Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #580

Story 'Fill in the Blanks'

As Spider-Man, Peter is on his mobile to May as the signal begins to cut out. She is in a bank that is being robbed by a man who is 'blank'. Spidey arrives on the scene – but The Blank is able to just brush off his webs. He's less able to brush off a punch, though, landing in front of a bus. He promptly disappears, however.

Peter doubles back to the bank where he finds that May is fine. He runs into detective Donovan, now with the FBI, who remembers Pete from his time on the Daily Globe – back in Fantastic Four #207.

At the Plaza hotel, The Blank is back in physical form, triumphant at his ill-gotten gains and that he didn't feel the punch from Spider-Man.

Peter is on his way to an FBI briefing about the Blank man. He intercepts Donovan on the way and finds out they suspect The Blank has a forcefield around him. He steals from banks that are predatory lenders, so is some sort of Robin Hood-type ... despite not giving anything back to the poor.

We get a recap of West Coast Avengers #2 and #3, where The Blank got his powers. A scientist had developed a device – but had been hit by a car and The Blank had taken the tech.

Spidey is eavesdropping on Donovan's FBI van. They head an armoured truck has been hit – and Spider-Man swings straight off. He manages to catch the truck – but The Blank slips straight out of his grasp. Spidey chases him down an alley and webs across a gap, stopping an escape. He then uses enough webbing to cover The Blank up in one big ball of web before delivering him to Donovan.

General Comments

It's really good to have Roger Stern back on Spider-Man, even if it does end up being for just the one issue. This is a perfectly passable one-shot very much in the vein of some of the Spectacular Spider-Man issues when that first launched. It doesn't really tie-in to the Brand New Day continuity as such but certainly doesn't contradict any of it either.

That said, some of the continuity references are quite obscure. Old Fantastic Four and West Coast Avengers issues! It's hard to say if that's a good or a bad thing. I don't really mind – but if the point of BND was to make things simpler and more accessible, this doesn't really do it.

The Robin Hood angle for the thief is slightly puzzling. If the guy's not giving anything to the poor and merely robbing banks who give out predatory loans (which aren't illegal), how does that give him a positive reception with the public?

Overall Rating

Nothing really wrong with the issue. Lee Weeks' art is solid and Roger Stern's return is straightforward enough.