After having two peaceful days off, nobody likes going back to work on a Monday. And this is no exception for Spider-Man and two members of his rogues gallery..
Bright and early on a Monday morning, Peter Parker, Herman Schultz, and Morrie Bench wake up and get ready for work. Peter decides to shorten the commute by web-swinging across town as Spider-Man, and on his way there, he meets and subdues Stilt-Man. Schultz and Bench, meanwhile, bump into each other at the punch clock at Hammer Industries, and once inside, they assume their more well-known personas of the Shocker and Hydro-Man. The Shocker tests out some new equipment that Hammer's scientists have put together, while another scientist studies the amount of water that Hydro-Man can hold.
After disarming Stilt-Man, Spidey catches some grief from the cops on the scene, and he swings away unhappily. Back at Hammer Industries, the Shocker and Hydro-Man have been called in to see their boss, Mr. Morrell (it seems that Justin Hammer is either dead or frozen at the moment). Morrell informs the Shocker and Hydro-Man that Hammer Industries is no longer pursuing any illegal ventures, and that therefore, they are fired.
In Forest Hills, Peter Parker has gone to have dinner with his Aunt May, but he's in a horrible mood after going to visit Flash Thompson in the hospital. Peter cannot help feeling responsible for Flash being in a coma. Meanwhile, at Denny's, the Shocker and Hydro-Man are talking about how things went wrong with them. The Shocker says that all he ever wanted was to be a bank robber, and that it was only after Spider-Man interfered that his criminal career went down the tubes. Instead of trying to steal money, he was too busy going after Spider-Man. He goes on to say that these days, he and Hydro-Man are nobodies. Hydro-Man suggests that they team up to kill Spidey to get some respect, but Shocker insists that he just wants to make money. After getting some grief from a troublesome waitress, the two villains leave and Hydro-Man floods the restaurant, telling his companion, "You find your score, Shocker, and I'll take care of Spider-Man."
I have to admit that I didn't have very high hopes for this issue. I opened to the first page, looked at the art, and went, "Ugh." This issue's penciler, Francisco Herrera, has a style reminiscent of Humberto Ramos, who just finished work on this title a few months ago. Herrera's art is not, in my opinion, is not as easy on the eyes as Ramos'. And while the art wasn't quite as bad as I first though, as there are some nice looking spots in this issue, there are also some pages that just aren't too pretty.
The story, meanwhile, really impressed me. I loved Zeb Wells' previous work in this title, and I really liked this story as well. I found it very interesting to see what a pair of mediocre villains like the Shocker and Hydro-Man would do each day, and there are also some very funny parts in this issue, like the radio's Super-Villain Tracking Service, and the Shocker arguing the use of "the" before his name.
It may not be all that nice to look at, but there's a solid story in this book. Three webs.