A Lippy the Lion-type alien known as the Imperator has landed in Central Park on behalf of yet another alien race calling themselves the H'Mojen. They are planning to "h'mojenize" themselves with the human race. Spider-Man and the Impossible Man try to resist them but the Imperator messes up Spidey and appears to destroy Impy. Spidey brings the FF into the affair. In Central Park, they look up and see a whole pack of... something. Oh, and it's unclear just when the story takes place but the continuity appears to be a bit of a mess.
|Inker:||Wade von Grawbadger|
|Reprinted In:||Spider-Man Magazine (Vol. 3) #2|
Spidey comes home to re-costume after getting a little raggedy from his dust-up with the Imperator. Aunt May and Mary Jane are both there and are both aware that Pete is Spider-Man so it's starting to look like this story takes place in the Marvel Universe present, which only makes the continuity glitches more blinding. While Pete is talking to them, May and MJ get absorbed into the H'Mojen, turning grey, getting big black marble eyes, and little spikes coming out their heads. They tell him to stop resisting the process but, if he's "going to work against us, don't come back home." Meanwhile, Sue and Reed Richards join Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm in Central Park. They start getting serious with the humanoid aliens that are climbing all over an unresisting Thing until Ben tells them that the "aliens" are human beings merged with the H'Mojen. The Imperator continues his work; freely talking to Reed about what he is doing while the others notice strange tongue-like plants growing under their feet. Reed decides he must return to the lab to dope things out. Spidey joins the group as they head back to the Baxter Building. (They even let Spidey drive.)
The group worries that the kids have been affected but Franklin, Val, and Alicia Masters are all fine. Alicia speculates that "the aliens aren't interested in children or the blind". On television, the merged governor of New York and Elder Councilor of the H'Moj civilization David Schmidt-S'orr fills us in on what's going on. He makes it sound just great except the part about "those not useful due to physical or mental capacity will be relocated to a yet-undetermined locale where they will have minimum interaction with the new merged race". Spidey and the FF try to figure out why none of them has changed and Reed speculates that "if one's DNA is sufficiently different, the process doesn't work". He looks at his kids and says, "guess you two are going to grow up more special than I thought". (Now, I haven't read the FF lately, but shouldn't Reed already know that Franklin is "more special"?)
The group splits up. Reed stays in the lab. Sue and Ben go to challenge Lippy again. Johnny and Spidey try to recruit other heroes. They visit Dr. Strange but he has been merged and now can't manage more than card tricks. Cap is still alive and has been merged which further confuses me as to continuity. (Come to think of it, Spidey isn't wanted by the authorities either so that puts the whole story some time before Civil War.) Johnny reports to Reed that "Daredevil's all bumping into things" but shouldn't the H'Mojen have left DD alone since he is disabled? Sue and Ben have no luck with Lippy. All return to the lab where Reed has only bad news. He has run millions of simulations and "any way you try to separate hosts and parasites kills them both". He decides he must travel to a world that was previously occupied by the H'Mojen to learn more. Before he goes, he affixes a "4" symbol on Spidey's chest to fill in for him. After he goes, the Imperator, Governor Schmidt-S'orr and some really big bugs arrive to take the FF into custody.
Hmmm. Well. What is there to say about an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" retread combined with a bit of a Galactus motif? That there's not much else than that here? I don't know. I'm trying to get in the swing of things. I'm enjoying the banter. (Spidey: "Retreat is the new 'win'. Got it." Torchy: "Man, I'd kill for some Galactus right now." The Thing after Spidey gushes over receiving the "4" chest symbol: "Aw, he slapped that thing on Lockjaw the last time Susie went outta town.") Clever, funny stuff. Panel by panel, line by line, the writing is strong. The H'Mojen are rather amusing in their "aw-shucks- we're-taking-over-the-world" manner. I'm also enjoying the artwork. Mike Wieringo is an acquired taste but once you acquire it, he rarely fails you. But the story... I don't know. The story does nothing for me. I'm hoping for a big payoff to make this far too familiar plotline clang like a church bell. But I'm afraid it's going to fizzle into something... expected.
No sign of the guy with gold teeth this issue. And I'm still not sure what all that fuss in the last panel of the first issue was. Oh well. Same as last time, I'm afraid. One web.