The era of Spider-Man is supposed to be "ending." So with that in mind, the writers should be wrapping up loose plot threads and closing up stories so that there'll be a "clean slate" for the upcoming reboot/revamp/relaunching/retelling/rewhatever, right? Well, that's what you'd think. Apparently, the Spidey suits have something different in mind.
Instead, they chose to toss this brand-new storyline at us, and hope that the readers will forget all about the old plots and be enthralled with this new supernatural story.
Norman Osborn is nearly set to perform the Gathering of Five ceremony, all he needs is piece number five. And he's not too keen on the mysterious figure with said piece, who seems to be having second thoughts about the whole thing. (Gee, I wonder why?) But it seems someone else at the mysterious figure's house has their own plan. ("Geez, Dad, you are such a wuss!") This person eventually steals the last fragment and takes a flight to New York, much to the surprise of Norman.
Mary Jane, meanwhile, has a few plans of her own. Being escorted into a modeling agency by Ryan Sawyer, the guy who called an issue or so ago about getting MJ back into the biz, she receives a fawning welcome. She also receives a job offer that, judging by her expression on the last panel of page 10, is pretty lucrative.
And what of the Amazing Spider-Man (this is his book, after all!) Well, being pursued by a pair of sanity-deficient, bike-riding lawyers, Spidey's just having a typical day. After stopping a robbery at a typical bodega (and being mistaken for Captain America, he swings by a nearby playground and takes care of a few schoolyard bullies after challenging them to a quick game of hoops. And the bike-riders? Well, in their haste to follow Spidey they accidentally cause a huge pile-up, and the web-slinger ends up nabbing them, too.
HELLOOOO, I thought we were in the middle of a major storyline, here! The parts of the book devoted to Norman and MJ (you know, the stuff that actually advances the storyline) were minimal while the rest was just Spider-Man doing whatever a spider can. While there's nothing wrong with that per se, this should not be the time and place for it. "The Gathering of Five" and "Final Chapter" are supposed to be revamping Spider-Man as we know him. Spidey can take a breather later.
Two webs. (I have to admit, I DID like Spidey's game of b-ball.)