Comics : Spider-Man: Mutant Agenda #2

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Crossover Crisis!

This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

Peter Parker went to a conference giving by the Brand corporation concerning genetic research on mutation. There Peter sees Henry McCoy (aka the Beast) who is also attending the seminar to see what Brand is planning to do with their research, believing that Brand's real motives are in creating mutant slaves.

While the CEO of Brand named Landon is giving his speech, the Hobgoblin breaks in to try and extort a ransom out of Landon, or else he'll go public with information that could hurt Brand's reputation. Spider-Man and the Beast, ditching their disguises confront the Hobgoblin, but he gets away and in the possess causing severe damage to the auditorium causing the ceiling to start to collapse with people still trapped inside.

In Detail...

"Caught In The Act"
Spider-Man: Mutant Agenda #2
Apr 1994 : SM Title
Summary: Newpaper Crossover (Beast, Hobgoblin)
Editor:  Danny Fingeroth
Writer:  Steven Grant
Pencils:  Scott Kolins
Inker:  Sam DeLaRosa
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man: The Mutant Agenda

With the building collapsing around them, Spider-Man orders the Beast to get everyone out as he tries to web up the ceiling to make it hold for a little while longer. With everyone safely out of the building the Beast runs back in to watch as the ceiling finally gives, dropping debris down on top of Spider-Man, burying him under thick rumble. The Beast manages to move some of it out of the way to find Spider-Man safely in the center of it all.

Wanting answers Spider-Man and the Beast decide to follow the Hobgoblin, thanks to a Spidey tracer Spider-Man managed to plant. Before they leave the conference room, their plans are overheard by Landon, the Brand Corporation's C.E.O., who calls in to the Brand headquarters telling them to stop Spider-Man and the Beast at whatever cost.

At the Brand headquarters, the Beast decides to split up with Spidey complaining about not wanting to get his fur singed on the electric fence, but really the Beast wanted to go in alone to deal with his own agenda inside while Spider-Man deals with the Hobgoblin. Watching all this from the security office on some monitors, the Hobgoblin trips the alarm letting the security guards know there are intruders within the building.

Making his way to the Computer room, the Beast sees the Hobgoblin and believes he's probably going to the same place as he is. In the computer room, the Hobgoblin has copied all of Brand's data and loaded a computer virus into the system, making the information he just stole from Brand priceless to the company. Beast sees this and wonders whether to do anything to him because he was there to pretty much do the same thing; protect the mutant race from any of Brand's findings.

Spider-Man finally catches up but just like how he escaped from the two heroes in the previous issue, Hobgoblin burst through a wall and on his way out pulled some wiring out of the wall to cause loads of sparks to fire to cover up his track making it hard for them to follow him. With the sparks settling down, the Beast tells Spider-Man to go after the Hobgoblin so that he can stay back and find out if Brand is indeed making a race of mutant slaves with their research.

Hobgoblin, with the Brand's data, makes his way to Brand's Corporate Office Tower to make a deal with Landon. Making his way up the building, Spider-Man gets to a window where the Hobgoblin is telling Landon that if he doesn't get paid, he'll go public with the knowledge that all of Brand's research result is phony.

While Spider-Man is dealing with the Hobgoblin, the Beast has to deal with the security guards who have finally made it into the computer room. Diving over most of the guards, one guard who is hidden by shadows takes down the Beast without any effort. Talking on phone to Landon the guards have plans for the Beast involving the company.

Hobgoblin has giving Landon his demands and they include gold, silver, diamonds and unmarked cash, plus the knowledge of what Brand is actually doing in case their deal falls through so that the Hobgoblin has something else to bargain with. Landon goes on to tell Hobgoblin that everything was perfect once before the mutants came and destroyed everything. He then goes on to reveal that he is unaware that the Beast is actually Henry McCoy and that he believes that the Beast actually killed McCoy. To honor his dead friend, Landon promised to carry on Henry's work in genetics.

As Landon tells him he's getting some money in his desk, he pulls out a gun and attempts to shoot the Hobgoblin, but Spider-Man jumps to the Hobgoblin's rescue and gets a blast in his back, falling unconscious. The Hobgoblin leaves but not until after he gives Landon a warning that now not only is the Brand company on ransom but so is his life. With Spider-Man now tied up, Landon decides to use Spider-Man for his mutantagenic experiments believing the web-head to be a mutant himself and revealing that Brand's plans are not to create a race of mutant slaves but it's planning on creating way to kill the mutant gene and strip all mutants of their super powers.

At a dark, quiet warehouse, a van drives up requesting to be admitted with their "package". The Brand company is using the warehouse to conduct their experimentation and they plan on using the Beast as a test subject. The Beast appears to still be unconscious but is only playing possum and at the last moment pushes off his guards and breaks his shackles. As he's running away a laser cage is turned on right where he's standing catching him prisoner to Dr. Everett Burgos. The good doctor knows Henry McCoy's secret identity but is still going to use him as a guinea pig to try and destroy all of mutant-kind.

In General...

After saving everyone from the collapsing building, Spider-Man and the Beast follow Spidey's tracer to find that the Hobgoblin is now at the headquarters of the Brand corporation. To get inside, Spider-Man and the Beast split up so that the Beast can really go find out what Brand actually knows about the mutant gene.

Making their way to the computer room, the Beast finds that Hobgoblin has made a copy of Brand's information (all on one disc mind you) and has loaded a computer virus into the system. The Beast stays back allowing this to happen until Spider-Man shows up.

The Hobgoblin blows a whole right through the wall and gets away, again and he makes his way to find Landon to get his ransom for the company data he has just stolen. As he's threatening Landon, telling him he'll go public with the knowledge that Brand has made up it's research results, Landon pulls out a gun and shoots the Hobgoblin, but thankfully Spider-Man jumps in between the two and takes the blast in his back. The Hobgoblin flys off leaving Spider-Man to the Brand company.

At the same time back in the computer room, security guards have made their way there and have taken down the Beast. They tie him up and transport him by van to a warehouse where there is a huge lab run by Brand. There a Dr. Everett Burgos traps McCoy and tells him he'll be used in his experiments to eradicate the mutant race.

Overall Rating...

You'd think Spider-Man and the Beast would finally be able to stop Hobgoblin before he can blast a whole through a wall or a ceiling to make a get-away, but here again the writer uses the same method to have the Hobgoblin escape. I'm also not buying the fact that Spider-Man can't push the Hobgoblin out of the way of a bullet and dodge said bullet himself at the same time. Spider-Man has been shown to dodge multiple machine gun firing opponents at times, but here, one shot takes him down as he jumps in front of the Hobgoblin to save him.

I found this issue just sort of boring without much excitement going on with the Beast and Spider-Man running around the Brand headquarters. They just sort of barge in without so much as a plan of action. Plus it seems unethical for the Beast to be constantly lying to Spider-Man about what his real agenda is going up against the Brand Corporation. Plus there's really no character development at all - no emotion.