Spider-Man Unlimited (Vol. 3) is Marvel's new "showcase" title. Released bi-monthly, each issue features two separate stories each month by guest creators. The debut issue was a definite mixed-bag, opening with a rather hackneyed rip-off story, but closing with a witty and original piece of creative writing. Let's keep our fingers crossed that the second issue can get some consistency going.
The second story in this issue opens with MJ alone in bed, and a bad sneaking in and grabbing her, and then sneezing. CUT!!! Yep, it's a movie, and B-grade movie actress Mary Jane Watson-Parker is all dolled up in some delicious underwear. Hmm... I've never tried, but personally I'd think that a corset, thong, suspender, stocking combination was a little impractical for nightwear, especially when you're not expecting visitors. But hey, this is Hollywood.
The shoot is called off for the day, which is good timing, as the folk from "Access Hollywood" have turned up to interview MJ and her serial killer co-star. MJ swaps to a lovely off-the-shoulder fluffy pink top, and explains that she plays the wife of Trevor Ness, great-grandson of Elliot Ness. Her husband is leading a new war on crime, facing Maxwell Capone, grandson of Al Capone. Yep, this is Hollywood in all its glory.
Anyhow, when asked about where she, a model, finds inspiration for her role, she starts talking about Trevor Ness, but in the background we get flashbacks of Spidey, who is obviously who she is really talking about. She heads home, musing on how weird it is that she gets all this adoration for being a second-rate movie sex symbol, while Spidey goes and risks his life and everybody hates him. Peter turns up at their apartment after a tough day getting kicked around by the Rhino, and they talk a bit more on the subject. Then they both get nekkid and do the wild thing.
The pattern across the two stories in this issue seems similar to #1. We open with a story that has dopey artwork, and which is really over the top, heavy-handed, and generally hard to swallow. Then in the back half we have the grown-up stuff, a more considered story, partnered with solid artwork that works well without trying to take centre stage. It's gonna be interesting to see if we get the same again in issue three!
Art is by Paul Azaceta and Scott Koblish, and they do a pretty good job of carrying the story without overwhelming it. Krul's wee tale is nicely constructed, and well-paced. If you ask me, these guys are definitely ready for prime-time. I'm gonna give it a solid four webs.