Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #52

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

A new super powered bad boy brought to life out of the pieces of dead mobsters and a gamma bomb is terrorising NY and Spidey has just caught up to him...

In Detail...

"Dig This"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #52
Jun 2003 : SM Title
Summary: (#493)
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils:  John Romita, Jr.
Inker:  Scott Hanna
Cover Art:  Scott Campbell
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Review
 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales Flip Magazine #23
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Amazing) #5
Articles: Digger

After arriving on the scene of the Digger's night club rampage, Spidey starts fighting with the Digger, but doesn't really make any headway. The police and Lieutenant Lamont arrive and Digger makes his exit. Spidey talks with Lamont about the events, but when Lamont is called away, a mob dude comes out of the crowd and asks Spidey to come see his boss, Mr. Forelli. (Note: Mr. Forelli was the guy who organised the death of all the mobsters that Digger is composed of!). Spidey accepts and is taken to Forelli's mansion.

Forelli is a little nervous about the Digger gunning for him and wants Spidey to protect him and earn 10 grand a day. Forelli gives a little detail on what he knows of Digger's origin, as well. Spidey accepts and after meeting Forelli's daughter, leaves with a pager from Forelli.

Meanwhile, Digger is updating himself on what the go is in New York by reading papers in the sewers. Pete goes to work as a teacher and then home for dinner with MJ. MJ says he was stupid for accepting mob money, just to be able to look after her (is it just me, or has Pete just totally missed the reality that MJ is a multi-million dollar earning model?). After some vibrating pager innuendo, Pete takes off to meet Mr. Forelli.

Forelli is at the site of the Digger's latest attack. Digger turned up at the docks and sunk a ship carrying Forelli's smuggled goods. Forelli says he's got a lead on the burial site of the dead mobsters that Digger is connected to and arranges for Spidey to fly out there.

Once there, Spidey discovers the site is now a nuclear test area. He disguises himself and enters the facility to find out what was already revealed to the reader last issue: that they Digger is made up of different parts of dead mobsters, reanimated by gamma radiation.... the end. Well, actually, it is to be concluded.

In General...

This issue seems a little repetitive, but does manage to build a bit of mood and provide a couple of memorable chuckles. But there are some really annoying developments that just seem way out of character for Spidey.

I was pleased that Detective Lamont apppeared again and most of the dialogue was pretty good. Especially the banter between Spidey and the various mobsters. I really liked some of the jokes, including the hardly clothed stewardess scene on Mr. Forelli's plane.

Spidey's investigation of the Digger's origin was a waste of space for the reader, since the details were revealed at the start of last issue. It does create a spooky mood and some tension, but just makes me think that the stuff at the beggining of last issue was should've been axed and the reveal should've happened the way it played out in this issue. To have both seems to be dragging out things and wasting space. This, tied with the fact that the Digger's and Spidey's fight goes nowhere, means that the main plot isn't really advanced at all this issue.

The most annoying part of this issue is the way Spidey is portrayed with such moral ambiguity, for no apparent reason. I really couldn't buy the way Spidey gets chummy with Forelli for cash, even that much cash. And it's also dodgy how Spidey is apparently ok with Forelli because he doesn't deal drugs. I know Spidey's had alliances with mobsters before, but this seems different and way out of character. I always thought Spidey stood for what was right, against the odds and that he wasn't easily bribed and corrupted. Just as out of character is MJ's reaction. Especially when you consider that she is a millionaire, wouldn't she be majorily ticked at Peter working for the mob just to get more money for her? Isn't that incredibly shallow? I just think this whole aspect of the story really sucked and is probably the first really bad move JMS has made on the book.

Overall Rating...

2 webs for the chuckles, but the rest is frankly dissapointing and I'm really ticked at Spidey's portrayal.