Peter Parker is back as the Amazing Spider-Man! He has regained his body from Doctor Octopus and is trying to cope with the life that the he has left him. He has a new company (Parker Industries), a doctorate and Anna Maria Marconi. Anna knows he is Spider-Man and knows about the brain swap and is dealing with it surprisingly well.
Peter has made amends with The Avengers and briefly tussled with Electro, who blames Spider-Man for his faulty powers. Little does Peter know that Black Cat also has a score to settle with him...! (Oh yeah and there's this girl that got bit by the same spider he was!)In her window
In her windowless room, the girl with spider powers (Cindy) wants out! Upon remembering her younger brother and family she smashes through the door to Zone 1 and attempts to guess the key code for Zone 2. A video message plays and she is told by an older man not to leave the bunker and that she knows what will happen if she does. She curses him: "Damn you, Ezekiel..."!
Black Cat has had enough of stealing and has set out simply taking what is hers. She starts by tying up the owners of a nice apartment and eating their caviar and drinking their champagne! The Spider is next...!
In an abandoned building used by the homeless, Electro has nightmares about Spider-Man's use of him (during Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #5-7) and accidentally sparks a fire!
At Parker Industries, the workers are slaving over a capture method and cure for Electro knowing that their boss is very demanding. Out comes Peter Parker... in a Hawaiian shirt! His workers remain sceptical over his mind-set (they're used the Superior Peter) and hesitantly embark on a field trip to test their new scanner that will detect Electro. Sajani and Anna Maria want to talk to him about his involvement with super heroes and villains, but Peter simply says that he wants to be part of the solution now and leaves in a van. Sajani is nearly at her wits end with him but Anna fights his corner, saying that she will quietly finish the nanite project he was working on. Anna wonders how she's going to do that, when the only person clever enough to do so was Doctor Octopus, when The Living Brain (Peter's robotic henchman) arrives...
The abandoned building is fully ablaze! Several fire-fighters attend the scene, including Ollie (Mary Jane Watson's boyfriend). Peter and his crew arrive and begin testing for Electro's signature. Peter sneaks off and returns as Spider-Man!
Over at The Fact Channel Studios, J Jonah Jameson is embroiled in an argument about his time in office, his removal and how it is all Spider-Man's fault. The woman he is talking to explain that this isn't actually an interview... but a job offer. How would JJJ like to have his own show?
Spider-Man enters the building and finds Ollie recusing a young girl. They get her to safety, but the floor gives way underneath Ollie and he is trapped! It turns out this is down to Black Cat and her bad luck powers as she appears to confront Spider-Man. He doesn't know what her problem is as she attacks him with feline ferocity! He tries to explain about Doc Ock, but she doesn't care. Suddenly Spider-Man becomes vicious, aiming ferocious punches at her and seems like he is out to kill! He announces that his "return" was simply a ruse and that he is still Otto Octavious! Black Cat decides she has pushed her luck too far and leaves! Spider-Man can't believe that she fell for it, and a silly voice, and quickly rescues Ollie.
Outside, MJ is waiting and greets Ollie with an embrace. Spider-Man watches and is determined to give them a chance at a normal life.
Peter's crew have been robbed! Their wallets and Electro Scanner are gone!
Black Cat leaps across rooftops, clutching the missing equipment. Whether Spider-Man was Doc Ock or not, she still has to make The Spider pay! She tracks down Electro and offers him the respect and revenge they both deserve... by killing Spider-Man!
So I was pretty flabbergasted at the Ezekiel reveal. A great ploy to tie Cindy and her spider-powers in even more to Spider-Man history and a wonderful hook. Well done Dan Slott!
The remaining pages don't hit the heights of reveal and drama but they are satisfying enough.
- Black Cat has a new costume, flaunts her new hatred and the resulting fisticuffs are as expected. I would have though she'd have been cleverer about a physical altercation but #3 follows a similar pattern to #2 and Electro in that this is just a taster of their conflict.
- Electro takes a backseat here and the final page is well telegraphed. Slott needs to get his teeth into Electro a bit more as he still remains fairly one-dimensional.
- There remains some good interaction between Peter, Anna, Sajani and the Parker Industries crew and JJJ gets a new plot.
- We're reminded that MJ and Ollie exist and are happy, though we probably wont see them for a while now.
But there isn't the zing and excitement of previous issues and it all seems to be building a little formulaically.
Humberto Ramos deals with Black Cat well, making her the right kind of curvy and dangerous in her skirmish with Spider-Man. In fact that shot of her appearing in the burning building is superb! He frames the fiery scenes well and they are a lot clearer than the electric scenes last issue and there is a great consistency in his work. He even manages to "Superior" up our Spider-Man when he begins his pretend rant, wonderfully mirroring flames in his eye pieces and then immediately widening the eyes on the mask as he reverts back to loveable Peter. It is a clever trick that adds to the drama.
A good issue and I can't pick too many faults. It just seems that nothing changed this issue and, in the land of Dan Slott, that is usually a sure thing. (Ok, I'll give him the Ezekiel thing!)