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 good side is, you get a lot of new stuff. The down side is that it won't suit everyone's tastes, and you take your luck each issue.
This month, we have a couple of real odd-ball tales.
The second story in this issue is written by Martin Sweeney, and centres around another hostage-taking incident. This one is associated with a bank robbery, where the crooks grab the bank guard for security when they flee the scene with their cash. Spidey turns up, but will he save the hostage in time?
As the aging bank guard faces the ever-looming possibility of death, he looks back through his life and starts to think about maybe making some improvements. It all makes for a good story which really pulls you along.
But again, the ending is the weak point here too. It's very heavy-handed, lacking any sort of subtlety at all. Given the very clear messages in the main body of the story, it really only needed a hint at the end to give the reader the conclusion. Instead, Sweeney lays things on with a trowel, and we're left almost choking on the saccharine-laced moral of the tale.
Looking at the issue as a whole, there's a couple of stories that both showed good promise, but both muffed things at the finish line. Maybe I'm being a but demanding, but given that this is a "showcase" for new talent, I have pretty high standards. These guys are being given their fifteen minutes of fame, and I expect them to put their top work on show!
Looking just at this second story, the art is good, very finished, with some rich coloring. The main body of the story was plenty gutsy, but the finish was just mis-handled, and I can't give more than three webs on balance.