Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #17

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This story is part of an Arc: "Changes"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Over the last two issues, Spider-Man and Captain America battled a new villain called the Queen who wanted to mate with the wall-crawler. Spidey and Cap managed to defeat the Queen, but not before she managed to plant a kiss on Spidey...

In Detail...

Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #17
Sep 2004 : SM Title
Arc: Part 1 of "Changes"
Editor:  Tom Brevoort
Writer:  Paul Jenkins
Pencils:  Humberto Ramos
Inker:  Wayne Faucher
Cover Art:  Humberto Ramos
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Spectacular) #4
Articles: Queen

This issue opens with Peter and Mary Jane at the park, where Peter is watching a bunch of ants while MJ stews about the kiss that Peter shared with the Queen. Peter explains that the kiss was disgusting and that it had creepy insect overtones, which seems to reassure MJ. Later on, Peter swings across the rooftops as Spider-Man, and he thinks about the kiss. He says that he's confused about what exactly that kiss did; all he knows is that something feels wrong and that it's constantly nagging at him.

Meanwhile, Mary Jane is getting her hair done at the exact same time and place as the Queen. The Queen, whose real name is Ana, is satisfied with her new style, and she takes two of her drones back to their hideout, where even more of her drones are building a nest. Meanwhile, at SHIELD Regional Headquarters, Captain America addresses a number of military personnel, including Nick Fury. He shows them a picture of the kiss between Spider-Man and the Queen, and tells them that because of it, the world is in grave danger. Cap is unable to divulge the nature of the threat due to security reasons, but he tells the gathered officials that it's imperative that both Spidey and Ana be apprehended in the next few days.

Meanwhile at the Parker residence, Peter awakes from a nightmare about the Queen. He staggers out of bed only to find his neighbour's wacky dog, Barker, barking ferociously at him. Peter realizes that Barker senses something wrong with him, and the he senses the same thing himself. Back at the Queen's Hive, Ana tells her drones how she came to be. It seems that she was in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps back in the Second World War, and none of her group were ever expected to see any action. But she was shocked one day when she was selected to join a group of marines. The group was sub-par, and generally unable to keep up with their training. One day, her unit was taken to the desert where they were ordered to watch a strange storm. She lost consciousness, and when she woke up she was in a prison, horribly ill. There were cockroaches on the floor that refused to run away from her. And Captain America came to visit her, and although she loved him, he loved his country more.

The Queen's story is interrupted by one of her drone's reporting telepathically to her. This drone is working close by Nick Fury, and he reports that Fury has begun looking for her and Spider-Man. But Ana is not worried she knows that even if they find her, there's nothing they can do to stop her. Back at the Parker residence, Mary Jane returns home with a snazzy new hairstyle, only to find all the lights off and roaches lurking about. She goes into another room and finds Peter sitting on the floor in the dark. And when she turns on the light, she sees that instead of having two pretty hazel eyes, Peter now has four black bug-eyes...

In General...

I didn't particularly care for the first two parts of this story, but that's because I felt constantly lost since I thought I had to be reading Avengers to know what was going on. But I was pleased to see the story carry on here. I found the first two issues rather bland, but writer Paul Jenkins really picks it up with this issue. The changes to Peter and the mystery surrounding the Queen's powers and plans are all very intriguing.

After two very nice fill-in issues by Michael Ryan, the art team of Humberto Ramos and Wayne Faucher return this issue, and are at the top of their game, although Ramos draws a somehow goofy-looking Captain America.

Overall Rating...

A very nice issue, although I still have no idea what Avengers Disassembled is! Four webs.