Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #517

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This story is part of an Arc: "Skin Deep"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

A guy from Peter's childhood has asked for Pete's help with an experiment and has ended up getting in deep trouble...

In Detail...

Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #517
Apr 2005 : SMURF 517.500 : SM Title
Arc: Part 3 of "Skin Deep"
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils:  Mark Brooks, Mike Deodato, Jr.
Inker:  Jaime Mendoza, Joe Pimentel
Cover Art:  Gary Frank
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Amazing) #9
Articles: Weiderman, Charlie

Charlie is at Pete's house, going ballistic and blaming Pete for his current situation. Pete doesn't want a physical confrontation, so tries to calm him down by agreeing to his plan. Charlie wants Pete to go to the bank and get out some money so that they can purchase more equipment to remove the skinsuit. Charlie warns that he'll be watching.

It's night, so the bank isn't open. So, Pete goes and warns MJ of the situation, while Charlie sneaks into his house to get some cheques. While he's there, Charlie puts the TV on to watch news coverage of the explosion he caused. The reporters interview a couple that knows Charlie. Charlie is infuriated... cue flashback

Charlie is at school checking out a cheerleader, one of the bullies pretends to egg him on, and encourages him to make moves on her. She pretends to like Charlie's advances until she reveals the bully is her boyfriend. The bully then holds Charlie down amongst the cheerleaders and rips his pants off. Embarrassed, Charlie runs off in his undies....

Back in the present, Charlie recognises the couple on the TV as the couple that tormented him. Later at the couple's house, Charlie ambushes and kills them.

The next morning, Charlie goes to keep watch on Pete at the bank. Pete is waiting as Spider-Man and intercepts him. In the battle, Spidey lets Charlie's name slip when he recognises blood on his skinsuit. Charlie thinks that Pete has betrayed him by telling Spidey and vows revenge on Pete. Charlie then manages to escape by putting innocents in danger. Pete heads off after him.

Later we see Charlie at May's house kicking down the door...

In General...

I'm really liking this arc. The plotting and characterisation are great. Charlie's character in particular is really shaping up well as a villain. It's believable the way Charlie is portrayed as losing control and how he is abusing the power he has over others. He's developed into a really nasty guy, as he lets himself basically do whatever he wants with his power. This is another nice contrast to how Pete treats his power: even though Charlie and Pete have similar backgrounds, Pete uses his power for good, while Charlie only wishes to fulfill his own desires.

I'm not sure how this is going to be wrapped up, but once again I hope the story won't end with Charlie's death. Charlie is the most interesting and credible new Spidey villain to come along for quite a while, and it'd be a shame to toss him away!

Overall Rating...

Solid.