover Art:  John Byrne
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Articles: Mongrain, Alison, Aura & Override, Green Goblin I (Norman Osborn), Madame Web, Madame Web, Madame Web, Madame Web, Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Molten Man, Maxwell, Morris, Robertson, Joe "Robbie", Spider-Woman III (Franklin)

You would think that a five-issue crossover event called "The Gathering of Five" would feature a gathering of five, wouldn't you? Ahh, but you'd be wrong. You see, that happens in this issue. Osborn and four others (including Override and Madame Web) carry out the ritual that grants each participant one of five "gifts": immortality, wisdom, power, madness, and death.

Elsewhere, Robbie and Mongrain are still running from the Molten Man. And, just outside of the Parkers' house, Raxton succeeds his quest and deals Mongrain a mortal blow. She dies, but before she does, she informs Mary Jane that... get this... May is alive! When Peter hears this, he heads out to Osborn's hunting lodge upstate to find her.

In General...

Oooh! Ohh! May is alive! Could it be, Marvel is finally prepared to take on the challenge of a man truly split between family responsibilities and the demands of his heroic alter-ego. What a wonderful tale that would be! What courage that would show.

Hmmm... or maybe this is all going to turn really sour, like pretty much every other promising idea of the last five years.

Overall Rating...

Two webs, because sadly, we know the latter is the case.