Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #506

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This story is part of an Arc: "The Book Of Ezekiel"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

A while ago now, Ezekiel came into Spidey's life. He's older than Spidey, but with basically the same powers. He basically tried to take a mentor role in Spidey's life and he revealed that he believes that Spidey's powers originate from some mystical totemistic magic... or whatever. Ezekiel guided Spidey through some rough patches, as he drifted in and out of Spidey's life. In recent appearances though, Ezekiel seems to be hiding some devious secret and it seems his motives may not be totally altruistic. So, now we have the beginning of a storyline that looks set to wrap up a lot of these dangling plotlines...

In Detail...

Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #506
Jun 2004 : SMURF 506.500 : SM Title
Arc: Part 1 of "The Book Of Ezekiel"
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  Fiona Avery, J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils:  John Romita, Jr.
Inker:  Scott Hanna
Cover Art:  John Romita, Jr.
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Amazing) #7
Articles: Ezekiel, Gatekeeper

The isssue begins with a Spider-Man-like shadow attacking two armed guards outside a temple of some sort, which I assume is somewhere in South America. Inside the temple, some mysterious guy with face paint waits. When he hears gunfire, he rises and enters a chamber with a giant spider carved in stone in the middle. This looks like the same chamber where Ezekiel got Spidey to face off with Shathra. Ezekiel enters, crawling on the roof (our revealed Spider-Man like figure). Ezekiel tells face painted guy that he needs his help. The guy is revealed to be named Miguel and to have some mystical powers/knowledge, since he's of the bloodline of ancient kings, or something like that. He straps Ezekiel to a stone carving, draws a knife and then starts to cut...

As Ezekiel screams, we're transported back to NY, where Spidey is chasing some criminals. He faces off with one, who takes a hostage to hold Spidey at bay. As Spidey is readying himself, someone takes out the guy from behind. You guessed it: Ezekiel. Ezekial goes a little psycho on the crook, before Spidey pulls him away and they take off.

Spidey and Ezekiel catch up on the side of a nearby building. Pete asks Ezekiel back for dinner at his house.

At Peter's apartment, MJ reveals to Aunt May that she didn't get the part in the movie she was going for because they didn't want because she was "some model with delusions of being an actress." She also tells May how she lied to Peter about the situation. May gives her some sage advice and suggests she starts smaller with stage acting.

Ezekiel, Pete and MJ are sitting down for dinner together later on. Ezekial craps on with his mystical spider mumbo jumbo to MJ. As he leaves with Pete, he notices that a paper with a advertisement for a stageshow thrown in the bin. So, on the way out, Ezekiel acts all mysterious and tells MJ that he sees her on a stage in the future.

When Pete and Ezekiel are alone, Pete gets Ezekial to tell him what he's really there for. Ezekiel explains that totemistic power is controlled by mystical gatekeepers and that Pete got his power as a result of some mystical leakage that the Gatekeepers are now onto and want to rectify. He tells Pete that the Gatekeeper is coming and his only hope is to travel to South America with him...

Meanwhile, in another part of the city, some bum is being plagued by a growing stream of Spiders. He freaks out and runs away. The Spiders gather together and form together into a man shape with glowing eyes and mouth...

To be continued...

In General...

I never thought I would say it... but I'm actually glad that Ezekiel and the mystical spider stuff is back! Mainly becuase it seems like this continuing plotline will be wrapped up and then hopefully we won't hear about Spidey's link to totemistic power ever again!

Well there's actually more to it than that. I have become genuinely interested in Ezekiel and his story. I'm still not sold on Spider-Man's supposed connection to mystical totemistic powers, far from it! In fact I'm secretly hoping that at the end of this arc it will be revealed that Ezekiel has actually just been manipulating Spider-Man for his own ends and thus just fed him this mystical line to suck him in. In fact I think a few hints have been dropped to indicate this. But, it probably won't turn out that way...

Either way, I enjoyed this issue more than any issue of Spider-Man for awhile and it seems to promise a good payoff to a long running arc. The thing that makes this issue better than recent issues for me is mainly the fact that there seems to be a purpose to the story. A lot of the recent stories have seemed a bit inconsequential really.

Overall Rating...

Besides the mystical spider stuff that I've come to dislike returning, I quite enjoyed this issue.