Spider-Man Unlimited (Vol. 3) #10

Background

There's really not much background to give on these self-contained stories. This issue in particular seems to contain stories that highlight Spider-Man's affect on other people (similar to "Tangled Web"), with B-writers and artists. It's kind of like watching a Spider-Man movie made in the eighties...the costumes look bad and the story was scribbled onto notebook paper in crayon. Read on.

Story 'Love Cycle (Obsess, Distress, Repeat)'

A girl sits in her room listening to a radio news program praising Spider-Man for saving a civilian's life. She obviously agrees with the praise chorus, and seems to have an unrequited crush on our web-slinger...and puts the finishing touches on the bomb she has fashioned.

The girl walks to school, thinking about her unhappiness, alongside the fact that her crush doesn't love her back. Suddenly, a thug comes up from behind her and snatches her purse. She cries out in protest. The crook runs off, nearly knocking into our very own Peter Parker, who drops his coffee and takes pursuit, muttering about how he'll be late for school again. Peter catches up with the crook and tackles him, making a Spidey-style wisecrack in civilian clothes as he retrieves the purse.

The girl follows close behind thinking about how she's lost her "only one." Peter taps her on the shoulder holding her bag, and asks if she was looking for something. She hastily snatches it back, and Peter recognizes her as Maya Rider, a girl from his science class the previous semester. He mentions that she was frequently absent from class, to which she makes the lame excuse that she gets sick a lot. Peter proceeds to compliment her on her natural scientific abilities, and confides in her that he was a science nerd (and an unpopular one) in high school himself. She listens as he explains that although it's hard to be unpopular, being as gifted as she is in science, she has the potential to be great. She mulls this over, offers Peter a heartfelt thanks, and leaves in the opposite direction of school.

Maya arrives back home and takes a yearbook off her shelf. She then takes a picture of Spider-Man out of her purse and looks at it. She thinks that it's too bad she didn't get to see or die with Spider-Man that day, and realizes that they're not meant to be. She then throws away the picture, tears a picture of Peter out of her yearbook, and places it on top of the bomb on her desk. She then clicks off the timer, and thinks about how Peter has changed her life.

General Comments

Well, the clean, semi-cartoony art was appropriate for this story. Unfortunately, the ending was predictable and kind of unpleasant to read. Obviously this girl has a lot of potential as a scientist, but I see her more as a Dr. Kevorkian than an Albert Einstein. This girl's got issues, and I was more disturbed than intrigued by watching her obsession switch from Spider-Man to Peter Parker, regardless of the irony of her being obsessed with the same man twice in a row. I mean, this unpopular, suicidal, emotionally fragile high-school girl still has a bomb sitting on her desk. Just because she turned it off because of a moving speech made by her former teacher doesn't mean she won't blow up the school when she realizes Peter Parker is happily married and won't return her "love" any more than Spider-Man did. I think the only thing the writer thought about was that it would be ironic to have both of her obsessions be for the same man, and just kind of wrote a story around that.

Overall Rating

Two webs. Appreciate the irony, and the art fits the mood, but beyond that, it's filler for a book that's really just filler in itself.