As usual, Peter Parker continues to deal with the death of his wife, Mary Jane, as he tries to get on with his life by going out and socializing with the gang. But as usual, trouble looms on the horizon for Mr. Parker...
|Inker:||Rodney Ramos, Tom Palmer|
|Cover Art:||Mark Buckingham|
Pete finds himself being stared at by various alien creatures, before he is introduced to the aliens' human lawyer, Mr. McNair. McNair explains that the aliens have been conducting experiments on Pete and Randy. These experiments have resulted in the creation of a hybrid creature that has escaped and is wreaking havoc in Manhattan. The lawyer informs Pete that under the aliens' law, he is responsible for the actions of his hybrid, and that Pete will be subject to prosecution if he doesn't help return the hybrid. Before Pete sets out to do so, McNair informs him that the hybrid is pregnant, and that it must be returned to the aliens before it reproduces. It is supposed to have its offspring at 7:00 p.m., which is also the time of Pete's gallery opening, and the time that Typeface's nefarious plans come to fruition.
Speaking of Typeface, he's in his lair preparing for the next phase of his plot (okay, okay... he's actually just ironing... in costume, though). Typeface recalls his origin: he was once a soldier named Gordon Thomas. His story seems to indicate that he was in Vietnam, and was wounded. Upon returning home, he took a job making signs, but was laid off. Now he seeks vengeance, and, complete with an "A" for "Annihilation" on his forehead and his crease-free pants (which are actually the ones he stole from the guy last issue), sets out to take it.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man is swinging around the city searching for the alien hybrid, complete with an alien hybrid tracking doohickey. While looking for the alien, Spidey calls Joe Robertson at the Bugle and manages to get a lead on Typeface. The alien tracker gizmo finally picks up the alien and Spidey tracks it to a dark alley, where we finally get a good look at it, and see that it's a giant multi-limbed spider-like monstrosity.
Cut back to Typeface, who has captured his boss and surrounded him by dozens of letter blocks, all primed to explode at the press of a button. But Spidey swings in at the nick of time and distracts Typeface with the giant alien hybrid that's following right behind. The alien kicks the tar out of Spidey and has him webbed up and helpless when the wall-crawler appeals to Typeface's civic nature to help out. Typie has another 'Nam flashback and realizes that he's not cut out to play the bad guy after all. The "A"-faced one cuts Spidey loose just in time and they join forces (I can see it now... "Monthly from Marvel: 'The Sensational Spider-Man and the Tytanic Typeface'"). Typeface distracts the critter while Spidey slaps an alien hybrid teleportation doohickey onto its head (he actually drives the point of this thing into the monster's forehead... green alien blood squirts out... kinda sadistic for your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man), and the creature is teleported away, jus! t as it starts spewing out little baby alien hybrid spiders.
Spidey and Typeface shake hands, and Typeface promises to disarm his bombs as the web-slinger swings away. But Typie can't find the remote for the bombs. It seems that his former employer has swiped it, and he blows up the sign factory (and presumably Typeface with it), so that he can collect the insurance. Meanwhile, Pete finally makes it to his gallery opening a half hour late, but he finds that his customers have all left already. But Mr. Whipple informs him that he did manage to sell one picture, of Uncle Ben.
Pete wonders who bought it, as we see Aunt May walking home and smiling, clutching the picture. She walks by a shop with televisions in the window, where the news covers the explosion at the sign factory. The anchor states that the police are still searching for Gordon Thomas. Have we seen the last of Typeface???
Okay, I'll admit it... I like Typeface. His gimmick is so dumb, and he's just so over the top, that it works. He's funny. The way that he talks, how he over-dramatizes everything, and the way that he informs Spidey of his plans prior to their initiation are all things that a person branded as a "super-villain" should be talking. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to see Typeface showing up every ten issues, but I'd rather read a Typeface story than a Shadraq story or another god-awful Ranger story.
This was also an interesting, offbeat interpretation of the "Maximum Security" storyline that is raging across Marvel. Sure, Spidey's out chasing aliens like every other Marvel hero, but he's doing it on behalf of the aliens... and their lawyer.
There were some other good moments in this story, too, like Pete's conversation with MJ and his social miscue at the bar and Aunt May with Ben's picture. But there were some bad moments, as well. For example, I can't see any way that Typeface could beat Spidey (unless he were to clunk Spidey over the head while he was bent over laughing at his foe).
I really do like Mark Buckingham's art. Honest, I do. I love the way that he handles the out of costume stuff with the supporting cast. But I'm still trying to get used to his actions scenes. It's not that there's anything wrong with them, but I think I'm just being unfair and comparing him to JRJR.
But I think what bothered me most of all is that there was nothing really urgent about this story. Did anyone think that Spidey would fail, or even have trouble stopping Typeface and sending the alien hybrid back? Did anyone think that Pete would make it to his appointment on time? These issues felt predictable and formulaic. It basically just felt like a couple filler issues before the big 25th issue spectacular. But at least there were some bright points along the way.
Sure, it's filler, but it's good, fun, enjoyable filler. Check it out for some laughs and a fun story and the debut of the best new villain of the Spider-Man reboot - Typeface!