Spidey is about to be decapitated by the Specialist, a hired nutcase sent to retreive Gabe's girlfriend Kasey Nash for Alchemax so she can be used for unethical (and deadly) experimentation.
Though the Specialist admires Spidey for his chivalry, he proceeds to remove Miguel's mask to perform a swift separation of the head from the neck. However, Miguel recovered from last issue's injuries, webbed his mask to his costume, and slashes the samurai in the gut. Meanwhile, Tyler Stone commands the battle be broadcast across the city, interrupting the normal programming. Tyler orders the Public Eye Corps to converge around the melee.
As Kasey runs off, she realizes that Spider-Man is being set-up. Her conscience troubled, she returns to warn him.
Spider-Man ponders if the Specialist is connected to Stark- Fujikawa. The scene shifts to an office where corporate executives of a Japanese firm (presumable Stark-Fujikawa) watch the fight, and demand Spider-Man's doom if he defeats the Specialist.
As Gabriel works at home on a virtual reality project, Dana comes to visit, concerned about Miguel. While Gabe proclaims her relationship with his brother is a mistake, Dana retorts that Gabe is letting their past relationship poison her new one with Miguel. They kiss. Spider-Man's fight appears on the screen behind them.
Kasey hops over the crowd and flips Flyboy "Estey" (previously humbled by Spider-Man in a previous issue) off his hovercycle. Kasey hijacks the cycle, and rescues Spider-Man. The Specialist grabs Spider-Man's leg, dangling in the air, while Spidey holds onto the cycle with a webline. Spidey digs into the Specialist with his talons, while the samurai mocks him for having no "killer instinct". Kasey nearly slams into a wall, but her two passengers do collide. Spidey clings to the wall, but the Specialist plummets. Opting for heroism, Spider-Man saves his enemy with a webline. Ungrateful, the Specialist continues his attack. The enraged Spider-Man lashes out, slashing the Specialist's throat, while the city watches on from the broadcast. The Public Eye catch up, and Sgt. Estevez (Estey's dad) disobeys Stone's order, commanding his corps to fire upon Spider-Man. Spidey is shot, falls off the building, and plunges downward below the towers into "Downtown".
Another issue where our hero ends the story beaten and battered. Though not a meek bookworm like Peter Parker was when first given his abilities, Miguel sure seems to be just as good at being an underdog, abused and bullied while trying to do the right thing.
The pacing of this issue is excellent - still jammed packed with action, sub-plot, and comedy. I found myself anxious to get to know more about Miguel than about his alter-ego at this point - which is a good thing! He's an interesting character. Peter David did all the right things, in my opinion. The only thing that bothered me was that it seemed strange that Gabe's kiss with Dana seemed to have no effect.
Four 1/2 webs. Great stuff.