Since Axel Alonso took over as the Editor of all things Spidey he has endeavoured to get good fresh talent involved in writing Spidey's adventures. His latest addition of talent is Peter Bagge an independant creator.
The basis of this issue is a "What If?" situation. What if Peter found out that Uncle Ben died because he was really a chronic gambler who owed a lot of money. And Aunt May manipulated Pete to hide what a shady person Ben really was. As a result Pete isn't plagued with guilt and doesn't buy into Bens "with great power.." line. Instead of being a selfless hero, he becomes the selfish, self-absorbed, border-line psychotic, tyrannical CEO of Spider-Man, Inc. A business empire Pete builds on promoting Spider-Man.
Pete also marries Gwen and has J. Jonah Jameson as his lackey.
Everything comes unstuck for this alternate Spidey when the President of America decides to present Spider-Man with a medal, bestowing the country's greatest honour for his heroic endeavours. The problem is Pete hasn't donned the costume for awhile and is now sporting a large gut. His tight fitting Spidey suit doesn't look so good anymore. In a rage he smashes a hole in a wall and Jonah peaks in and discovers Pete's identity. There's some arguing, but the conclusion is that Jonah will dress up as Spidey and recieve the award.
Jonah goes to the award ceremony as Spidey, where in an assination attempt, he is killed.
Time skips forward and a young Trey Robertson turns up to interview an aged Peter Parker for the 15th Anniversary of the death of Spider-Man. Parker lives in a run down apartment. Pete craps on a bit and then hands off a manuscript of his autobiography to Trey and sends him on his way. Trey leaves, reads a bit of the manuscript and then throws it in the bin with "Ahh, screw it! I'm not gonna waste my time reading this crap..." The End.
Basically, Trey's comment at the end of this issue summed up what I thought of it! It was a struggle to reach the end of this issue and in the end I don't know why I really bothered! The only thing I can think of that can justify putting myself through it is that I can write this review and hopefully save some of you the same pain and anguish!
Well, okay. Maybe that's being a bit overwrought. And maybe I just didn't 'get' this book. I mean what is it's purpose? Is it supposed to be funny? A satirical blac comedy? I like those sorta things, but I didn't like this. All I found to be was painfull What If? exploration that really seemed to serve no purpose. All the characters were unlikable in any way and while the plot was unpredictable it wasn't really all that interesting. Bagge's art wasn't really to my taste. And the way just about every character went psycho at the drop of a hat got pretty repetative by the end of the book.
There is news that Axel Alonso is lining up Bagge to do some more Marvel work, specifically the Hulk. If that's the case I sure hope it turns out a lot better than this!
So, if you haven't gotten the hint. I didn't like it. If you haven't picked this up yet and were thinking about, then my advice is leave it alone. If you have read it then I share your pain!
Really, with all the quality projects around at the moment, this is a waste of time.