Comics : Spider-Man Unlimited (Vol. 2) #5

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Spidey has just discovered a glimpse of the world outside the walls of the guarded island of Manhattan. Visiting an apparent haven called "Harmony" set apart from the rule of the High Evolutionary, Spider-Man has met up with Counter-Earth's Gwen Stacy. What other counterparts from his own world will he meet up with next?

In Detail...

"Claws on Counter-Earth"
Spider-Man Unlimited (Vol. 2) #5
Apr 2000 : SM Title
Summary: Spider-Man & Wolverine vs. the Counter-Earth's Chameleon
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Writer:  Eric Stephenson
Pencils:  Andy Kuhn
Inker:  Harry Candelario
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Review

Seems like old times, as Spidey stops a robbery and gets chased away by the cops. The robber escapes, and Spidey calls it a night.

Back home, Naoko asks Peter to try comforting Shayne to sleep. Shayne has been hiding under the blankets in fear of a savage murderer reported to be lurking on the streets. Someone is attacking people, viciously removing the victim's sub-dural ID chip. After brightening things up for Shayne, Peter writes in his journal back in his room. He notices a picture of Naoko, Shayne, and Shayne's absent dad - apparently a decorated soldier. His spider-sense alerting him to danger outside the house, Spider-Man encounters another victim of the killer and someone who appears to be a more feral version of Earth's Wolverine. The two have a prerequisite "misunderstood-heroes" fight until Wolverine disengages the melee to investigate a scream. Spidey notices the lifeless body is cold, making him doubt if Wolverine was the killer after all.

In stealth mode, Spidey pursues Wolverine. Following his nose (and somehow bypassing Spidey's spider-sense), Wolvie gets a sneak attack on the invisible Spider-Man. Things cool down quickly, and they talk things out. Wolvie refers to some "experiments" that were performed on him, and that he first saw Spider-Man in Harmony where Spider-Man smelled like "home" to him. A figure flys by carrying Naoko. Wolverine rescues Naoko, as Spidey tackles the kidnapper. Turns out it's the robber who escaped in the beginning of the story. Transforming from the robber into a lizard beastial, the killer is actually a shapechanger who calls himself "the Chameleon". Chameleon transforms into the appearance of Spider-Man, but Wolverine knocks out the fake Spidey following his hypersensitive nose. Wolverine gives Spidey the medal he wore around his neck and departs saying "too much has changed...this place is my home no longer." The medal is the same medal from the picture of Shayne's dad. It appears that the Wolverine is really Shayne's father, Naoko's missing husband.

In General...

Again, I enjoy these Unlimited stories better than the once translated from the TV series episodes. However, as of this writing, only 3 episodes have aired in the US. The comic series and the setting is growing on me, and I'm becoming anxious to see the remaining televised episodes.

Overall Rating...

Spider-Man Unlimited was such a step down in quality compared to the 90's animated series, that I initially found everything about Unlimited irritating. But, these latest stories deviating from the cartoon have been entertaining. Two and a half webs.