Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #23

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Jeff English (E-Mail)


As usual, Peter Parker continues to deal with the death of his wife, Mary Jane, as he tries to get on with his life by going out and socializing with the gang. But as usual, trouble looms on the horizon for Mr. Parker...

Story 'Read 'Em and Weep'

The issue opens in a dark apartment where a man prepares for battle. He listens to a tape that preaches the power of words, as he arms himself with letter-blocks and paints his face with letters (including a big "R" in the middle of his forehead for "Retribution"). Finally, he is finished, and Typeface is born.

In the meantime, we find Peter Parker standing on a shore somewhere, having a mental conversation with his departed wife. He tells her of his recent outing at the comedy club, and of an upcoming showing of his photos. And then Peter takes one more step towards getting on with his life, as he slips his wedding band onto his right hand, signifying that he's a widower. Meanwhile, citizens beward! Typeface is loose on the streets of New York! The "R"-faced one encounters a group of punks who demand his wallet. He retaliates by quoting Shakespeare and beating the thugs into unconsciousness with letter and grammatical symbol-shaped blunt objects. And after subduing the miscreants, Typeface, for some reason that I don't know, and really don't want to know, takes their clothing. Ewwww...

Peter Parker, meanwhile, is having strange dreams about owls and spiders and girls and fires, when he wakes up to a phone call from Mr. Whipple, the man who is running Pete's photography showing. Pete thinks that Whipple is calling him in the middle of the night, but is shocked to learn that it is actually the middle of the afternoon. He goes into the living room to find Randy staring off into space. Pete manages to get his attention, and Randy reveals that he was also experiencing weird dreams.

Over at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson complains to Robbie Robertson about how the Bugle is being scooped by every other paper in town for stories on the recent spate of vandalism that is sweeping the town. And instead of being out trying to help JJJ by getting pictures of this vandalizing menace, Peter Parker is sitting at a bar moping. He perks up, though, when he spots a nice young man who also sports his wedding band on his right hand. Pete assumes this fellow to be a fellow widower, so he has a nice chat with him. Pete walks back over to meet Randy, Jill Stacy, and Glory Grant, and Randy informs him that the wedding band on the guy's right hand didn't mean he was a widower... it meant he was gay. Pete is totally embarrassed, but he manages to escape the scene when he sees a news report on Typeface's rampage.

Typeface is raving and tossing exploding blocks at buildings, and just generally causing a lot of property damage. Spider-Man arrives on the scene and swings into action, but before he can thwart Typie's evil plan, the wall-crawler is felled by a series of Scrabble tiles that spell "SLEEP". As Spidey lays in the street helpless, Typeface tells him of his evil plan, which will come to fruition the next night, at 7:00 p.m., which is, of course, the same time as Pete's gallery opening.

Pete manages to find his way home and is sitting on his bed, thinking about how he should come up with a plan on how to handle Typeface, but he's just too tired. Pete passes out and is greeted by more weird dreams, and when he wakes up, he's shackled to his bed and face to face with extra-terrestrials.

Overall Rating

Sure, it's filler, but it's good, fun, enjoyable filler. Check it out for some laughs and a fun story and the debut of the best new villain of the Spider-Man reboot - Typeface!

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Jeff English (E-Mail)