This mini-series is yet another re-imagining of the Spider-Man mythos. This one explores what would happen if Spider-Man began his career in the 1930s. It presents a more mature take on the character and explores much darker themes.
We start this issue exactly where we left off last time. Spider-Man has just found his lost friend, Robbie Robertson. Unfortunately, Doc Ock has already performed brain surgery on him and left him in a trance-like state. He leads Robbie out of his cell and starts to lead the freed prisoners out of the facility. Then they run into some armed guards.
Meanwhile, the Crime Master and Doc Ock are arguing about shutting down the laboratory. Doc Ock doesn’t want to lose all the time and effort he’s invested by being relocated. While the doctor is on the phone with Josef Ansell, the leader of the American Nazi Party, the Crime Master starts incinerating all of the doctor’s files. He also gives the order to kill all the leftover prisoners.
Spider-Man attacks the gunmen, and the freed prisoners lend him a hand, too. The Crime Master is on the scene, however, and he grabs Robbie as a hostage. He also lets slip that he killed Felicia. This startles Spider-Man, but he knows that help, in the form of Jean DeWolfe and his federal agents, is on the way. He does some smooth talking and makes the rest of the Crime Master’s gang run away.
Now it’s just Spider-Man and the Crime Master. But the Crime Master is still gonna slit Robbie’s throat. But then Doc Ock shows up, and he attacks the Crime Master. Spider-Man gets the prisoners away from the fight. When he turns around Doc Ock has killed the Crime Master while Spider-Man watches. Then Spider-Man breaks off all of Doc Ock’s surgical equipment and destroys his mechanical arms.
Just before Spider-Man can kill Doc Ock, Jean DeWolfe and his crew show up on the scene. DeWolfe says that Felicia sent him. The federal agents get everyone onto a boat and sail back to the city. After they dock, Spider-Man rushes off to visit Felicia.
He breaks in through the balcony, but only finds Felicia’s butler, Lippy. He says she’s at a private clinic getting help, but that she never wants to see him again. His presence in her life has caused her nothing but pain.
Then it’s time for a couple of nice epilogues.
First, Peter visits the Robertson family. Robbie is still in a trance. Peter hears the news that Doc Ock won’t be tried. His government connections got him off. Mary Jane tries to comfort him, but Peter says he can’t shake the feeling that there’s something bad coming on the horizon.
Meanwhile, Doc Ock has been flown to Germany, where he hopes to go to work for the Third Reich. Himmler meets him at the airport when he arrives, but when he finds out that Doc Ock’s condition is congenital, he refuses to talk to him. Octavious is left out in the rain alone, with his dreams of a better world ruined.
And finally, we see Felicia in her apartment after her attack. Her butler, Lippy, is taking care of her. Her bones have healed and her wounds have been stitched. But now she wears a mask to cover the scars on her face.
Everything is wrapped up satisfactorily with just enough loose ends to leave room for a sequel.
This character, his supporting cast, and his adversaries are so well written that I wouldn’t mind seeing more stories from this time period. Maybe not a ongoing series, but definitely more self-contained miniseries. That’s something I rarely say about re-imagined universes.