Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #644 (Story 1)

 Posted: 18 Apr 2024
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)


Lilly Hollister gave birth to her son, Stanley Osborn. The child was the son of Norman and since both parents were exposed to Green Goblin formula, their offspring had huge genetic potential, so far as even being a new species. This made the newborn a target for the dying Otto Octavius, who chased Lilly to the Coffee Bean cafe with his henchmen. Spidey saved the infant and carried him away as Ock’s supervillain underlings went after them.

Story 'Origin Of The Species'

At a police precinct, the cops are trying to calm down a woman that claimed that Spider-Man took her baby. Another officer says that there have been a dozen making the same claim but none checked out. Another officer said they better find out because there were reports of super criminals looking for the kid all over town.

At that moment in Upper Manhattan, Spidey was protecting the baby from the Vulture (Jimmy Natale.) Vulture was attacked by Freak, who also wanted the child. Spider-Man was happy to leave them alone and ran to a woman feeding a baby on her front steps. He asked for food and a diaper but she ran off in terror. The police were nearby telling the public to clear the streets for their own protection. A cop said they should tell them that the Rhino was coming and another said not to cause a panic. Spidey’s spider sense went off but didn’t see Rhino or feel the ground shake. He looked up and saw Rhino jumping from a helicopter above them.

At the Coffee Bean, Tombstone interrogated Carlie Cooper about Lilly Hollister. The police arrived and tried to calm the situation while subduing Tombstone. They opened fire and his bulletproof skin protected him, leaving him bored. He grabbed the unconscious Shocker and ran off. A cop tried to get information from Carlie but she claimed it was all a blur. She was ashamed for lying but despite her conflicted feelings about Lilly, still sympathized with her. The police assured her that there was no one else left buried in the rubble, leaving her frustrated about Peter’s disappearance. As she walked home, she was glad to at least be safe. Tombstone watched her from a darkened doorway.

At the Kravinoff Mansion, a shadowy figure asked Doctor Octopus why he didn’t go after Spider-Man himself, as he had nearly beaten him previously. He nearly had when only second rate criminals answered his call. Now that serious dangers were going after the bug, he could work on his biochemical masterpiece. Spider-Man couldn’t escape him, as he had created his own tracer device and attached it to his costume. He sent the figure after their enemy.

At 587 Park Avenue, Mary Jane arrived with Harry and Lily at her producer’s home. He wanted them to leave but MJ reminded him of the time in Cancun when he made a move on a sheriff’s daughter and she got him out of jail. He reluctantly agreed to let them stay in his panic room until they had a plan. Harry had MJ stay with Lily, he had a plan.

Spider-Man was doing what he could to dodge the Rhino but demanded that Alexi stop. He had a newborn in his arms and he knew Rhino blamed him for the death of his wife but it was a baby. Oksana wouldn’t have approved of him causing the death of a baby. They could finish it later after he dropped off the kid at Avengers Mansion. Rhino left, wishing him luck. Spidey thanked him and Rhino said that he was referring to next time they met.

Spidey thanked the baby for helping him against Rhino and said he was going to call him “The Adorable Spider-Baby.” He soon arrived at Avengers Mansion but thought it was closer than it should be. He told the baby they were almost home when he saw he was holding a doll. Just then a demonic looking baby appeared behind him and bit his head. He ran through the iron gate and fell before realizing that he was in an abandoned lot. He realized that the mansion had been one of Mysterio’s illusions and instantly KO’ed him. If it had been the real Avengers Mansion, he would’ve been facing security protocols. He turned to see Freak and Vulture coming after them.

He swung away, hearing that the baby’s breathing was becoming ragged. Spider-Man hoped that the Goblin formula made him stronger but he still needed a miracle. A voice below called to him and he found that Harry had been following him. Finding Spider-Man wasn’t hard, considering how he was being tracked by the cops, news and cell phones. Harry said to give him his brother and Spidey agreed. He made a decoy baby with some trash and went after Freak and Vulture. As he fought the bad guys, he saw Harry was watching them from the street. Vulture grabbed the bundle of trash but was quickly knocked out.

Freak was beaten and Spidey went to see why Harry hadn’t left with the baby. In tears, Harry said that the baby didn’t make it. Spider-Man was furious and went to go after Ock and make him pay. Harry watched him leave and took off his face, revealing himself to be the Chameleon.

General Comments

I haven’t read this book since I bought it…wow, 14 years ago. It very much is a product of the Brand New Day era with Carlie Cooper, Lily Hollister, Freak and the red mutant Vulture. I can’t say that I cared for any of these new characters and I’m guessing most people agree with my opinion. Carlie has been written out, Vulture is dead, Freak hasn’t been seen in forever and Lily has been cured of being Menace. Of course, she’s Queen Cat now which isn’t any better. Still, at least I think she’s more interesting now that she wants to take Stanley back from Liz Allan/Misery. Neither of them are especially stable mothers.

It s simple but exciting story. Spidey’s stress was real as he was cut no slack from the constant attacks. Even Rhino wishing him luck was ominous. It was a nice switch to have Harry leave MJ and Lily with some plan that he had, only for Spidey to turn over the kid to the Chameleon. We’ll see if it was the real Harry that had been with the ladies the whole time or not.

I didn’t care for the art, it’s just ugly. Maybe it’s the coloring.

Overall Rating

It’s a fun issue and we get the birth of Stanley Osborn. He was hyped as a major game changer, to the point of being the next step in evolution. So far, fourteen years later, we still haven’t seen anything. One day maybe.

 Posted: 18 Apr 2024
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)