Comics : Spider-Man: The Manga #6

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This story is part of an Arc: "Spider-Man: The Manga Second Arc"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Yu Komori is back as the hopelessly inept Manga Spider-Man. His opponent (just barely) in this three issue set is the Japanese version of the Lizard. This is the third and final part of the arc. Yu's school friend is Araki, Araki's dad is a medical scientist, and the dad's former colleague is the Lizard who has kidnapped Araki.

In Detail...

Spider-Man: The Manga #6
Mar 1998 : SM Title
Summary: The Lizard
Arc: Part 3 of "Spider-Man: The Manga Second Arc"
Editor:  Tom Brevoort
Writer/Artist:  Ryoichi Ikegami
Retouching and Production:  Dan Nakrosis
Translation:  C.B. Cebulski, Mutsumi Masuda
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Review

Araki's father goes to the Zoo. Spidey is with him but hidden in the shadows. There Araki's dad is confronted by Dr. Inumaru who admits to being the Lizard-man. Our naive hero is shocked by this. "Dr. Inumaru is that violent Lizard monster? This can't be true. He's such a nice man." The two scientists go into the alligator house where Inumaru tells us and an eavesdropping Spidey that Araki's father is the person who tried to kill him on Godzilla Island by pushing him into the big hole. His motive was to gain the credit for the new herbal remedy, which they had jointly discovered, for himself. Dr. Inumaru fought for his survival against a horde of giant lizards until... ahem... his body "experienced a Darwinian change" (and you thought Curt Connors' origin was silly).

Eventually Spidey enters the fray to rescue Araki but he never really fights the Lizard. He just tries to get the monster to listen to reason by blowing his secret identity and yelling, "Doctor! It's me, Komori!" (Fortunately for him, the Araki father and son have fled by this time.) With Spidey landing only one blow, the fight eventually results in the doctor getting eaten by the alligators. (At this rate, Yu won't have any villains left. No wonder they're going for the Kangaroo next issue already.) Spidey is left to ponder who the real monsters were in the whole sad situation.

In General...

Unfortunately, I see a pattern developing here. The first issue of the story is involving, even shocking (the scene where the Lizard murders his wife almost did me in) but by the time it all plays out, it ends up dissatisfying and bland. It isn't the Manga that is the problem. I don't mind a comic filled with captionless panels that takes only five minutes to read. I feel pressed enough for time as it is. No, the real problem here is Yu Komori. I suppose the whole idea is to present a conflicted, unhappy hero like the original Spidey, and the issue as to which side of the fight he should have been on is compelling, but Yu is just a weenie. He is slow-thinking and indecisive. He is, in fact, not Spider-Man at all, but further proof that the character of Spider-Man is more than the powers involved. Truth is, Peter Parker is a hero. Yu, at this point in the Manga, is not.

Overall Rating...

Two and a half webs.