Spider-Man is reeling from discovering that he has a terminal illness. Morlun, the vampiric villain that Spidey barely defeated before, until Morlun's minion shot him, is back, and ready to fight Spider-Man again, to consume his life force.
Spider-Man tries to relax and enjoy the mundane (for him) as he swings through New York. As he is perched on the Daily Bugle building, Morlun appears and jumps at him. However, Spider-Man turns tail and crawls quickly down the building. Spider-Man and Morlun crash through J. Jonah Jameson's office, and before Spidey can jump out of the office, Morlun grabs him by the leg and throws him through a wall. Spider-Man tries to stop Morlun, and then jumps out of the building to lure him away. Morlun folows, and Spider-Man webs him in the face and then throws him into the pavement face-first. Spider-Man swings back to Empire State University, with Morlun on his heels, and crashes into the centre of the building. Morlun appears again, and the two resume their fight. Spider-Man tries to keep from his touch, but gets his foot grabbed, and Morlun throws him into a thick column and through a glass window. Morlun walks through the rubble, unstoppable.
Spider-Man tries to web Morlun up again, but Morlun grabs the strands of web as they shoot by, and pull them to bring Spider-Man closer, so he can punch him into a wall. Spider-Man is bruised, injured, and sporting a battle-damaged costume. Morlun hits Spider-Man harder than he's ever been hit, through the exterior wall and into a dumpster. Spider-Man picks up the dumpster as Morlun walks closer, throwing two cars away from him that were in his path. Morlun swats the dumpster away with ease. Peter vows to remain conscious and ignore the pain, as the two combatants lunge towards each other again.
Morlun punches him squarely in the chest, then grabs his head and smashes it into a mailbox. Before Morlun can exact the killing blow, Spider-Man throws the mail at him, to cause confusion, then hits Morlun squarely in the chest with both fists. The brutal fight continues. He punches Morlun in the face oer and over again, as Peter's skin tears, his knuckles break, and he thinks he's finally winning. Morlun's eyes flash open, his hand extends and rips out Spider-Man's left eye, and eats it. Morlun continues to batter Spider-Man, over and over again,leaving him a bloodied, broken, one-eyed Spider-Man.
Generally, I'm not a fan of Reginald Hudlin's work on Spider-Man. I disliked his last two parts of this storyline, parts 4 and 5 of The Other, but enjoyed this one. This one seemed to have more to do with the actual storyline than the past two, which were filler at best, and at worst, and more realistically, a total waste of my time. Here, the narration is relatively streamlined and for this I am grateful. Most of this issue is just the big fight sequence, so it is an effective one, at the least. The brutality of the fight is carried more by the artwork than the script, however. The script is much better than what I normally expect ouf of Hudlin, but that's probably because he has little to actually write. The inclusion of Laurie Lynton and the brief reference to her only reminds me of how insanely bad his Marvel Knights: Spider-Man has been in the past few months.
The artwork by Deodato Jr. is what carries this issue. He makes the fight sequence work, he makes it believeable, he makes it realistic, and he makes it painful. There is not one punch pulled, and the mayhem, destruction and pain evident in the artwork make this fight far and away the better illustrated compared to the earlier fight done by John Romita Jr. way back at the beginning of JMS' run on Amazing Spider-Man. This fight is shorter, but the impact of the visual is in no way lessened.
The story itself is very simple in this issue, and I would say that last issue's script by Peter David was better than Hudlin's. However, this one had more to do with the main plot, and had a more crucial plot development. The art was also better, although the difference is much less noticeable than with the scripting. The artwork did a brilliant job of portraying this very physcially demanding fight.