Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #45

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


Last issue, the Green Goblin returned to Spider-Man's life in a big way, promising that Spidey would soon have a funeral to attend. Now the Goblin's plan is set into motion...

Story Details

Peter Parker, bruised and battered from his confrontation with the Green Goblin last issue, stands in his apartment and watches a video of Gwen Stacy's death that has just been released to the media by the Goblin. During the footage, the Goblin points out that when Gwen fell from the bridge, he swooped down on his glider to save her, but Spider-Man carelessly caught her with his webbing, snapping her neck with the sudden stop. The Goblin comments that Gwen's death is clearly the result of Spidey's actions.

On a rainy night, Flash Thompson exits a church after his Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Outside, he's confronted by Norman Osborn who says he has a job offer for Flash. Meanwhile on television, Larry King and noted criminologist Doctor Andrew McCullough analyze the new Green Goblin video footage, and ponder why the Goblin would release it at this time.

At a Japanese restaurant, Norman Osborn is conducting a meeting with members of the Tanaka Corporation concerning their upcoming merger with Osborn Industries. Suddenly Peter Parker bursts in and confronts Osborn. They exchange some trash talking, Osborn messes with Peter's head, and Peter leaves.

Out in the rain, Spider-Man confronts J. Jonah Jameson. Spidey says that the Goblin's allegations against him are all false, but Jameson says he'll only believe the wall-crawler if he stops hiding behind his mask. Spidey refuses and swings off. Meanwhile, the Green Goblin supervises while his goons force whiskey down Flash Thompson's throat. The Goblin flies out on his glider and screams to the night, saying that if Spider-Man can't hear him now, he soon will.

While Peter Parker has a restless sleep haunted by a recurring dream, Flash Thompson is passed out but behind the wheel of a truck that seems to be remote-controlled, an open bottle of champagne on the seat next to him. Flash wakes up just as he's about to crash, and before long, Peter is awakened by a ringing phone.

The phone call brings Peter to his school, where there's an Osborn Industries truck buried into the wall where his classroom used to be. Peter talks to a police officer who tells him that Flash was behind the wheel, and that he's at the hospital in bad shape. Pete changes to Spider-Man and swings across town where he finds Liz Osborn inside the hospital. A doctor tells Liz that Flash is stable, but there's a good chance he's suffered permanent and irreversible brain damage. Outside, clinging to the wall, Spider-Man says that he hears Osborn loud and clear.

General Comments

This story arc has picked up speed in a big way with this issue. Paul Jenkins really knows how to get the most out of Spidey's classic villains: his first Goblin story was great, his Doc Ock story was fantastic, and this Goblin story could well be his best yet. I was also thrilled to see Flash Thompson, my very favourite member of Spidey's supporting cast, make an appearance, although I'm going to be upset if he doesn't pull through. But what I thought was the best part of this issue was Spidey's confrontation with JJJ. A lot of writers use JJJ as a cantankerous old blowhard who blindly hates Spidey. But when Paul Jenkins writes him, you see that he's a newsman first and foremost, and that he has a reason for not liking Spidey. And it was great to see a Liz Osborn cameo at the end of the issue, too. Great use of the supporting cast, Mr. Jenkins.

And the art by Humberto Ramos and Wayne Faucher, was simply beautiful - even better than last issue.

Overall Rating

It's gonna be a long month waiting for the next issue. Five big webs.

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