Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #15

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This story is part of an Arc: "Under My Skin"
     Part 1 / Part 2

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

This issue, Spidey decides to take a month off from his usual wacky Spider-Man- type adventures, so that he can participate in what seems to be some big event called Avengers Disassembled, and he's even brought Captain America along for the ride...

In Detail...

Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #15
Aug 2004 : SM Title
Arc: Part 1 of "Under My Skin"
Editor:  Tom Brevoort
Writer:  Paul Jenkins
Pencils:  Michael Ryan
Cover Art:  Steve Epting
Colorist:  Studio F
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Spectacular) #4
Articles: Queen (1st)

This issue opens with a loud humming noise distracting and disturbing millions of New Yorkers, and the noise seems to be coming from a beautiful woman who is stepping out of a limousine downtown. Meanwhile at Peter Parker's apartment, he is struck by the humming noise as well, when he receives a jolt from his spider-sense unlike anything he's felt before that knocks him to the floor with his nose and ears bleeding. Back outside on a rooftop, Nick Fury tracks down Captain America and tells him that S.H.I.E.L.D. needs his help.

Back at street level, the beautiful mysterious woman displays some of her abilities. When she is accosted by a surly cab driver, she merely waves her hand and the cab is sent flying into the side of a building. She also seems to be able to control minds, as she constantly seems to be attracting an entourage of people with empty stares her do her bidding. The woman walks into a large bank and seems set on taking the building over. The police arrive and block the building off, and shortly after, Spider-Man and Captain America simultaneously converge on the scene. They exchange unpleasantries, and when Cap tells Spidey that most of the activity seems to be taking place on the roof, he suggests that the two of them enter at the ground floor to minimize the risk of civilian casualties. But the wall-crawler ignores the Star- Spangled Avenger and hops onto the wall en route to the roof, despite Cap's warnings.

Up on the roof, the mysterious woman and her entourage of people are approached by a news helicopter, and with a wave of her hand, the woman caves in the side of the chopper and sends it down, where it crashes into the side of the building not far from Spider-Man. Back inside, on his way up through the building, Captain America sees some of the woman's drones. Completely drained of their free will, she has them building her a next of some kind.

Back on the roof, Spider-Man has arrived to confront the woman, who tells Spidey that she is a Queen. Captain America arrives on the roof, but is detained by the Queen's horde, so Spidey and the Queen fight. Spidey seems to have the edge until the Queen unleashes a deafening scream that knocks Spidey to the floor holding his ears. As the Queen starts rolling up Spidey's mask, Cap breaks free of her cronies and throws his shield at her. But one of her drones blocks the shield, and the Queen turns her attention to the Captain. Cap calls her Ana, and the Queen calls him Rogers, so it would appear that they know each other. The Queen uses her telekinesis to actually throw her drones at Cap, and while he is dodging them, his own shield strikes him down. With the Captain down, the Queen turns her attention back to Spidey, who is still being held by her drones. To stop the web-slinger's struggles, the Queen unleashes another scream that crumbles him. Then she rolls his mask just up over his nose, and she kisses Spider-Man...

In General...

This is a solid story by Paul Jenkins with generally nice art by Michael Ryan. The Queen seems to be a fairly interesting, mysterious villain, but with the way this issue has "Avengers Disassembled Prologue" splashed across the cover, I can't shake the feeling that I'll have to start reading Avengers to find out what's going on here. Hopefully I'm wrong, and the answers will be here next month.

One other complaint that I have is the interplay between Spider-Man and Captain America. Cap respects Spidey, and Spidey practically reveres Cap, so the way that these two were snapping back and forth at each other seemed totally wrong. Maybe it was psychic tension caused by the Queen, or something like that...

Overall Rating...

A solid, mysterious issue. Three and a half webs.