We’ve made it back from the depths of the Omega Effect but still no Zeb Wells and no Joe Madureira. Instead we begin with a giant fish with arms and legs and one of the worst recap pages yet. The signs are not good.
|Executive Editor:||Tom Brevoort|
|Executive Producer:||Alan Fine|
|Chief Creative Officer:||Joe Quesada|
|Editor In Chief:||Alex Alonso|
|Assistant Editor:||Ellie Pyle|
|Inker:||Wade von Grawbadger|
I know this sounds like I’m making this up but this is really what goes on in this issue. Spidey and She-Hulk battle and defeat some giant two-armed, two-legged fish-thing. There’s no explanation for this. She-Hulk rushes off because her law firm “is a sponsor for that new Egyptian exhibit that’s opening tonight.” (It is “some cat statue.”) Spidey wants to tag along and shows off his knowledge of Egypt. She-Hulk ditches him but Spidey tails her to the Carnarvon museum. (Get it? “Tails” her? You’ll get it later. It’s a joke right in keeping with the jokes in this story.) Plus his favorite gyros joint (“Sami’s,” which has a bull’s head affixed to its sign…remember this for later) is across the street. Arriving, he sees a group of women entering the museum dressed in hooded cloaks. (No security at this museum?) Inside a professor tells She-Hulk that the cat statue is of the Egyptian goddess Bastet. He fastens a replica of the necklace that the statue has on around She-Hulk’s neck. He also tells her that the displayed statue is also a replica since the original needs repairing.
She-Hulk spots the cloaked figures and follows them into a back room. Spidey joins her there. They easily defeat the hooded women who are trying to steal the original statue. The security guards (there they are!) drag them off as they yell things like “You can not deny the Goddess!” and “You will all serve her!” She-Hulk returns to the backroom statue and picks it up. Its eyes glow at her touch and soon after she grows a tail. (Spidey is so dazzled and amused by this that he puts his hands up to his face and gushes, “It’s sooooo cute!”) Dozens of cats arrive and start following She-Hulk. Then hundreds of cats flood the museum. (Spidey is not “right behind” She-Hulk because, he says, “I don’t want to tailgate.”) The sheer weight of cats smashes the museum’s huge skylight and the panicked crowd rushes out into the street causing traffic mayhem.
Spidey tells She-Hulk to remove the necklace but she (and the professor) tell him that it’s a fake. He suggests breaking the statue but She-Hulk says it is already broken. Suddenly a collection of cats coalesces into a giant woman with a cat’s head: Bastet, who tells She-Hulk to serve her. Instead, She-Hulk attacks her. Bastet is not looking for trouble but for a warrior to protect “these worlds.” Spidey gets an idea, runs off and returns wearing a bull’s head. (The one from Sami’s sign.) Bastet recognizes Spidey as a “servant of Neith” who is, apparently, sometimes depicted as having a cow’s head (though the story doesn’t tell you this). Spidey assures Bastet that Neith is protecting the worlds. Satisfied, Bastet departs. Spidey pretends that She-Hulk still has her tail (which has actually disappeared with Bastet’s departure). “You are a dead man,” says She-Hulk when she realizes he is just kidding. Spidey goes to Sami’s and orders “two of the usual.” One for him, one for She-Hulk. Sami tells him, “It must have been a long day,” and Spidey replies, “And I’m happy to see the ‘tail’ end of it.”
I’ve now read this story several times and I don’t hate it nearly as much as I did the first time. Then I was trying to fit this story into the continuity we know and the characters we love. From that aspect, the story is a mess. What the heck is the fish-thing Spidey and She-Hulk battle? Would She-Hulk really rush off to the museum and not change back to her Jennifer Walters form when she’s supposed to be representing the law firm there? No matter how late she is? Could hooded, cloaked women really just walk right into the museum and into their back storerooms without anyone noticing them? Who are these women anyway besides just servants of Bastet? How did they know to come to the museum? Was the whole plan all along to get She-Hulk to be Bastet’s warrior? There’s some talk about “the green one” that I didn’t bother to include in the recap…what is that all about? Who the heck is this professor who crops up? Why are there replicas of the necklace on display? Why is the statue replica under glass but the original is just sitting in a case in the back where anyone can get at it? Has Spidey really become such a jerk that he would make jokes when his colleague grows a tail? How would he feel if someone had made such jokes when he grew four extra arms? Where’d all the cats come from? Did Bastet summon them? Except they seemed to turn into Bastet. Would Spidey really be able to fool a goddess by donning a bull’s head from the sign of a gyro shop? The bull’s head, which has to resist nature’s elements since it is fastened to the restaurant’s outside sign, is hollow? And Spidey can just stick his head into it? How can he see with it on? When Spidey says “Sami’s” is his favorite gyro joint, does he frequent the restaurant as Spidey and not as Peter? (So, the final panels would have us believe.) And so on.
Now, after a couple more reads, I realize these questions are pointless. This story stands alone, apart from continuity, apart from characterization, apart from seriousness. It is sort of a Not Brand Echh story done straight. It is supposed to be fun and cute and amusing and sweet and charming and kitty-filled. And it is, I guess. If you let all the kitties wash over you and don’t think about it too much.
But I still hate that recap page. (Don’t fall for its line, by the way. The Omega Effect was very much not “awesome.”) Oh, how I hate that recap page.
Two webs for this one. Fair enough. Now, where’s Zeb???