Comics : Spider-Man Unlimited #11

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This story is part of an Arc: "Return of Spider-Man"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Ben's been a busy boy for the last little while, what with discovering that he isn't a clone, then thwarting the Jackal's evil plot, then saving reality from the New Doctor Octopus, then having the Scarlet Spider's reputation dragged through the mud by the holographically-created Scarlet Spider (who doesn't show up in these titles, only in the last issues of "Web").

Now that the people of New York are out to get the Scarlet Spider, Ben decides it's a good idea to become the man he thought he'd never be again... Spider-Man! Ben has started to fit into Peter's routine, with not too many problems so far. Of course, he hasn't yet met... the Black Cat!

In Detail...

"The Skull Jackets"
Spider-Man Unlimited #11 (Story 1)
Jan 1996 : SM Title
Summary: Black Cat, First Skull-Jacket
Arc: Part 5 of "Return of Spider-Man"
Editor:  Eric Fein
Writer:  Adam Santangelo, Fabian Nicieza
Pencils:  Dave Hoover, Sal Buscema
Inker:  Josef Rubinstein, Sal Buscema
Cover Art:  Dave Hoover
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Articles: Ben Reilly, Black Cat, Jameson, J. Jonah, Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Robertson, Joe "Robbie"

The plot is a souped-up whodunnit with every one's favorite wall-crawler as the confused detective. Felicia Hardy is the prime suspect, and Ben fights off a badly-hidden crush as he accuses her, and then reluctantly agrees to let her inspect the murder of a wealthy woman with him.

Turns out a villain named Skull Jacket (who has the same appearence-altering technology as the Chameleon) dunnit, and then impersonated the lady's son to inherit a fortune. After the mystery's solved, Cat (who is handling this whole "my ex-boyfriend is a super-powered clone" thing very well) unmasks Ben and kisses him!

Black Cat is now the fourth person in New York to know Spidey's new identity. Who are the other three? Well, there's Ben (of course), Seywerd Trainer (who's still in a coma from Amazing Scarlet Spider #1) and Kaine (who is no longer dead). Personnally, I'm all for a Spidey-Cat couplehood, but I hope Ben could handle it better than Peter did.

In General...

Unlimited #11 was written far better than #10, and for this Fabian Nicieza can be congratulated. The art is also great, thanks to Dave Hoover's pencil work, and Joe Rubinstein's inking. Another great January title.

This story wraps up the "Return of Spider-Man" arc. So what's the final verdict? The stories were terrific, as individual comics. The individuality of this month's issues was probably the best feature, and topping the art is a considerable accomplishment! Also, in each monthly title there was a page or two of foreshadowing to the upcoming Media Blizzard story line.

In Sensational, Mysterio steals the DIT chip. In Amazing, he tests it out. In Spider-Man, he buys a T.V station, and in Spectacular (gotta search for a connection in this one), a T.V. proves mesmerizing to young Devon at the Daily Grind. Although I miss Pete and MJ, I forgive Marvel (and thank them for moving the Parkers instead of killing them off).

Overall Rating...

Ah, what the heck... five webs, a perfect score, and a great way to wrap up the Return of Spider-Man!