|Cover Art:||Steve McNiven|
|Reprinted In:||Marvel Knights: Spider-Man (Reprint TPB) #4|
The Absorbing Man-drug concoction has hit the streets and isn't having the best of effects on those who take it … one who OD'd has been encased in glass by the drug and his body is snapped by a fellow user.
Meanwhile, back at the Bugle, Peter is still on the phone to Read (who is telling him Ethan is a skrull) while Ethan is running to him for help to hide from the press. Jonah calls the pair of them into his office and tells Ethan he'll let things go IF he gives him the full take on Virtue. Ethan refuses and flies through the window. Peter goes after him but Ethan takes off again for Iowa, leaving Pete to wonder how he's going to get there.
The Fantastic Four are with Ethan's adoptive parents in Iowa trying to find out about his origin. Virtue shows up and gets into a rumble with Thing, who comes out on top. They are looking at the ship Ethan arrived in when a bright yellow light comes out of it. It shines on Ethan, who begins speaking another language until Thing smashes it into the atmosphere.
Owl is delighted that the AM-drug is selling so well. It gives users his powers to absorb materials for around an hour, which is why their hands/feet, etc keep changing substance. Meanwhile, on a subway train Spidey comes across a guy who seems to have absorbed knifes and forks as hands and is terrorising the inhabitants. Spidey whacks him and, as his hour is up, the absorbing effect wears off and he is back to normal. He tells Spidey who his dealer was and that he works for the Owl. Meanwhile, all the AM bits are reassembling themselves in a sewer.
When Ethan re-awakes in Hicksville, he starts by lashing out at the FF, then begins to have some sort of nervous breakdown before flying off. Meanwhile, Spidey has tracked down The Owl and The Absorbing Man has put himself back together again and is out for revenge.
This issue is a bit better than the previous instalments and sets up the finale quite nicely with a few dangling threads. It is a bit Spidey-lite, however, with more FF than you would perhaps hope for in a Spider-Man book. It seems a lot tighter than some of the other issues and the art has improved. The Fantastic Four look excellent here and the cover is probably one of the best from any Spidey book recently.
I'm still not bowled over by the drugs storyline itself. This isn't a story highlighting dangers, as with Stan Lee's famous ASM arc #96-98. And, though it doesn't glorify it either, I just wonder if there could be a better place for stories such as this in the MU rather than in a Spider-Man book.
OK … but again not amazing.