The final part of the movie adaptation that isn’t a movie adaptation.
The thugs in the hockey masks attack Spidey who is still too woozy from his fall to effectively fight back. (Though he manages to quip a little bit.) Meanwhile, Gwen’s mother tells her that her dad “was impressed that [Peter] stood his ground like that” at dinner, referring to a scene from the movie. (She also tells Gwen that “Next time he should probably use the front door rather than the fire escape,” another nice reference to the film.) Gwen gets a text from Flash about their study plans. This causes her to think back to when she was tipped off to Danny’s plight. “I still don’t know who the Good Samaritan was,” she thinks, “Though I’m beginning to have my suspicions.” (This seems to refer to a moment in issue #1 but I can’t find it. It looks like this is something that takes place between issues.)
As a result of the tip off, Gwen talks to Danny at Ditko’s Coffee and finds out that Flash wants Danny to help him cheat on a test. Gwen confronts Flash but he feigns ignorance. Gwen is still thinking about Danny’s problem while she works at Oscorp. She decides to ask Curt Connors about it and accidentally eavesdrops on his argument with Dr. Rajit Ratha who tells Curt “just make something happen soon or we’ll shut this unit down and bring Smythe and his nanotech project in.” Soon after, Gwen asks for Curt’s advice. He tells her, “Sometimes you just need to examine a person like [Flash] with some empathy and recognize that he is just scared and insecure. And maybe there’s a solution here that will help him become a better person rather than simply be punished for his mistake.” This gives Gwen an idea. She approaches Flash at school and tells him “We’re going to meet every single day and you are going to study. Hard. You’re going to pass everything and you are going to earn it.” Flash agrees.
Back in the present, the thugs are still pounding Spidey. Suddenly a kid in a second floor window yells down, encouraging Spidey to “get those guys!!” Taking advantage of the distraction, Spidey breaks away and webs up the bad guys. Tipped off by a text from Gwen that there is trouble on the Williamsburg Bridge, Spidey heads there. On the way he thinks about the kid who just helped him and wonders, “maybe I can use these abilities to change minds about Spider-Man, not only Captain Stacy and the cops but all the people out there who think I’m some kind of menace, something to fear.” There is an explosion on the bridge and Spidey goes to work.
The tag at the bottom of the last page reads, “”To Be Continued in The Amazing Spider-Man in Theaters 07-03-12!” So, clearly we were supposed to read these issues before seeing the movie. I didn’t, but this gave me an interesting perspective on them. I could see how a few events of the movie are sprinkled into this story even as the story heads in different directions. The events shown or referred to here are Gwen’s chat with her mother after their dinner party with Peter, Connors argument with Ratha, and the commotion on the bridge. In this story, Gwen’s mom's role is expanded so that she can offer her opinion of Peter. The Connors-Ratha confrontation has a nice added bit where Ratha mentions Spencer Smythe. And the issue ends with the bridge explosion, which leads, in the film, to Spidey’s first great moment of heroism. These touches and fills are used nicely here, bringing more solidity to this world and enhancing my appreciation of the film.
I like that the major conflict in this story concerns Flash’s bullying of Danny. The transition from Peter as first person narrator to Gwen as first person narrator and back to Peter takes place without being intrusive. The flashbacks slide in nicely too. And it’s nice to see Curt Connors get to be the hero, giving good advice to Gwen that not only helps her understand Flash but reflect his own insecurities, before he becomes the villain of the piece by this issue’s conclusion (because he is, after all, the cause of the explosions on the bridge). Gwen is also a hero, confronting and then assisting Flash. And let’s not forget the kid who helps Spidey by urging him on. By the end of the issue, Spidey thinks, “it’s a pretty good feeling to know you can do some real good in this world and I’ve got a lot of things to do.” With Gwen’s help, with the kid’s help, and even indirectly with Curt Connors' help, Spidey has learned how to be a hero. Pretty cool stuff. Plus, you have to love that Gwen and Danny go to “Ditko’s Coffee.”
In the first issue, Neil Edwards used a lot of long horizontal panels, some covering two pages. He does that again here (most notably with Danny and Gwen facing each other at the coffee shop) but the two long vertical panels stand out to me. One is Gwen at her locker. The panel goes from the top to the bottom of the page so we see her entire body. She is looking to the right, guiding our eyes to the second (horizontal) panel. She is in that panel too but the first panel makes us realize that she is looking directly at Flash. We almost look past her in panel two (she’s in silhouette) as we follow her panel one gaze to Flash. Nice stuff. The other vertical panel is of the kid in his apartment window looking down at Spidey and the hoods. They look up at him, not only in that panel but to the close-up of the kid in the second panel. Again, nice stuff. Two creative transitions.
There are five inkers on this issue but I can’t tell where one ends and the others begin. So kudos to all the inkers for that.
A movie adaptation that isn’t an movie adaptation but rather a chaser that adds flavor to the film. I love it. Now I’m ready to go see the movie again!