In an effort to prevent Hydra's scud missile reach its planned target, Spider-Man hitched a ride, sabotaged its internal directional controls, and flew it to the open water. Just before it exploded, Spidey let go, and was then thrown clear in the wake of the explosion...
|Writer:||J. Michael Straczynski|
|Pencils:||Mike Deodato, Jr.|
|Cover Art:||Tony Harris|
|Reprinted In:||Amazing Spider-Man (Reprint TPB) #10|
Just before Spidey hits the water, he's rescued by Iron Man. Just after he's rescued, Spidey faints, and Iron Man put the afterburners on full burn and headed back to headquarters.
Peter wakes up in Stark Tower two days later, a bit groggy, and surprised he's not dead. Tony tells Peter his system was infected by the toxins, but he had anti-toxins in his lab that he was able to administer to Peter before it became seriously life-threatening, although it was close. Peter wanders out of the lab, and inadvertantly into Tony's Iron Man gallery og previous armours. Tony tells Peter he got some anomalous readings when he ran Peter's blood through some of his medical scanners. Peter's nervous system was firing rapidly even when he was out, and he was getting adrenaline surges even when Peter wasn't doing anything. Tony questions Peter about whether or not he had any previous symptoms prior to his exposure to the toxins, which might have been unusual.
Tony asks Peter if he's had any recent blackouts (Peter recalls graying out due to physical and extreme emotional stress), suddenly found himself dizzy or disoriented (ASM #522), clumsy (ASM #521) or confused (ASM #522). Peter denies having experienced any of those things, and switches the topic to what happened to Hydra while Peter was after the missile. Tony tells Peter that they evacuated the complex, which started blowing up after the evacuation order was given. The new Supreme Hydra Lascombe escaped.
Meanwhile, Mary Jane turns down a job offer and reveals to May that she's only getting the job offers because of the publicity regarding her "affair" with Tony Stark, and not because of her skills as an actress. Tony comes into the room with Peter, and Peter and Mary Jane have a joyful reunion. Tony excuses himself to take care of some personal business, when Peter notices Aunt May and Jarvis holding hands.
Tony Stark confronts the photographer who snapped the pictures of Mary Jane, and tries to get him to retract his piece. Mr. Chambliss refuses, so Tony reveals he had him tailed and has photographic evidence of him in a compromising situation. Chambliss agrees to do what Stark wants him to do, and retract his story.
Peter and Mary Jane talk in bed, and Mary Jane tells Peter that while he was out, May and Jarvis became closer and are now dating. The thought weirds Peter out a bit, and he goes to fill the spa tub and relax. However, as the water is filling up the tub, he passes out. He's scared by what happened, and can't figure out why. He looks in the mirror, and remembers Tony asking him if he's suffered blackouts. Peter denies it to himself, saying he hasn't, and then crawls into bed next to Mary Jane. The only thought on his mind is "Don't think about it..."
As much as I really enjoyed the issue before this one, I felt a bit let down by this issue. It acted as an epilogue to to the previous adventure with the New Avengers and with Hydra, and also as a prologue of sorts to the upcoming 12-part "The Other: Evolve or Die" crossover spanning all three monthly Spider-Man books. It's not that the book isn't good, because it is, it's just that it could have read more fluidly. The pacing is what hurts this issue more than anything else. However, besides that, the script in this issue is very readable, especially the latter half, as it becomes ominous and forboding of Spidey's future in the upcoming The Other storyline.
The art here is once again a great artistic outing by Deodato Jr. The man is consistently turning in some fantastic Spider-Man work, and this issue is by no means the exception. Month after month, I am consistently impressed and awed by his detailed work, especially his portrayal of Mary Jane, which is just beautiful.
The story and art itself is a four and a half, but the lack of fluidity between the former and latter halves of the issue hurts the flow of the issue in a major way. It's still a quality issue, but the transition could have been much much smoother.