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 a supporting cast, a new villain, and he's made friends with the Human Torch. Now it's time for Howard Mackie to step in and ruin things!
This comic starts off in a hurry, joining Spider-Man after he rescued a boy from a burning building. The boy says his mother is still in the building, but Spidey thinks it's impossible for any one to still be alive, until a woman comes stumbling out! The two are taken in ambulances, but on the way to the hospital the boy, named Carlos, is kidnapped by El Toro Negro, from Amazing Scarlet Spider #2.
Turns out the woman is a Miami crimefighter named Poison. She was chosen to replace El Toro Negro in the Great Game after he was beaten by Joystick in Amazing Scarlet Spider #2. Spidey follows Poison to an old warehouse, where Poison calls her potential sponsor and refuses to play in the Game.
Spidey crashes in, and Poison teleports Spidey behind the fiend to nab him. Shame on El Toro for not suspecting that trick, but what kind of resolution can you expect from one comic, and still sustain a half-decent script?
The more than half-decent story (I actually liked it) was brought to us, the ever-happy- to-hand-over -our-hard-earned-cash- for-a-few-colorful-pages readers by Howard Mackie, John Romita Jr. and Al Williamson. Heck, it could have been much worse.
Better than expected, three and a half webs.