Spider-Man Unlimited (Vol. 3) is Marvel's new "showcase" title. Released bi-monthly, each issue features two separate stories each month by guest creators. The good side is, you get a lot of new stuff. The down side is that it won't suit everyone's tastes, and you take your luck each issue.
This month, we have a couple of real odd-ball tales.
The first story this issue takes place at the Daily Bugle. Some hyper young man turns up demanding that the Bugle print a retraction. Seems that his dad got picked up as a suspect in a crime, and was subsequently shown to be innocent. Problem is, when papers splash peoples names around as "alleged" criminals, they don't normally say anything when those very same people are found to be innocent.
Yeah, fair cop, this is a pretty good point. Of course, modern reporting is screwed so many ways these days, what with dumbing-down, corporate moguls exerting editorial bias, paparazzi peddling invasive exploitive hype to the detriment of objective fact-based information story, it's pretty crap all over really. Be that as it may, the challenge for writer Kim "Howard" Johnson is to turn an interesting point into an interesting 10 page story.
And this (s)he generally achieves. The young guy grabs some hostages, and settles in for a bit of a siege, while Jonah and Robbie argue about what they're going to do about the whole thing. The conclusion is all pretty believable. The only real problem to my mind is that the story really lacks any sort of punchline. Well, actually, it does have a punchline, but it's a cheap shot attempt at some marginally-related "ironic" humour which really doesn't provide any sort of closure to the main story.
In fact, leaving the story open might have worked pretty well, maybe it didn't need a punchline all that much. However, adding this unrelated conclusion just muddies up everything, and takes the edge of what could have otherwise been a pretty good story. Shame really.
Oh, Spidey doesn't appear at all, except that he was the one who caught the real criminal. Still, that's cool, I'm happy to call this one a perfectly legit Spidey tie-in story.
With the vague and distracting ending, I'm gonna still give it three webs. Could have easily been more with a better wrap-up. But wait, we still have the second story to review...