Sensational Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #10

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Gary Miller


Swarm has commandeered and enveloped the Institute of Seismoharmonic Studies and is forcing its scientists to re-establish the vibratory harmonics which will enable Swarm not only to pull together the rest of his hive, but rule the world with bees. Spider-Man happens upon the scene, missing a date with Desiree Winthrop, and immediately discovers that the bees remember him -- and are scared of him (or were of Peter Parker, from back in PPTSSM #36-37).

Story 'Global Swarming'

Spidey uses the bees' fear to gain entrance to the Institute, where he converses with the scientists and perfects a plan to prevent Swarm from harnessing control of all bees. The scientists trick Swarm into allowing Spider-Man to set up the equipment needed to disrupt the harmonic frequency, and by the time Swarm realizes what they are doing, it is too late, as Swarm and the many bees comprising him are robbed by the disruption of their ability to fly (bees fly by moving their wings so fast that they create a vibratory current they can ride on), falling by the millions to the ground. The result is also a slight psychic backlash to people sensitive to such psionics. Spider-Man takes the queen bee from Swarm and thus prevents Swarm from posing any further threat. The scientists publicly thank Spider-Man on television, to J. Jonah Jameson's dismay.

On the other hand, when Ben rushes back to Desiree, she is just getting out of the show -- and she does not brush him off, but instead says that she knows why he left: he is not comfortable with having another relationship so soon after Jessica! Leaving it at that, Ben and Desiree walk off.

Two small sidenotes: Peter and Mary Jane decorate their daughter's room and Peter loses his powers while painting the ceiling; and Liz Osborn encounters some friction from an employee when she asks for files for employees such as Seward Trainer...

General Comments

Another issue which was good in its own right. Swarm was formidable, if not the same villain I remember from years past, and though his plan deviated from his normal modus operandi in some respects, it was an interesting (and somewhat well-founded in a scientific sense) finale. The greatness of this book: I don't know whether it was because Todd Dezago's script was very good, or whether it was because 'Ringo's art covered up a bad story, but I for one thought that it improved upon last issue. 'Ringo is growing on me, and he's the one to watch in months ahead. My only small gripe is Desiree's easy explanation of why Ben left her -- would a real woman act like this?

Overall Rating

For three months, this team has given us three of the best and brightest Spidey tales to hit the stands. Call me biased, call me Ringo-sensitive, but I call it four webs.

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Gary Miller