Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #514

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This story is part of an Arc: "Sins Past"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6

This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

Peter is tried to help Gwen's kids, but the police interefered injuring Sarah in the crossfire. While Gabe escapes to a lair prepared for him by Norman Osborn...

In Detail...

Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #514
Jan 2005 : SMURF 514.500 : SM Title
Arc: Part 6 of "Sins Past"
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils:  Mike Deodato, Jr.
Inker:  Joe Pimentel
Cover Art:  Mike Deodato, Jr.
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Amazing) #8
Articles: Gabriel Stacy, Green Goblin I (Norman Osborn), Stacy, Sarah

After last issues confrontation Gabe makes his way to an underground lair prepared for him by Norman Obsborn. Once there a video message from Osborn plays, revealing the truth Gabe and that now he should be ready to take up the Goblin mantle. Gabe is betrayed and upset...

Meanwhile at a hospital, Spidey is waiting to see if Sarah is going to be ok. MJ arrives and makes it seem a coincidence that she's there and tries to comfort Pete. A doctor comes out of the operating theatre and tells Spidey that Sarah has lost a possibly fatal amount of blood and that her blood is a weird blood type and transfusions aren't working. Spidey decides, from studying Gwen's DNA, that his blood might be able to help Sarah, so they hook him up for a transfusion!

Back in the lair, Gabe is still listening to Norman's message. Norman reveals that Gabe's accelerated ageing will be fixed if he takes the Goblin formula. Gabe decides its his only choice and injects himself with the formula.

At the hospital, Sarah regains consciousness, the transfusion has worked. BUt, Spidey blacks out. He wakes later in a hospital bed with MJ beside him. MJ reveals the hospital staff are keeping the press at bay, but that they think she's a groupie, so they let her stay (how ridiculous!). Pete's worried, because it must widely known that Spidey is incapacitated in a hospital bed. His fears bear fruit, when he turns to see a Goblin at the window. Goblin Gabe flies in and grabs a weakened Spidey, flies off into the sky. MJ dashes to see if Sarah is alright and arrives to find she's gone and that a guard has been knocked unconcious and his gun taken.

Above the hospital, Spidey is getting the snot beaten out of him. He manages to snag a tower with a webline and lands on the hospital roof. Gabe continues the attack, but halts to gloat. Sarah appears on the scene, gun in hand. Gabe urges her to finish Spidey, but Sarah tells him to back off, that he has it wrong. Gabe, obviusly unhinged from the Goblin formula, turns on Sarah and fires off some rockets. Sarah ducks and shoots at Gabe, hitting his glider. The glider explodes and Gabe is thrown into a river. A distraught Sarah walks off, as Spidey loses conciousness once again.

On a beach somewhere a family find a battered Gabe washed up on the shore. They ask if he's ok and what his name is. His replies "My name? I don't remember..."

The End

In General...

I must say that I was pretty dissapointed with this issue. I been completely sold on this whole Gwen and Norman had kids business. But, have been impressed with the strength of the writing. This issue that strength kinda falls apart with some really silly plot points that are not essential to the main plot, but detract from it with its implausability.

First we have Gabe giving in to Norman's speech and taking the Goblin formula. This is a bit hard to buy, I mean this whole storyline has ignored the events of the Pulse and Marvel Knights Spider-Man and how Norman has been caught and jailed as the Green Goblin. I can accept that Gabe and Sarah would've probably have heard this, but wouldn't accept it, instead blaming it on Spidey. Though this storyline doesn't address this at all. But, after Gabe hears from Norman himself, via a video message, that he is the Goblin and that he had lied to them and expected them to become Goblins... well I can't believe that its really a convincing enough argument for him to jump on board the goblin bandwagon. The "this formula will save your life" bit might be tempting, but its still a bit too much of a jump.

Then we've got this whole MJ business. I've just gotta say, this really annoyed me. I felt like, as a reader, I was being treated like an idiot! How could MJ, a famous supermodel/actress, possibly be able to hang with Spidey at the hospital and it not be questioned? What sort of hospital would hold back the press, but let someone they assumed was a groupie wait by Spidey's bed? It's so stupid and as reader I found it hard to get into story because of this. The story wouldn't of suffered at all if MJ wasn't there. It would've been much more plausible for her to stay at home because she realises that it would be too suspicious for her to be at the hospital.

As for the actual resolution? I guess its not bad. At least JMS didn't kill off Sarah and Gabe like he has most of the other new characters he's introduced. But at the same time, its not terribly good either. Spidey's dream bit at the end, with him kissing Gwen and telling her that he loves her, but that in reality MJ is the one with him hearing those words and thinking they're for her. That's really weird and seems that to indicate that Spidey's a little screwed up, is this supposed to be some pre-cursor to a Spidey/MJ split? I sure hope not.

Overall Rating...

I was really unimpressed with this issue...