Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #97

Background

Possessing his newly-acquired gift from the Gathering of the Five, Norman hops into the green-and-purple jammies to put the final touches to his plan for Spider-Man. What devastating secret does the Goblin hold, and will Peter live long enough to discover it? Well why don't you keep on reading and find out?

Meanwhile, Mark Raxton - the Molten Man - has been brainwashed by Osborn to find and kill Alison Mongrain, which he has done. But Ms. M has spilled the beans... May is alive! But... which May?

Story 'Let The Heavens Tremble At The Power Of The Goblin!'

This is it! The penultimate chapter in volume one of PPSM. Norman has his hired goons help him into his Goblin garb as he goes on and on about his plans, and how Spider-Man will pay. Then, Normy hops on his glider and, leaving a few pumpkin-bomb presents for his assistants, flies into the night admist the smoky explosion.

Meanwhile, Peter swings onto the Osborn property, fueled by the recent news from Alison Mongrain that his baby May is alive! As Peter swings through the trees, they seem to move with a power of their own, avoiding his weblines or just getting in his way altogether. Spidey is pre-occupied with his thoughts, hoping beyond hope that there was some truth to Alison's words. He tangles with some unearthly-looking creatures, but he manages to overcome them, only to come face to face with the Green Goblin!

We switch quickly to Mary Jane, who is being fitted for a model shoot (wearing a dress with a neckling plunging down to her belly button, no less!) Jill Stacy is there, and she tells MJ about how she's made her peae with Spider-Man and Gwen's death (hmmmm, when did that happen? I don't remember that part). Mary Jane wishes to herself that Peter would stop chasing ghosts and be there with her.

Norman throws Peter the 'Osborn Journal', saying that he intended for Peter to find it months ago, but Spidey's sudden break-in to Osborn's office, and the incident that spawned the Spider-Hunt, disrupted all that. He had originally planned Spider-Man to find the journal, and turn it into the authorities, but instead of containing the thought of the diabolical Green Goblin, it would tell the police that Peter was Spider-Man, and he poisoned his Aunt May to conceal his secret identity. Peter, enraged, fights Norman in the trees. They take the fight into the house, where Spidey is able to subdue Norman (hmmm, guess that ultimate power thing ain't all it's cracked up to be).

Spidey goes running through the hallways of the darkened Osborn mansion, looking for his little May. He walks into a darkened room, and gets a vase shattered over his head. When he looks up to see who hit him, his heart stops in his chest. Standing above him, cowering in fright, is AUNT MAY!!!

Talk about shocks! The one person Marvel said would NEVER come back from the dead just did. Oh, and guess what, the other Aunt May was a clone! AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH! The Humanity of it all!

General Comments

The true tragedy to the whole thing is that this was a great story up until this point. It's like those dream-sequence stories, except this one doesn't contain the obligatory 'waking up' scene. I pinched myself, however, to try and wake up. And the sad thing is, this is only part 2 of Final Chapter!

While I want to just slap a one-web on it call it crap, I can't. The story was very suspenseful, and I thought that Norman was great as the villain (too bad that doesn't hold true for the whole story). The ending did a lot to destroy what was built up before, and kind of took the steam out of the previous pages. Three webs without the last page, two webs with. Sorry.

There were also a lot of convenient end-tying, without any real gratification. Jill Stacy just casually mentions she's made peace with Spider-Man, but how? The last we saw of it, Spidey and Jill Stacy talked (outside her bedroom no less), but we never got to hear any of the conversation! Why rob us of the conclusion of something that's been brewing for so many months? We'd have a lot less problems in the world if everyone could get over their emotional problems in the space of three panels!

Overall Rating

There were a million other ways to end this run of comics, without reversing existing continuity and stories. May could've been brought back from the dead, instead of effectively killing the signifcance of ASM 400. What about Doc Ock, recently returned from the grave himself! Why not have Doc Ock do the ol' Hand Ressurection thing on his old flame? That, at least, would've brought her back without destroying what's gone before. 999,999 ideas to go!

This idea has to be pretty much the worst you could imagine. Half a web for this stinker.