|Cover Art:||Terry Dodson|
|Reprinted In:||Spider-Man TPB (SM:MK) #3|
Peter is at Ben's gravestone asking for forgiveness for what he's about to do before the scene switches to his and MJ's apartment. The Black Cat is there and she and Spidey are about to go break the Goblin out of prison. MJ isn't too pleased at the plan and tells Pete so, before bawling out Felicia for getting involved. She tells he to go find a boyfriend … which I imiagine wouldn't be too hard – especially the way Terry Dodson draws her. As Felicia and Pete leave, MJ takes out a gun she has hidden.
As The Black Cat and Spidey (dressed in black) get to Riker's and are ready to break-in, Spidey tells her that when things are over he is going to go to the authorities, give up his ID and go into witness protection with MJ and May. Black Cat says she'll do the job on her own to help save Peter and his conscience but he goes for it anyway.
In the prison, two guys are trying to persuade Haydn, the surveillance guard, to look the other way so they can shoot Osborn. He's not sure. Elsewhere in the building, Black Cat has cleared a way for Spidey to get to Osborn's cell undetected. He calls her 'Ms Kyle' – an in-joke about Selina Kyle (Catwoman). The lights go on there and Osborn tells him he's 90 seconds late.
The two guys wanting to hit Osborn show up at his cell and realize he's gone. The alarms sound as Osborn, Pete and Felicia make a run for it. Spider-Man gets separated from Felicia and Osborn after they come across a maintenance worker in the pipes below Riker's. As Spidey emerges from the sea he gets catapulted up into the air, landing with a smack on concrete.
Hydro Man stands over him, while Sand Man has Felicia. Hydro Man says he's getting 50k an hour while The Green Goblin zooms over them. Osborn tells Pete he's going to kill May anyway – and MJ – and that he'll take pleasure from the fact that Peter's last act was a criminal one. A gang of criminal close in on Pete as Osborn introduces the Sinister 12 … except Scorpion is missing. Not for long however and the new Venom drops by saying he would have missed things for the world...
Just for reference, I think the Sinister 12 are: The Green Goblin I (Norman), The Vulture, Shocker, Hydro-Man, Sandman, Electro, Chameleon, Hammerhead, Tombstone, Boomerang, Lizard and Venom III (Gargan).
Wow! Mark Millar's writing is just excellent here. The reveal at the end and Terry Dodson's fantastic double-spread Sinister 12 is fabulous. The big splash pages have thankfully gone back to being a rare occurrence in comics after things went very OTT in the nineties and on this occasion it really looks the part.
I liked the initial scenes with Felicia and Mary-Jane – a telling-off from MJ has been long overdue and Millar captured the essence of both females pretty well. MJ picking up a gun to protect herself was a sharp image too – although I'm not entirely sure where she would have kept it so Pete didn't find it.
The slowish burn on the actual break-out (it could have been done in a page at most) was probably the most frustrating thing here but it is such a minor issue when compared the setup. So often in comics the build-up is great but the ending a disappointment. Here though, Millar's ideas have blossomed into something for the ages. Whereas JMS has seemed content to dwell on the life-changing Sins Past in ASM and Paul Jenkins has had to cope with the Avengers Disassembled fallout in SSM, Millar has created a story that's simply all about the fun.
Big groups of villains and a mass brawls hark back to ASM Annual #1 and the Sinister Six's original debut. This issue and the end in particular had a very old-school feel to it. The final two parts promise to be excellent and I'm confident Millar won't disappoint. Doc Ock is still coming for Osborn, remember?
A great pay-off but the middle did seem very stretched out.