Previously in ASM, a Kree scientist named Dr. Minerva stole an Inhuman cocoon from a hospital with the help of some goons. Dr. Minerva plans on using the Inhuman DNA to advance the Kree race and make an army of enhanced Kree soldiers. Sadly for the villain, Spider-Man and the new Ms. Marvel teamed-up to end her villainy. That doesn't mean that Dr. Minerva doesn't have any tricks up her sleeve because the last issue ended when she turned into a giant monster due to experimenting herself with Inhuman genes.
Meanwhile, Cindy Moon AKA Silk has an internship at the Fact Channel. She left Peter Parker and needs to find somewhere to stay. She's determined to reestablish her life and find her old family.
The story opens with Dr. Minerva, in her giant monster form, fighting Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel. As he attempts to web up the villain, Spider-Man quips that if Minerva was to market her “genetic improvements,” she would need to include disclaimers: “Side effects include: Monsterization. Itchy, burning eyes. And--ugh--halitosis!” Ms. Marvel, unlike Spidey, is standing frozen in fear. Our main hero decides that he must get her out of her trance and asks if she knows the slingshot maneuver he performed with Carol Danvers. This automatically snaps Kamala out of her trance and she names all the times the slingshot move was performed. “That was so cool! I made it my wallpaper!” she cries. Spidey jumps toward her, slings a web toward her, and says that they’ll be doing it now. They complete the move and Spider-Man hits Dr. Minerva in the head. “This is the best day ever!” Kamala yells.
Excited, Ms. Marvel wants to do the fastball special next (the move Spidey did with Wolverine, strangely enough) but Spidey thinks their priority should be saving the Inhuman cocoon from Minerva’s henchmen. The goons are racing away in a van, but they aren’t as fast as Spidey and Kamala are! One of the two goons is worried because he has a “history” with Spider-Man and is afraid to face him. Ms. Marvel punches the hoodlums as Spidey webs the cocoon. The Spideyphobic goon begins to alter his harmless sonic scanner into a firearm. Sadly, he isn’t fast enough and the heroes flee the scene with the cocoon. Kamala begins to crack a joke towards the thugs but Spidey explains, “There’s a time to banter--and a time to run!” As they get away, the heroes are followed by Dr. Minerva. Spidey asks if Kamala can carry the cocoon. She grows bigger to pick it up, but this causes her to only become a bigger target for the villain to hit. While the giant-sized Ms. Marvel and Minerva battle, Spidey is surprised to watch the cocoon begin to hatch!
At the Fact Channel Studios, Cindy Moon contemplates where she’ll live. She can’t afford an apartment and knows she can’t stay with Peter because they “act like teenagers on prom night” around each other. A lady informs Cindy that her moody supervisor, Natalie Long, needs her in the editing bay. She rushes over there and apologizes to Long for being late. Her boss is distraught because she wants to make Silk the Fact Channel’s premiere superhero (like Spidey is to the Daily Bugle) but Silk is coming off poorly to the public. Cindy becomes defensive, justifying “her moves look pretty slick.” “It’s the outfit. Looks like she just webbed it on. So tacky, right?” Long says. Suddenly, Lone gets an alert of two crimes in progress. Spidey is handling one, the speaker informs, and the other is in the Diamond District. Long is about to head over and asks Cindy to accompany her...but she is nowhere to be found! Instead, our heroine is on the roof, webbing up her new costume. She decides that, to appease her boss, she’s going to get a “makeover.”
Back at the main action, Spidey, Ms. Marvel, and Dr. Minerva are surprised to see a baby hatch from the cocoon. Kamala picks the infant up to comfort him, but Minerva still plans on taking the Inhuman, no matter what. Spidey distracts the villain by throwing the cocoon remains at her while Kamala rushes off with the baby. A van of heavily armed goons arrives and their boss orders them to regain the child. Minerva can’t see because she has cocoon juice in her eyes, but she manages to burn it off with eye blasts. Spidey is joking, “Does Cyclops know you’re stealing his--” His joke is cut short when he’s smashed into a few cars by an eye beam.
Meanwhile, the baby is crying and Ms. Marvel offers him comfort as she runs with him in her arms. She’s zapped in the back by Minerva’s goons and falls the ground, covering the baby from the impact. She threatens to kick them to Jersey and asks what kind of monsters they are to shoot her while she’s carrying a child. One goon realizes that she’s correct and resolves to turn his sonic weapon against the other goons. “I signed on to snatch a cocoon. Didn’t know there was a baby in it. Even I’ve got limits,” he explains. The baby is scared by his costume, so he takes off his mask to show he’s just a regular guy. Not far away, Dr. Minerva continues to attempt to zap Spidey but he manages to avoid the blasts. Minerva is ranting about enhancing the Kree Empire with Inhuman genetics when Kamala, the goon, and the Inhuman baby arrive on the scene to Spidey’s dismay.
“So, these soldiers you keep talking about… Where are they?” Ms. Marvel asks Minerva. She explains she knows “everything there is to know” about the Kree,” and the goon enlightens that Minerva only hired human henchmen, not Kree. Spider-Man realizes that Minerva has been performing his treachery and the Kree Empire doesn’t even know about it. She stammers, “I merely used natives to blend with the populace. My mission is fully sanctioned.” Our main hero decides to test her explanation by calling Avengers Tower and asking Jarvis to send a message to the Kree as to if Minerva has clearance by them. At this point, the villain realizes her ploy is up and flies away, yelling, “You shall all pay!” Kamala jokes, “I can’t believe we beat her by calling the principal.” Spidey warns her to stay quiet about it until the villain is out of earshot. A few seconds later, Spidey decides that they must give the child back to his parents and then he must go to Avengers Tower and actually make the call to the Kree Empire. Kamala is surprised he lied to the villain, and he explains, “I’ve still got ‘hold’ music [from the Avengers phone line] playing in my ear. Now I’m gonna have ‘Shake It Off’ stuck in my head all day…”
At the Diamond District, the Ringer is escaping a crime scene with a suitcase full of diamonds. A web suddenly grips his suitcase and relinquishes it from his hands. He attempts to hit the speeding figure with his ring power but the figure is too fast. The villain is soon webbed up and Silk, in a new, less “tacky suit, stands above him and says, “I am fast, tough, and smooth…as silk! (Yeah, that’ll work.)” Natalie Long, who is accompanied by a camera man, who is at the scene, asks Silk where she got the idea for a new suit. She explains, “Felt like time for a change. In a lot of different ways.”
Later at the St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, two parents are pleased when Ms. Marvel hands them their child. They call her a real hero. Kamala explains to Spidey that the doctors can’t confirm the baby’s powers, but her parents will love her no matter what. Spider-Man mentions that he’ll be making his trip to Avengers Tower and Ms. Marvel really wants to accompany him. “It’s a school day. And I’m guessing you’ve missed at least two classes already,” Spidey replies. He tells her that she’ll be a fine teenage hero. “You remind me of a web-headed whippersnapper who always wondered how he was doing. And he thinks you’re doing great,” Spidey encourages. Ms. Marvel is touched and excitedly leaves the hospital, saying, “See ya, Spidey!”
Next, Spider-Man turns toward the goon that turned on Minerva. The goon admits he “messed up” but begs Spidey not to tell his parole officer. “I swear, I’ve tried to find a legit job, but no one wants to hire a guy with a record going back to juvie.” Spidey recognizes, “Ever since I webbed you up in the schoolyard…right, ‘Clash’?” He asks how he recognized him, and our hero explains that “only Clayton Cole could’ve whipped up a sonic cannon that fast.” Spidey explains that Clayton may be able to find a job at Parker Industries because the owner believes in second chances. And soon enough at Parker Industries, Clayton Cole is shaking hands with Peter, thanking him for placing him on the Company Board. Peter believes that this is merely another step in his plan to reform supervillains. He thinks, “I know better than anyone, heroes can come from the unlikeliest places.”
Amazing Spider-Man #8 brings a fun, exciting conclusion to an entertaining team-up. Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man, like last issue, have a good dynamic; you may have noticed that Spidey began to act more adult-like and mentor-like around Kamala in this issue. The plotline isn’t too serious about itself which makes it pretty funny and entertaining. It’s also amazing how many different plot twists Slott fits into the story, which always helps to keep the readers’ attention.
Also, it was satisfying to see Slott lives up to his word when he said the Learning to Crawl miniseries was going to tie into regular continuity. It was surprising for readers to find that one of Minerva’s goons was actually Clayton Cole! Cole and Spidey already have a complex relationship and I’m excited to see how Slott plans on using the character in his run. There is no doubt that Cole will become Clash once more, but will he be a hero or villain? (I don’t know about you, but Cole kind of reminds me of The Prowler.)
The other major change is Silk’s new costume. I’m not entirely sure what artist designed it, but it’s much better than her original, quite skimpy webbed costume (I love Humberto Ramos, but I don’t know who allowed him to design a female hero costume). Her new catchphrase, I have to admit, is pretty corny, but otherwise, Slott has done a solid job setting up the character for her solo series coming out. She’s got a job at the Fact Channel, has a mission to find her family, and like any good Spider-Man spinoff should, has an interesting relationship with Peter. I’m excited to see what Marvel has planned for her character.
Last by not least, Giuseppe Camuncoli’s artwork is fantastic. Camuncoli’s panel layout is fluid and crisp. His characters are, as usual, well-defined and have expressive facial expressions. I’ve noticed that Camuncoli is quite good at showing Spider-Man’s expressions while he’s wearing his mask. For example, look to Panel 1 of Page 6 and Panel 5 of Page 9. Few artists are able to convey emotions through heroes’ masks, but Camuncoli is quite good at it.
This was a fun, entertaining team-up. Silk's new costume and the tie-in to the Learning of Crawl miniseries raises the score above average.