Comics : Amazing Spider-man: Renew Your Vows #2
This review was first published on: Jul 2015.
On Battleworld, Peter and Mary Jane live with their young daughter. Peter was forced to kill an escaped Venom to stop him from threatening his family last issue.
A villain named the Regent just wiped out the Avengers, and has crowned himself king of the city. And there are no heroes left to depose him, as Peter gave up being Spider-man after the murder of Venom.
Amazing Spider-man: Renew Your Vows #2
Aug 2015 : SM Title
Summary: Peter gets back in action to protect Annie Parker
Arc: Part 2 of "Renew Your Vows"
Peter's having a nightmare where he's in costume and trying to save Eddie Brock from the burning wreckage last issue. But instead, the symbiote tries to overtake him, telling him that in the end, for all his claims of power and responsibility, he was no better than Brock.
He wakes up from the dream, his spider-sense telling him something's wrong with his daughter, Annie. As he and Mary Jane run into her room, they find her asleep, but sticking to the ceiling. Yep, this is another kid with spider-powers. And the inhibitor bracelet she wears to conceal her powers, and hide her from the Regent's random scans, is broken.
Later, the family is out in the streets. Peter jumps at the chance to follow some flying police cars to the scene of some action, to help get parts to fix the inhibitor bracelet. MJ drops Annie off at school, telling her not to, under any circumstances, use her powers.
Peter meanwhile is taking some action shots, of one of the last super-powered heros, D-Man, taking on Shocker, Boomerang and Rhino. Watching from an alley are Mockingbird and the Prowler, who radio in to SHIELD asking if they want them to intervene. The shadowy operative says to let the Regent have D-Man.
The villains take D-Man to Regent, who says he's beneath him, but that he will dissect and study D-Man. He gives Shocker a promotion for taking out D-Man. Beetle enters, to tell Regent that a random sweep has picked up a child with a high power rating at one of the city's public schools. Regent tells Beetle, Rhino and Boomerang to go and bring him the child.
Peter takes the photos from earlier to Jonah, who pays Peter to not print them. Somebody comes in to tell Jonah that Regent's team is heading towards a certain public school, and when Jonah turns around, Peter is gone.
He rushes across town, with the hoodie on his sweatshirt up and tied to conceal his face. People recognize him as Spider-man from his moves. He radios to MJ, saying he's got it and for her to not get involved. But she says it's her daughter and there's no way he's stopping her.
Turns out the kids who have the powers at Annie's school are the four kids in Power Pack. Peter drops in, gives Annie, who's standing around watching, a thumbs up, and takes the Rhino out with a single punch. MJ rushes in, thinking it's just like the "good old days", but with "one new and very important twist". She grabs Annie. Peter distracts the bad guys while the Power Pack escapes.
Back at the Regent's, the villains are trying to explain that Spider-man showed up. He says this requires the attention of his "elite guard", the Sinister Six: Doc Ock, Vulture, Mysterio, Kraven, Shocker and Hobgoblin.
At the family apartment, Peter says they need to pack up and go. But MJ says what's the use in running, the Regent has eyes everywhere. She pulls the old black and white costume out of a suitcase, saying Peter will have to stick to the shadows.
We are now fully in Battleworld, in the territory of the new villain the Regent. I don't know what to make of the Regent yet, right now he reminds me of the X-Men villain Mr Sinister (based partly on him experimenting on super-powers, and perhaps partly how Adam Kubert draws him in close up). The redesigned take on the Sinister Six here looks like it will be interesting too (with a literal Vulture / man hybrid, a Doc Ock with more octopus-like arms, and of course me wondering who this incarnation of Hobgoblin is).
Sure enough, Annie Parker is another spider-powered offspring. Most of the story tension comes from her trying to blend in with these surroundings. Again, I like how Peter and Mary Jane are written here, and it's always cool to see Peter kick ass out of costume. I also like how the opening hints at Peter's guilt at having to take Venom's life to protect his family last issue.
The cons here are very minor: The issue plays out almost identical in structure to the last (an opening vignette of the Parker family household, Peter going to the Bugle to get clued in to the issue's real action). Mary Jane's line "it's just the like the good old days, but with one new and important twist" was very corny and on the nose (really, who the heck talks like that). The Regent is a somewhat generic bad guy, though luckily there's no shortage of the classic villains to be found here. Kubert's art is great, though inconsistent. It does look like he's trying a few different techniques (such as the textures of Peter's opening nightmare), but some of the faces, like MJ's in the schoolyard scene, look a bit rushed.
The whole thing comes off like a love letter to the better aspects of 90's Spider-man. Annie seems like she'll be an interesting character, and this is the Peter and Mary Jane that I'd like to read about.