Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #23

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This story is part of an Arc: "Sins Remembered: Sarah's Story"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

In the recent "Sins Past" storyline in Amazing Spider-Man, we were introduced to Gabriel and Sarah Stacy, the illegitimate twin children of Norman Osborn and Peter Parker's late girlfriend Gwen Stacy. Gabe and Sarah, as a result of Osborn's unique physiology, are blessed with superhuman strength and stamina, but cursed with a rapid aging factor that causes them to grow older at a rate several times faster than that of a normal human. When we last saw the twins, Gabe was clad as the Gray Goblin and he presumably fell to his death after battle with Spider-Man in New York City. After that fight, Sarah simply disappeared...

In Detail...

Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #23
Mar 2005 : SM Title
Arc: Part 1 of "Sins Remembered: Sarah's Story"
Editor:  Tom Brevoort
Writer:  Samm Barnes
Pencils:  Scot Eaton
Inker:  Cam Smith
Cover Art:  Greg Land
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man TPB (Spectacular) #5
Articles: Green Goblin I (Norman Osborn) (Cameo), Stacy, Sarah

This issue opens with a call to Peter Parker, informing him that Sarah Stacy is in a Paris hospital, and that she tried to kill herself. Since Peter is listed as Sarah's emergency contact, he immediately hops aboard a flight to be with her, despite Mary Jane's protestations. Upon arriving in Paris, Peter overcomes some embarrassing language differences and eventually at the American Hospital of Paris. Peter speaks with Sarah's physician, Dr. Gerard, who informs him that Sarah tried to overdose on painkillers. Peter finally gets in to see Sarah, who insists that instead of trying to kill herself, she merely took a large dose of painkillers for the headaches that her aging condition causes, because only a large dose helps her. Convinced, Peter agrees to spend some time in Paris to get to know her better.

Peter and Sarah leave the hospital and take a cab to the Stacy Estate. When they arrive, a mysterious man is lurking outside, and he makes a mysterious phone call to inform someone that Sarah has arrived home. Once inside her house, Sarah manages to convince Peter to stay at the house with her rather than getting a hotel room. Once Sarah goes to bed, Peter calls Mary Jane back in New York to check in with her. He lies and tells Mary Jane that he's staying in a hotel, and then after hanging up, he feels so guilty about it that he has to go out web-slinging. Once Peter leaves, Sarah gets up and takes more pills.

Outside in Paris, Spider-Man tries to foil a crime that turns out to just be a lovers' quarrel, and then he damages some old Parisian architecture when he tries to jump off of it. With French spectators throwing vegetables at him, Spidey decides to call it a night before he does any more damage. The next morning, Peter and Sarah have breakfast together, but once Peter gets in the shower, Sarah makes a mysterious phone call saying that "...if we're lucky, maybe nobody has to die"...

In General...

I don't really know what to say about this issue. I really enjoyed the "Sins Past" storyline in ASM, despite the fact that it did some fairly offensive things to a fondly remembered character. But to have "Sins Remembered" so soon after just seems rather forced. I just think that the story might have had more impact had they waited some time for Sarah Stacy to resurface rather than having her turn up again so quickly to milk some of the success from "Sins Past".

But my bigger complaint is that, unlike the exciting "Sins Past", this first installment of "Sins Remembered" is just plain bland. The story, by writer Samm Barnes, is okay, but not terribly interesting. The art, by penciler Scot Eaton and inker Cam Smith, is merely satisfactory. I actually feel bad saying this about this comic, because there's nothing in it that's terribly bad (e.g., insect telepathy!)... but I just found it to be very dull.

Overall Rating...

There's not really anything wrong with this issue... there's just not a lot right with it, either. Two and a half webs.