Marvels Eye of the Camera #5

Story 'A whole lot of paper'

  Marvels Eye of the Camera #5
Summary: Spider-Man reference

Dr. Geoffries calls Phil into his office and has to deliver the bad news: according to the test results, his cancer is not in remission as he has thought. He has between three and eighteen months to live.

Phil resolves to finish his next book with whatever time remains. His family pitches in to help him in whatever ways they can. While at work, a news bulletin comes in detailing the Avengers battle with a mindless Hulk in Jericho, New Mexico. They managed to stop the Hulk despite the destruction he brought to the town.

The next day, while teaching his daughter Jenny to drive, Phil hears another news story involving a mutant incident at Laguardia. Phil accepts Jenny's offer to drive him to the airport to cover the story. He photographs the original X-Men (now called X-Factor) fighting the mutant Tower.

Phil is increasingly tired and has difficulty concentrating due to the medication they put him. Due to health problems, he is unable to cover the next major events: Namor joining the Avengers and Magento on trial in Paris at the Palais de Justice. Despite the offer to have an all-expense paid trip for two to France, Phil reluctantly declines and watches event on television.

Phil suddenly becomes very weak and is hospitalized. Despite the setback, he continues to record his thoughts with a hand-held recorder. He becomes very angry at one point when he considers his legacy. Some pictures. If he hadn't been there to take the pictures of the world events, someone else would have. He knows someone else is doing "his" job now. He questions what kind of life he has led when he is replaced and nobody supposedly notices?

Later on while he's sleeping, an unidentified teenager wearing a blue ESU hoodie appears in his hospital room. Phil wakes up and quickly learns that it's Maggie the mutant girl they sheltered many years ago.

General Comments

Phil is growing increasingly frustrated with the legacy he will leave his family, which he described as "a whole lot of paper". It's understandable that he wants his life and his work to have significance.

He feels somewhat responsible for the public's obsession with the Marvels as he was the most prominent person to document their activities. With each event that unfolds, he feels that they are losing their nobility.

Phil is the type of concerned person that wants to leave the planet a little better than he found it. Since the Marvels are his "contribution" to society, he doesn't want his efforts to be wasted. In Phil's mind, heroes behave like heroes 24/7. This is not always true. Heroes are human (homo superior in some cases) and have the same difficulties as everyone else. The only difference is that their problems are usually thrust into the spotlight.

Overall Rating

4 webs. This is a very Phil-centric story, which is appropriate given the circumstances. The sudden re-appearance of Maggie may give Phil the reassurance he has been desperately seeking.

Footnote