Starting in the X-books, a new villain has popped up. His name is Onslaught. He's been causing all sorts of trouble in the Marvel Universe, recently releasing a horde of Sentinels on New York City. Meanwhile, Peter Parker died...and then came back. Don't ask me why, or how. It's a long story and you're probably better off checking out the Spider-Man #71 and Spectacular Spider-Man #237 reviews.
Anyhow, Peter's powers are slowly returning, but they're not yet at 100%
The issues starts out with Peter Parker atop a building, taking pics of the hordes of huge robot Sentinels that have overtaken New York City. He's trying to make sense of it all, when Spider-Man swings by, followed by three mad_as_hell Sentinels. Their mission (you need to ask?), destory the ehanced Super-Human known as Spider-Man. Ben manages to get caught by the robots, just in time to be saved by Peter! Well, the robots detect his powers, and go after him. Spidey gets free just in time to save Peter, and take off swinging, with Parker hanging onto his waist for dear life.
From behind, the Sentinels shoot a scathing energy blast, which rips across Ben's back and renders him unconscious. Peter works Ben's webshooters. and manages to rig a web-chute, that happens to land them in the bottom of a smokestack (ooooh, ominous). After some wise-cracking back and forth, Ben finds a manhole in the bottom of the stack and they retreat to the sewers.
Ben is hurt, and gives Peter a web-shooter so he can go for help, but the Sentinels begin to dig into the ground, searching for our hero. They find him, and just as everything is looking grim for Spidey, Peter shows back up, webs one of the robot's heads, and uses it like a baseball bat, smashing all the other robots into oblivion! Peter then relays the biggest piece of news to Spider-Man, that the Avengers and the X-Men are taking on Onslaught in Central Park, and they both run off to join the fight!!!
Killer, killer, and killer! Say what you want about the clone mess, but the best thing to come out of it was the teamwork of Peter and Ben. Spidey has always been a loner, but finally he's found someone he can work with! Too bad the grim spectre of death hangs over Mr. Reilly. Oh well, all good things must come to an end (hallelujiah!)
The art and style of this book are, as always, spectacular. But the story was head and shoulders above the rest It kept the action going throughout the book, back and forth. Sentinels make good enemies, because you don't have to worry about trashing them! There were a lot of subtle hints about what's to come also, with Peter getting back into the 'swing' of things, and the importance of the smokestack didn't escape me (see if you can figure it out)!
I can't do it! I can't give it any lower than five - with always wonderful art, and an awesome adventure. It had a cool tie-in to Onslaught, while still maintaining its independence. It always seems that when the real heavy stuff goes down, Spider-Man is hardly ever involved. Maybe it's part of his rebel attitude, or that's he not very well-informed, or that he's got his own share of problems. One thing is for sure, however. Things are definitely starting to happen in the Spider-realm. Will Onslaught kill Ben? Will Peter demand his mantle back? Stay tuned, true believers!
P.S. Don't rule out clone-degeneration!