Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #48

Background

After weathering the storm of the Green Goblin's attacks on his body and spirit for the last four issues, Peter Parker finally gets a moment to rest and consider what the Goblin has cost him...

Story 'The Big Question'

Peter Parker sits in his room, looking at his Spider-Man costume and conversing with God, asking Him why He would let the Green Goblin's evil machinations put Flash Thompson in a coma. It is, of course, all a part of His grand design, though, and Peter breaks into tears and clutches his costume. Meanwhile, alarms are blaring at AGK Corporation. A mysterious Indian woman escapes unnoticed as security rushes into a vault to find that the Star of Persia, worth fifty million dollars, has been stolen, and piece of red cloth with a question mark printed on it has been left in the vault.

Outside Flash's hospital room, Spider-Man looks on as Liz Osborn reads to an unconscious Flash. Spidey swings away, blaming himself for what happened to Flash, when he stumbles upon a trail of lotus flowers. He picks one up and his senses are overwhelmed with an image of a golden statue and the sound of far away laughter. Spidey returns to reality to find a white cloth floating down to him - a white cloth with a question mark printed upon it. The mysterious Indian woman looks on. Meanwhile at AGK, the board of directors is meeting with the head of security, Mr. Corman, to discuss what to do about the theft of the Star of Persia.

Back at Peter's apartment, Peter is still shaken up over the lotus flower. But when he looks out his window across the street, he spies Barker the Dog sitting in a tuxedo. Peter calls Caryn, Barker's owner, who explains that she can't hear Peter over the music because Barker has thrown a party. Peter's confusion deepens. Some time later, Liz Osborn calls and gets Peter's answering machine. She explains that Flash's body is going to be fine, but no matter what the doctors try, they can't get Flash's brain to respond. Peter sits there, listening to the message, with his head buried in his hands. Peter tells himself that he doesn't want to get involved with Flash, because being involved is what got Flash hurt in the first place. In despair, Peter looks out his window, and is shocked to spot Barker looking up with a red and yellow scarf around his neck - with a question mark printed on it.

Peter sprints to the roof of his apartment building, changing to Spider-Man along the way. When he gets there, he finds the mysterious Indian woman. She leads Spidey on a chase, jumping from rooftop to rooftop, inexplicably getting farther ahead of Spidey than she should be capable of. When she finally stops to allow Spidey to catch her, she presents him with a red and yellow question mark scarf, and whacks Spidey with a headbutt. Spidey falls down, dazed, and when he gets up, the Indian woman is gone and only the scarf remains. But as soon as he touches the scarf, he hears a message inside himself, telling him to turn around. And when he turns around, he sees the AGK building, and the rooms have been lit up in the shape of a question mark...

General Comments

The first part of this new storyline is full of mystery, but it just doesn't seem very interesting so far. Paul Jenkins has introduced this mysterious Indian woman, but he hasn't even given her a name. But one element of the story that I did love, as always, was the appearance by Barker and Caryn. Barker just gets funnier every time he shows up.

On another note, Mark Buckingham is back providing the pencils for this issue, and his art (along with Wayne Faucher's inks) is just fantastic here. Although I really enjoyed Humberto Ramos' art in the Green Goblin story, I have to say that I'd still rather have Mr. Buckingham on board.

Overall Rating

This book probably only deserves two and a half webs, but I'm giving it a half web bonus for the hilarious Barker appearance. So there ya have it, three webs.