Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #220

Background

Peter Parker's parents had returned only to turn out to be evil duplicates created by the Chameleon. That was enough to push him over the edge and take the friendly out of friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Now, poisoned by one of the Vulture's birds, Spidey now finds himself in a fight for his life that his fists won't get him out of.

Story 'A Time To Live!'

  Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #220 (Story 1)
Summary: MJ Pregnant, Dr. Octopus - Flip Book
Arc: Part 2 of 'Web of Death' (1-2-3-4)
Editor: Mark Powers
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Sal Buscema
Inker: Bill Sienkiewicz
Cover Art: Sal Buscema

Doctor Octopus struggles to try and find a cure for the poison killing Spider- Man, finding it a more difficult task than he ever imagined. He knows he should just let his foe die, but he sees everything in the man that he could have been if only things had turned out different. Ock places a call to the Parker household to speak to Peter's Aunt May (whom he almost married way back in Amazing Spider-Man #131) only to learn the news about her current condition from Anna Watson who was picking up some clothes for her. Inspired to double the efforts and save May's nephew, Ock sends his lady love Stunner out for flowers. As she leaves, she's unaware the mysterious man known as Kaine watches after her.

Meanwhile, Mary Jane watches over May in the hospital pleading for her not to die, unaware that her husband is about to go into cardiac arrest in Ock's lab. Spidey is pumped full of Ock's untested cure only to end up bouncing all over the place on instinct as the pain and more memories flash through him. Stunner tries to subdue him, but Peter bats her aside and leaps out of the lab only to ricochet from building to building. He finally loses steam and Ock catches him.

Spidey wakes up on a rooftop not too far from his home, his symptoms totally gone. He races home, happy for the first time in what seems like ages. Questions race through his mind, the least of which is how he can beg for Mary Jane's forgiveness. MJ returns home to find him there, and both wonder if there's any chance for them at all. Then they both decide...yes. Their happy reunion is observed by Ock, very pleased with himself...until he returns to his lab and discovers his serum only masks the symptoms of the poison, rather than cure them.

Sure enough, Peter finds himself suffering from said symptoms again. He decides it's time to break the news to MJ, who has news of her own. Letting her go first, Peter gets the biggest shock of his life; they're going to have a baby.

General Comments

There's a LOT of peeping toms in the Spideyverse. Another good installment to the story with great art to match. You can really get inside the character's heads and feel their motivations. Not to mention the growing mystery of Kaine and Stunner. Plus we get a visit from classic Spidey as he takes an all-too- brief break from his depression. There are a lot of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat, and with a possible replacement running around you have to wonder if this really is the swan song for ol' Petey.

Overall Rating

Four and a half webs. It's just a very compelling story that you can't wait to see how the next part is gonna go.