Spidey's latest manga foray has come to an end... ho hum.
This issue continues the trend of wildly out of control plots all mashed together and put on paper for the consumer. I will try and make sense of it...
Pete's school friends, including Flash and MJ, are looking around the school for Harry, who when last they heard from him he sounded "pretty messed up". They are interrupted by their teacher Doc Ock. As the good Doc goes on a bit of a tirade, they happy group stumble into the gym and hear the Green Goblin's crazy monologue about mollusks.
The Green Goblin's all evil and has a legion of gremlin like little goblin's who proceed to try and kill Pete's friends and the Doc. Pete wings in and battles, but is losing until he remembers Uncle Ben's lessons about the Spider-Sense. Employing this lesson, Pete starts on a winning streak which ends when a stray goblin bomb explodes and reveals Harry drugged out and sitting in a toilet cubicle. This snaps the Green Goblin out of it. He calms down, is repentant, the police come and most everything is fine.
As things are mopped up, DD looks on from a building across the road and reflects to himself that his mission is completed and the Shadow Clan are canned. But, little does he know that a wounded Shadow Clan chick is watching him from the shadows.
At the hospital, the gang are all getting patched up, but Felicia has time to give Pete a quick pash and then take Pete out for a night on the rooftops. Pete wakes to find her gone and a sort of goodbye note.
Felicia meanwhile has met up with her nysterious saviour/employer... the Kingpin (who resembles a fat master mold). It turns out that she ended up with the Venom amulet and exchanges it for the right codes to keep her cybernetic body working.
Back at the hospital, Pete and Aunt May talk. MJ comes in, then leaves with Pete.
THE END... almost. We finish with a splash page and the text: "Special thanks to everyone at Marvel Comics who helped make this project go from dream to reality."
I think the final page explains a few things. From dream to reality... That's how this comic comes across as: a dream made into a book. It's full of all these supposedly emotionally charged and poignant scenes, but your not sure how you really got to each point, if any of it is really related or even exactly what it means. I can imagine that Kaare Andrews had this fast flashing dream, that seemed great, then tried to capture it as a comic strip.
As for the reader, this issue and series is also dream-like. A bit of a bad dream though, or at least forgettable one. I don't think there's really that much here that will make this last in most reader's mind as anything more that a vaguely bad memory.
I remember reading an interview with Kaare about this series, where he talked about what he was aiming for and in particular the target audience he was aiming for. From memory his target audience was the 'cool' crowd, the sort portrayed in movies like xXx. The extreme sports crowd maybe. I guess I'm not part of that target audience and maybe that's why I didn't really enjoy this series all that much. But, I would be very surprised if this comic actually ever got into the hands of it's supposed target audience. I mean, were there any special marketing strategies? I don't think so. Instead, this was marketed strictly under the direct market, comic book, Spider-Man banner. Which means people like me will probably end up buying it, because I'm a comic book and Spider-Man fan. And that's a bit of a rort if you ask me. I was suckered in and wasted my money on something I thought would be for me, but turned out to be mostly crap (according to my tastes)!
The thing that really worried me though, was all the build-up, loose ends and foreboding that the second half of the book spends it's time doing. To me, this smells like a sequel. Which I most definitely hope doesn't happen.
I did think the art was nifty in some places. But, besides that, there's not much here worth wasting your time and money on.
I was going to give this one web, but I want to make sure that there's no continuation and I don't want to encourage Marvel in any way, so only half a web.