Last issue, Peter Parker's long thought to be dead wife, was revealed to be alive and being held captive by a mysterious stalker.
This is part two of long-time Spidey writer, Howard Mackie's, final story-arc. And his final issue of Amazing Spider-man. But before we celebrate... the detail..
Basically this is what happens. Spidey has suddenly decided, that after being convinced Mary Jane is dead, that she is alive and searches the city for her, only taking a break to have an angst session with Jill. Meanwhile, the stalker, almost mirrors some of Spidey's actions and reveals to his captive, Mary Jane, what he's all about. The stalker is apparently cursed with some variation of telepathy that he can't control, it has plagued him since birth and driven him crazy. Through a chance meeting with Spidey though, he decided to use his power to somehow take over Spidey's life. For some unexplained reason, he had to go about in a very convoluted way, which involved terrorising MJ, kidknapping MJ and blowing up a plane. When all along his target was really Peter. Makes sense?
Anyway, by the end of the issue, Spidey discovers the hideout and has just enough time for a 3 panel reunion with Mary Jane before the stalker clocks him one and he's down for the count.
The story is continued in Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #29.
Well, the thing that stands out for me about this issue is how woeful the plot has become so fast! There are so many holes it's ridiculous. This doesn't really gel with previous issues. Spidey changes his mind about MJ being alive way too fast. The pacing is all rushed. The stalker's motivations and origin are flawed and seem made up and contrived, just to try and make sense of previous stories, but not even really succeeding in that. The link between Spidey and the Stalker isn't explained, though I get the feeling Mackie thinks it is. I could go on and into more detail. Bascially though, I thought that the previous issue had promise, but Mackie once again proves he's inept. That might be a bit harsh, I know Howard is a person, with feelings and all. But, he really seems to have not put this whole plot together that well, with it being a long running sub plot and tying it up now. It just doesn't seem to fit and the answer to the puzzle just seems to be a contrived solution to a problem that should of been conceived with a reasonable answer in mind.
But, it's not all bad I suppose. I've really hammered Howard for his scripting in the past, but here it's fine. And Lee Weeks is on pencils and they're great. He really provides the emotion to the characters that is needed and often lacking from John Romita Jr's pencils. And together Howard and Lee provide at least one memorable scene. The scene where Peter and MJ embrace after all they've been through. Lee's pencils in particular seem to capture all the emotion and make this scene stand out as something touching, admist an ill concieved plot. This alone makes it worth the entry price. Spidey and MJ belong together, it was stupid to break them apart and bringing them back together is the right thing to do.
A flawed plot, one nice moment and great pencils = 2.5 webs