Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #622 (Story 1)

Background

Way back in Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #548, Spidey was coerced into giving over a vial of his blood to Mr. Negative, who used it to synthesize his "Devil's Breath" bio-weapon. Last issue, Black Cat and Spidey broke into Negative's penthouse to steal it back.

Story 'It is the Life'

The story opens with Black Cat and Spidey in bed, masks on, post-coitus (yep, this is still supposedly an all-ages, 'Rated A' book). Spidey is exasperated when he learns Cat has sold the vial of his blood that they went to so much trouble to retrieve last issue.

Cat reveals that she sold Spidey's blood to an underground sub-culture called 'Dracs'. Peter dresses himself up as a goth to infiltrate the Drac's nightclub and get the blood back. Pete is drawn to a mysterious woman in a dark corner of the club who tells him she knows what he's looking for and who has it--Michael Morbius. She also gives him the address to Morbius' hideout.

Spidey goes to investigate the address during the day. He lets himself in through a rooftop duct, but ends up tripping an alarm. Overhead in the room, Morbius hangs upside down, asleep. The woman Peter met at the club begins speaking to Pete in his mind, entreating Spidey to let her in the building. As Morbius wakes, Spidey invites her in, his mind scrambled.

Turns out the woman, Martine, is Morbius' wife. He left her after he became afflicted with the disease that turned him into a vampire. She has become vampiric herself, and has tracked him down so they can reunite. Martine becomes unstable and begins throwing Spidey and Morbius around. Spidey thinks there's only one way to handle this situation, picking up a wooden stake, but acknowledges that he can't be responsible for someone's death. Morbius pushes Martine into Spidey, implaling her on the stake, causing her to dissolve.

Spidey begins pummeling Moribus for killing Martine. Morbius says that there's nothing else that could've been done. Morbius says he bought Spidey's blood from the Dracs, hoping to use it's regenerative powers to help cure his friend Jack Russell. He smashes the vial of Spidey's blood, and apologizes for obtaining it without Spidey's knowledge. Spidey feels sympathy for Morbius' plight, and rolls up his sleeve so Morbius can get a fresh sample of blood.

General Comments

The 'Mr.-Negative-has-a-sample-of-Spidey's-blood' storyline has been dragged out (or just plain forgotten) for years, and over 70-some issues. That's an obscene amount of time for such a plot, and seems to highlight the sometimes-choppy nature of the new Spider-man creative status quo.

This issue offers up a resolution of sorts, but what was the point of Morbius smashing the vial, and then Spidey offering up his arm so Morbs can get a new sample? What was the point of bringing Morbius and his wife into this at all?

Overall Rating

There are some funny moments here, like Pete decked out uncomfortably in goth gear, and Joe Quinones' art is vibrant and excellent. Unfortunately, those aspects don't make up for the inessential vibe this issue gives off. The web-heads also waited too long to address the spider-blood sample plot--I guess we're lucky it got addressed at all.