Spider-Man Unlimited (Vol. 3) #14

Background

Spider-Man Unlimited seems to focus on stories that aren't important to current continuity, but may (or may not) be worth telling anyway. Written and drawn by guest writers and artists.

Story 'Without a Trace'

As she leaps across the rooftops with Spider-Man following closely, the Black Cat conversationally asks Spidey if he's enjoying the view. It seems he certainly is, as he gets an eyeful of Cat's backside as she dives to the roof below. Spidey catches up to her and demands that she explain what they're doing, and that she does: They're going to break into the Latverian Embassy. Obviously uncomfortable with the idea, Spidey objects, until Cat reminds him that she helped him break the Green goblin out of prison (during Mark Millar's run on Marvel Knights: Spider-Man). Still not convinced, he states that he won't do anything illegal, and Cat asks him to trust her, even though she won't tell him what she wants from Dr. Doom's stronghold--only that it was an item that would soon be sold to an unknown buyer, and that it could put a lot of people in danger. Spidey reluctantly agrees, and the duo make their way to the embassy.

At the embassy, the Black Cat cuts through a window with her claws and they enter. Cat triggers a mechanism that reveals a hidden elevator, which they take down. In the elevator, Spider-Man comments that any minute now they'll be attacked by laser beams, flamethrowers and killer robots and, sure enough, when the doors open, they are greeted by laser fire, flamethrowers and insectoid robots. They fight their way through, finally met by Dr. Doom himself.

A short battle ensues, with Doom firing energy beams at our heroes, who respond with physical blows. Cat manages to get Doom's mask off, and Spidey puts his fist through his face. Their enemy vanquished, Spidey realizes that it wasn't Dr. Doom at all--just a Doombot guarding the embassy. As Spidey examines the robot, Cat makes her way to a specific vault and opens it up.

Spider-Man follows her and demands to know what was so important for her to steal that she would risk both of their lives to get it. She extends her hand to reveal just exactly what it was...one of Spidey's own spider-tracers.

Confused, Spidey tells Felicia that the tracer is useless to anyone but himself, as it's attuned to his spider-sense. Cat interrupts him, perturbed, telling him that the person that was going to buy the tracer didn't want the tracer itself, but the man who created it. She shines a light on the tracer, revealing a crisp, clear fingerprint--Peter's fingerprint.

That night at home, Peter examines the spider-tracer as Mary Jane comes down to check on him. Pete explains about Cat and the fingerprint, and Mary Jane begins to object, but Peter stops her. He says that he thinks that Cat was thinking about not only him, but MJ and Aunt May, as well, and that she's finally turned over a new leaf.

General Comments

First off, I gotta say I love David Finch's pencils. He draws a funny-looking Spider-Man that has a goofy charm; he's skinny, yet powerful. His women are beautiful, as always, and it was nice to see his Black Cat.

That said, I was a little disappointed with the characterization in this story. Granted, the Black Cat hasn't been known for her strong moral center, but in recent years, she's always had the best intentions at heart. I think that Spidey would trust her more openly than he did if she said that people were in danger. She's come a long way since being the cat burglar Spidey foiled back in the day, and Peter knows that.

Overall Rating

Three stars and a half webs. A pretty good little story, full of butt jokes and bad puns, and illustrated beautifully.