The Absorbing Man, Crusher Creel, is on a rampage through a house after some bloke. Back outside and after the event, the woman from the last issue is with AM and tells him he could change tactics, rather than just whacking everything with his fist as a hammer.
Back with the New Avengers and Spidey seems quite annoyed by Wolverine laying a claw on him. He batters him until Captain America breaks things up. Wolvie makes another crack about MJ and Pete goes to go after him again, but collapses. He is out cold because of blood loss and Cap gives Wolverine a dressing down.
Later that night, MJ is worried about Peter's wound but he tells her it's just a flesh wound and that it will heal.
At the Bugle, Ethan is telling Pete about the power of prayer. Pete's sceptical but steps into a cupboard with Ethan and begins to pray. Ethan pulls down his glasses, his eyes glow, and Pete ends up feeling better. Hmmm.
Elsewhere, Absorbing Man makes another hit on a gang.
As Ethan and Pete are on the street, one of the gang are left hanging from a window. Pete runs off to change to Spidey but Ethan follows. Pete tells him to go into the crowd, while he'll take pics. Pete gets away and changes. Two street dwellers see him and think it must be Daredevil. Spidey gets into another battle with the Absorbing Man, while a tall masked man, not at all looking a bit like Ethan flies into the air and saves the guy who was falling.
The woman throws water onto the AM and he changes so he can escape. As Pete gets into the apartment, the woman is still there and his Spidey sense goes off. AM then attacks him. The tall blonde man leaps into action, flying again, and saves the day. He punches AM halfway across town, before AM slinks back to the Owl. The woman has stolen Pete's wallet, meanwhile and, after catching up with AM, says they've got to pay someone a visit.
The second part of Hudlin's arc is definitely better than the first but I can't help but feel there's too much attention being paid to the Absorbing Man, compared to Pete/Spider-Man, whose book it is supposed to be.
I do like the mystery surrounding Ethan – who he is, what powers he has and so on.
I'm prepared to give Hudlin the benefit of the doubt with this issue in that, in essence, not much happens. The Wolvie/Spidey niggle, which I'm not a fan of, peters out – at least for this issue – and the whole issue of Peter's injury isn't really dealt with. Is the fact the Wolvie scratched Peter going to lead to something or not? It's hard to tell from this, so I'll see how things go.
I'm not convinced that Hudlin has quite got the character of Peter down and parts of this seem very contrived to make things fit with whatever his overall plan for the arc is. For instance it seems pretty clear the only reason Peter's back at the Bugle is so he could meet up with Ethan. Is that a good enough reason to make him change job again?
Anyway, this is a filler issue first and foremost with another AM v Spidey battle – just like last time. As an individual tale, it's very average but, perhaps, it might pay off.
Let's see where this leads.