Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #35

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Morlun, the unstoppable Spidey stomping machine, has beaten Spidey convincingly and seemingly killed Ezekiel. Ezekiel's seeming death has given our battered hero some ideas on how to take Morlun down...

In Detail...

"Coming Out"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #35
Nov 2001 : SM Title
Summary: (#476) Spidey vs. Morlun - Final Battle
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils:  John Romita, Jr.
Inker:  Scott Hanna
Cover Art:  Scott Campbell
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 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales Flip Magazine #6
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Amazing) #1
Articles: Aunt May Parker, Dex, Ezekiel, Morlun

Spidey's plight against Morlun has seemed absolutely hopeless, last issue issue there was some light at the end of the tunnel. This issue picks up from last issue with Spidey holed up in a nuclear plant, concocting some serum and Morlun on his tail. Spidey's reasoning is that due to the nature of how he got his powers (i.e. irradiated Spider bite), he can redose himself with radiactiveity thus making himself unpalatable to Morlun. Well, Spidey's plan works and better than he thought, the radioactivity poisons Morlun when he tries to feed on Spidey and further contact only weakens him more. Spidey is able to get some payback, he smacks Morlun all over the nuclear plant almost losing control. As Spidey ponders whether he should take Morlun out or not. Dex, Morlun's lackey, sees his opportunity to be done with his hated master and shoots him. The killing blow causes Morlun to disintegrate and both Spidey and Dex flee as the authorities arrive.

Spidey stops to reflect and ask God for a bit of a break from facing threats like Morlun. As Spidey ponders, his thoughts are drawn to Ezekiel. He goes to Ezekiel's office building to inform them of his demise. But, when he arrives the building is empty. Spidey finds hand and footprint marks on the outside of the glass and celebrates as he realises Ezekiel must've escaped. Below in the street Ezekiel enters a limo and drives off.

Spidey heads home, excited because he's alive and things didn't end up as bad as they could of been. He cleans himself up a bit, bandages a bit and hits the bed exhausted. But, as Pete sleeps Aunt May pops 'round only to discover him crahed out, bruised, battered and bandaged with his Spidey suit lying on the floor!

In General...

Well it's the end of JMS's first stroy arc and I must say that while I thoroughly enjoyed this issue and the previous issues, it all seemed to wrap up a little too quickly and cleanly. After all that Spidey has been thru over the last few issues, his win seemd to come just a bit too easy. Though besides its quickness, the ending is still pretty good. JMS actually has Spidey utilise his scientific abilities to beat Morlun and wraps all that 'spider-heritage' stuff nicely. One of my main worries about JMS's plans for Spidey since the beggining was all this totemistic spider power gunk. But, the resolution this issue for Spidey is that he doesn't really care how he got his powers, because how he got them doesn't define who he is. I don't really mind if it is still a bit vague on whether it was a mystic spider, an irradiated spider or radioactive-mystic spider that bit Spidey. Because as Spidey points out it doesn't REALLY matter!

Another strong point of this issue, is the genuine 'aftermath' feeling you get from the second half of the issue. You never really see contemplating all the crazy stuff he goes thru or how that effects him. But, JMS shows it here, it's believable and it lends a more permanent meaning to this arc. The fact that Ezekiel is still alive doesn't really seem to matter to me. I thought that his 'death' last issue was a little weak and obviously left a way 'out'. But, I guess he's a sorta cool character and maybe something interesting could be done with him in the future.

Then of course there's the ending of the issue, which is probably the best part! I never agreed with bringing Aunt May back and until recently nothing was done with her anyway, negating any reason for her return. But, Paul Jenkins and others have made her interesting again and given her a purpose in the Spidey-verse, besides being an annoying, doting, sometimes plot device. I remember reading the issue and crying out "About time!" and I'm guessing many a spidey fan did as well. I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops and hopefully it's not palmed off. Now if only they'd do something good with J. Jonah Jameson....

For me the plot and script made took the limelight this issue. But, the art is top notch too. It has certainly picked up recently in all areas; penciling, inks and colours. Though there was an annoying 'error' in the some of the text boxes. Not all of them were smoothly faded and instead were striped. I didn't really notice the two differing types started appearing on the same page and even the same panel. Then it became a little distracting and I started wondering if the difference was supposed to denote something? But on re-reading I think it was just a stuff up.

Well, all up it was a great opening story arc. I don't think I've ever seen Spidey as convincingly on the ropes as this before. Nor has the events of Spidey's life seemed as meaningful in a long while.

Overall Rating...

I'm really loving this title and being a Spidey fan in general lately. I know this is a big call, but I don't think Spidey has been this good, overall, ever before!