On Battleworld, in a zone run by a power-stealing tyrant known as the Regent, Peter and Mary Jane live with their young daughter, who's developed Spider-powers of her own.
After being out of the action for years for the sake of his family's safety, Peter was forced back into it when one of the Regent's superhuman scans turned up results of a super-powered being at Annie's school. The Parkers were drawn out by the Regent and his Sinister Six, and are now exposed.
The issue begins with young Annie Parker reflecting on a life spent having to hide her powers from others. MJ and Annie are taken through a portal by abductors, picking up where last issue left off. Black-suited Spider-Man is fighting off the Sinister Six at Annie's school, when Sandman appears, telling Peter to come with him if he wants to see his family. Peter accuses him of being on Regent's side.
Speaking of Regent, he zooms in, and incapacitates both Peter and Marko with telekinesis, as well as a lightening strike (stolen from Storm).
Over to where MJ and Annie were taken--the underground resistance, led by Hawkeye. Their abductors were Mockingbird and Prowler. Edwin Jarvis is there, along with Ben Urich. The portals the resistance uses to jump through are created by Dr. Jonathan Ohhn, aka the Spot (though it literally takes a piece out of him every time he does it). Hawkeye explains that they use cloaking to hide from the scans of the Regent, but that the inhibitor chips that Peter modified could give them an edge in the fight.
Over at Regent's HQ, Regent uses telepathy to learn Peter's secret identity, as well as the resistance's secret location via Sandman's mind.
At the resistance hideout, Hawkeye, Hobie Brown aka Prowler and Ohhn craft the inhibitor technology into an arrow that can remove all of the Regent's powers. All they need is a DNA sample. Annie is showing off her powers, and even put together a makeshift costume with the help of the kids in Power Pack. Another reconfigured Sinister Six crash in: Kraven, Mysterio, Shocker, Beetle, Boomerang and Rhino.
At the Regent's, Peter is encased in a stasis chamber. Regent explains that Peter's Spider-sense and agility are the last tools he'll need when it comes time to take on Dr Doom. Sandman is also in stasis, but manages to send a signal back to the resistance as to where Regent's base is. As Hawkeye and everyone battle the Six, Annie gets to show off her powers against them. Via Sandman, Ohhn is able to open a portal to Regent's base. With the Six taken down, Hawkeye rallies the makeshift Avengers to take the fight to Regent. Annie convinces Mary Jane--they have to go along to save Peter.
In my review of last issue, I commented that the story was hitting a slow point and needed to pick up a bit. And so it does in this issue, though it's mostly a lot of set up for the finale. We get a bit more info on just what the Regent is trying to do with everyone's powers (to better face off against Dr Doom). We get a little background into Annie, and how she's spent most of her life hiding and having her powers stifled. We also get the first full look at the disparate members of the superhero resistance.
It's quite a rush to see Adam Kubert open up full throttle on the art, especially with some of the battle scenes here (Scott Hanna also shares a credit for art, and it's often hard to tell where one artist leaves off and another begins here). The way he plays with reader perspective in the scenes of Annie clinging to walls is very charming. Annie has a lot of potential (and hopefully her costume here is just a makeshift, mach-1 version), and will undoubtedly appear somewhere in the Marvel U after this out-of-continuity tale wraps up next issue. Finally, there is a great mix of characters here that make up the hero resistance: Prowler, Hawkeye, the Spot, Ben Urich and Sandman. It just reads like very classic Spider-Man in a lot of ways.
Spider-Man himself is ever-so-slightly an afterthought this issue, as he spends the bulk of it in capture. I'd have liked to see him doing more here, but there's so much going on this issue it's easy not to notice. This is one example where Slott's predilection for throwing a dozen and a half guest characters into the book works in the story's favor.
A lot of story set up here for the final issue, but this installment by itself is a great read. Once again, Kubert's art with assist from Hanna is utterly fantastic. Looking forward to see how it all wraps up.