Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #677

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This story is part of an Arc: "Devil And The Details"
     Part 1 / Part 2

This review was first published on: Jan 2012.

Background...

After discovering that Peter Parker was actually Spider-man and withholding his secret identity, police forensics investigator and girlfriend Carlie Cooper decided to end her romantic relationship with Peter. Meanwhile, Peter hasn't run into former flame the Black Cat since they both fought Kingpin and the Phil Urich Hobgoblin during the Big Time arc. What's a newly-single Spider to do?

In Detail...

"Devil And The Details"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #677
Mar 2012 : SM Title
Summary: Daredevil crossover, Black Cat appearance
Arc: Part 1 of "Devil And The Details"
Writer:  Mark Waid
Artist:  Emma Rios
Cover Art:  Humberto Ramos & Edgar Delgado
Lettering:  VC's Joe Caramagna
Colorist:  Javier Rodriguez
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Articles: Black Cat

Peter Parker, walking through wintry streets of Manhattan amid romancing couples, ruminates on how a few weeks ago he was "crazy in love" with "the perfect woman", that his romantic life was going right, but that he should've known how long that would last.

He suits up and dispatches a robber in an alley. Upon webbing him up, Spidey runs into Black Cat. Internally, Spidey tells himself to be cool around her, but Cat picks up right away that he's been recently dumped. They go bounding across the rooftops together. Cat tells him she's not interested in being a "rebound romance" and leaves, saying she heading for a quiet night's rest at her place.

Cat enters her skylight, showers, and then finds a spider-tracer on her outfit. She hears a crash and assumes it's Spidey coming calling, but it's actually the police, who charge in with their guns drawn and place her under arrest.

The next day, Peter is running late to Horizon Labs. Upon meeting Sajani, she informs him that everyone is giving statements to the police after last night's break-in at the labs. An experimental project, the H-Phone, which projects holograms and was being developed by a man named Wasserschmidt, was stolen, and Black Cat was caught on camera taking it. Having run into her during the time in question last night, Peter knows she's innocent.

In the Court District, Matt Murdoch is talking to the assistant DA Kristen McDuffie outside, bantering back and forth about Matt not having a secret identity as Daredevil (seems after the events of Shadowland, it is now known that Murdoch and Daredevil are one and the same, something which Matt publicly denies). Matt's case isn't helped by Spider-man suddenly appearing above asking Matt for some "dare-help". They agree to meet up on the Chrysler Building, where Spider-man explains that the Black Cat has been framed.

Out of town, Felicia's being transported as a prisoner, but the car hits a pothole and gets a flat due to Felicia's bad luck powers. She overcomes her prison escorts, dons their clothes and escapes.

Spidey and Daredevil are skulking through the alleys, when Spider-man's sense alerts him to Wasserschmidt, the H-Phone developer, being held at gunpoint by a gang of thugs. Spidey says he'll hang back since they have a hostage, and the thugs start disappearing down an access tunnel in the alley. Daredevil says he doesn't actually sense anyone there, and Spider-man realizes it was all a holographic illusion. They follow down the tunnel, and Daredevil senses tremors. Before they can backtrack, the tunnel collapses around them. Spidey manages to dig himself out of the rubble, but grabs a handful of live cable conduit, electrifying himself. He thinks how rotton his luck is, when he looks up to find Black Cat standing over him.

In General...

Another guest-creator issue; here, writer Mark Waid gives Dan Slott a break and brings us a crossover with Daredevil, who's monthly title Waid is now writing. It's a fun team up, and DD and Spidey's banter is often quite funny. I'm not sure I'm understanding just what's going on with the story, however. First the stuff in the alley in the end with the holographic illusion (was it just coincidence that DD and Spidey should be passing by that alley spot at that time?) It must've been a trap set by whomever is impersonating Black Cat. Hmm--holographic illusions, impersonation--sounds an awful lot like Mysterio--but he's been busy with the Sinister Six, no?

The art by Rios is scratchy and often reminds one of Max Fumiara, but the storytelling here is clear and it's easy to follow what's going on. Spidey and Daredevil's rooftop meeting and race down to street level is exhilirating.

Overall Rating...

I'm not sure what it is about teaming up Daredevil and Spider-man, but it seems to work. Former Spider-man writer Waid crafts a good but average yarn, with witty dialogue and good setup, a story that wouldn't have felt out of place during his Brand New Day-era run on Spider-man. With a little extra on top for Waid's humor, three point-five webs out of five.

Footnote...

Part two of this crossover continues into Daredevil Vol 3. #8.