Through issues Web of Spider-Man #84 to Web of Spider-Man #89, we were introduced to a mystery new Rose character – Blood Rose. The Kingpin's son Richard knows who he is but the last we saw of him was him falling into a river.
|Pencils:||Alex Saviuk, Derek Yaniger|
|Inker:||Derek Yaniger, Josef Rubinstein|
|Cover Art:||Alex Saviuk|
|Reprinted In:||Marvel Firsts: The 1990s Omnibus|
We start with a God-awful battle between Spidey and the dragon thing. The New Enforcers are rubbish. Meanwhile the other Fisk (the one from the island) – who is now being called Gauntlet for no apparent reason - is back in NYC, as is Nightwatch. Peter is at ESU's lab and is cooking something up which will help him against the New Enforcers.
Blood Rose goes after Foreigner again but is met by the New Enforcers. All of a sudden a craptacular plot device swings in … or Spider-Man in Spidey-armour which, presumably, he just cooked up in 15 free minutes at the lab.
I neither know, nor care, how Spidey and BR both knew where to find Foreigner. There's a fight then, suddenly, the other Richard Fisk – Guantlet – turns up and it is really Fisk's old friend Alfredo … who is dead but what the hell? He's had surgery to look like Fisk and it was he who was serving the Kingpin. Why or how isn't answered.
How he knew where Blood Rose was is also totally unanswered.
As if the plot isn't as nonsensical and stupid as it is, Nightwatch then shows up too. The fight goes on … and on … and on until the police show up and Spidey ends up as confused as we, the readers, are.
In the epilogues, we see the New Enforcers plotting to take the city's underworld and Nightwatch with both power gloves. We then get a recap of Nightwatch's origin.
What a way to celebrate 100 issues! Think up the worst, most ill-thought out crap-fest and use that!
I thought Mackie's recent efforts had pulled the title as far down as it could go but, just to prove me wrong, Terry Kavanagh proves he's got even less idea what he's doing. As with Howard Mackie's original Blood Rose story (issues 84- 89), this is pure garbage. The revelation at the end of issue 99 (two Richard Fisks) are just baffling and utterly pointless.
Perhaps the idea of creating a villain (Blood Rose) whose identity is secret after the runaway success of the Hobgoblin years earlier wasn't too bad as thought. But Mackie and Kavanagh's execution is just so amateur, it's a total shambles.
There are plot holes miles wide, awful dialogue and a mass of boring two- dimensional villains who don't contribute anything.
And that's before I get to the Spidey-armour. Without even pointing out the ridiculous timescale Peter is supposed to have created it in, the whole concept is just crazy. Spider-Man relies on his spider-sense and proportionate powers to avoid danger – that's the whole concept of the character. If he needed armour then why couldn't anyone just become a super hero?
But there's more. The giant dragon is again used despite the mess that was Acts Of Vengeance. The New Enforcers as an entire group are terrible. Robbie's alluded to affair with Betty and the total mis-characterisation of him, specifically regarding his treatment of Peter, is also way off.
NONE of it works. Not one bit. The whole arc is over-long, confusing, poorly scripted and involves characters going against 30 years of development.
I've given a lot of the recent issues 0.5 webs. Somehow, though, this is even worse than those. 0.4 webs? 0.3? Perhaps just a clear-cut zero. This is as bad as it gets.