Following Peter's return from the dead in "The Other," all of his old costumes were trashed, so Tony Stark told Peter that he'd give him a hand with his new suit.
|Writer:||J. Michael Straczynski|
|Cover Art:||Ron Garney|
|Reprinted In:||Civil War: Decisions|
|Reprinted In:||Spider-Man: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility #3|
Peter wakes up in bed with Mary Jane, when a bird in his room starts talking to him. The bird is an intercom system, which Tony Stark installed, and talks to Peter through, telling him that he would like to speak with him.
Peter goes to Tony's lab, and finds him hard at work on the new Spider-armor. Tony tells Peter that the new uniform has mesh webbing that can allow him to glide for short distances, heat-resistant kevlar microfibre that can resist small-calibre bullets, built-in fire, police, and emergency scanner, audio and visual amplification, carbon filters in the mouth area to keep out toxins, and a short-range GPS microwave communication system.
Peter briefly asks Tony about when MJ had her arm broken in the fight with Morlun at the hospital a few issues back, and Tony quickly explains how he was able to fix it so quickly.
An hour later, two criminals are driving their getaway car from the police, and successfully at that, when Spider-Man spots them from on top of a building. He jumps off the building opens his arms and glides upon the wind currents, landing on top of the car. He rips open the roof, to which the gunman shoots into the roof. Peter experiments with his new scanner and infrared lenses, before using his webbing to steer the car off the highwayand into a safe spot, where he can save the hostage. One of the gunmen grabs a gun and shoots it at the hostage, Spider-Man puts himself in the way and takes a bullet in the back.
Peter is still standing, which freaks out the criminal that shot him. Peter swings away, and later that evening he has dinner with MJ and Tony. Peter asks Tony why he's being so nice to him and giving him armor. Tony tells Peter that he wants him at his side, to hire him out in the open as his full-time second, his protege. He asks him to make a blood oath to him, for the most part. He tells Peter that he might need to keep secrets from the New Avengers, including Steve Rogers, Captain America. Peter tells Tony that he'll be there for him, and he'll work with him. He tells Peter they're going to Washington, then gives him some reading to catch up on- a letter from the Senate's Metahuman Investigations Committee in Washington, D.C...
The story here is actually a pretty interesting one cooked up by Straczynski, to help set-up some of Spider-Man's internal conflicts in the upcoming Civil War mini-series. There's some nice touches of humour, Spider-Man testing out his new armored uniform, and the continued evolution of the Tony Stark/Peter Parker relationship. I've really been enjoying the work that JMS has put into these two characters' relationships, it seems both natural and also intriguing.
The downside to the issue was the art, by new ongoing penciller Ron Garney. He's done this book before, in the 90s, and unfortunately his pencils haven't loosened up at all, but instead become even stiffer. The pencils are sketchy, his facial expressions are really not that well detailed and again, way too sketchy. The art here was a definite letdown from the stellar work that Deodato Jr. provided this title.
If the artwork had been more consistent, tight and enjoyable, this would have been a solid 4-web issue, but because the art was none of those things, it drops the rating on this issue down to a mere 3 webs.