Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #16

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: spidermad (E-Mail)


Spidey's wife, Mary Jane, is still presumed dead, but Peter still doesn't believe it. He's freshly back from Latveria, where he has been searching for her and upon his return finds that his life is taking a turn for the worse!

Story 'Coming Home'

  Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #16
Summary: Cassandra Locke, The Ghost, Peter Loses Job at Tricorp
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Writer: Howard Mackie
Pencils: John Byrne
Inker: Dan Green
Cover Art: John Byrne
Reprinted In: Spider-Man Universe #4

Spidey returns home to find his life is in a shambles in more ways than one. Firstly, he's being kicked out of his apartment! It seems Mary Jane's money has disappeared, along with her manager and all Pete is left with is the bills! But, that's okay, he's still got his job at Tricorp, right? Wrong. It seems that his boss (along with this reader) has noticed that he never actually turns up for work (I think since he got the job in #1 of the reboot, he's been twice since!), so he's sacked from Tricorp. But, that's okay, he can still sell photos of Spidey to the Bugle, right? Wrong again. That avenue is closed to him too, with Jonah acting all weird on Pete. So by the end of the issue, Spidey is wifeless, jobless and homeless!

Also, there's some stuff in here about the industrial saboteur, the Ghost, trying to wreck Tricorp. Which basically involves Spidey and Cassandra Locke from saving the day. If you're not familiar with Cassandra, she's a time travelling historian who is currently part of the Marvel: Lost Generations limited series.

General Comments

I'm undecided on this issue. I like a couple of things about it, but on the other hand there were some things that really annoyed me.

I enjoyed the tying up of loose ends that have been around for a few issues. It was good to see some resolution on Pete's job at Tricorp, either he was going to knuckle down or lose it. Though the outcome of him losing it makes me wonder what was the point in introducing it and the characters involved. We also see some follow up on Jonah and whether he knows about Pete's dual identity or not, which is great (as long as they don't drag it out too long). I also enjoyed the art especially the action scenes.

As far as the annoyances go, there are a few. Firstly, there's too many 'throw away' elements to this story. Mainly the appearance of Cassandra Locke (it seems the only real reason for her to appear is to drum up some interest in Marvel: Lost Generations), who is given way to much 'screen time' for a character we won't see again in these pages. The other throw away element is the whole fight with the Ghost and events surrounding it. It seems that they wrote the issue and then went "Whoops! We have no obligatory disaster and fight with a super-villain." and chucked the stuff with the Ghost in! Mackie and Byrne's time would have been better spent fleshing out Pete's problems and his most recent difficulties. Maybe if they did this I would actually care a bit more about what happens to Spidey. Maybe then I would actually feel sorry for our main character whose life is getting put through the wringer.

In summary, if this comic had just concentrated on Peter in this issue, it would have been excellent. But, instead way too much time is spent on other things. I really want to sympathise with Spidey's situation, but with the way this is written, just rushing over his problems, I find I hardly care.

Overall Rating

Three webs. This could have been so much better.

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: spidermad (E-Mail)