Well, we all know that Norman Osborn, the original illustrious Green Goblin is back, and that he's bought a controlling portion of the Daily Bugle by threatening J. Jonah Jameson's family, and that Peter was recently provoked into attacking Osborn, who has used that action to turn the world against Spider-Man. We also know that Osborn had the Trapster asphyxiate a street punk named Joey Z by using a paste resembling Spider-Man's webbing, and has offered a $5 million reward on Spider-Man's head - basically he's using all of his resources (including his family) to make life miserable for Spider-Man. We know that Osborn's influence on the Bugle has driven Robbie Robertson to quit working at the Bugle, and that Flash Thompson has recently been coming to grips with his own alcoholism. We also know that Frank Castle - the Punisher - lost his memory, and is wandering around New York searching for his identity. And, of course we know that a mysterious South American crime lord named the Black Tarantula has come to NYC, looking to take his share of the New York crime scene.
We knew that, right?
|Inker:||Al Milgrom, Dan Green|
|Cover Art:||John Romita, Jr.|
As usual, Spectacular delivered the highlight of the month. This issue features slightly less of Spidey getting chased around by greedy New Yorkers (although he still gets shot at - it's part of what he does), and more of the mechanations of Osborn and the Green Goblin. Until the end, we are led to believe that Osborn is fully against the Goblin, until we learn that the new man in green is actually working with Norman in an effort to clear his public image. This twist really surprised me in the end.
This issue also tosses out a few clues that may suggest Flash Thompson, Jake Conover (whom I still think was Mad Jack), or Sir (from last issue) as the new Green Goblin. And, of course, there's still Jonah Jameson, whose hatred of Osborn is building to a dangerous level.
As far as the climactic battle (involving the Green Goblin, the Punisher, Shotgun, Jimmy Six, Override, Clarence, and some guy in webs) goes, it all ends with Normie's safe return. Override and Clarence are rewarded generously for their involvement, but Spider-Man's popularity remains at almost non-existant.
Art Ross' pencilling is terrific, especially his rendering of the Green Goblin, and DeMatteis' script kept me engrossed, even if I did want to see whatever happened to New York's newest heroes, the Grizzly and the Gibbon.
The best of the four stories in this arc, we give three and a half webs.