Spider-Man Unlimited (Vol. 3) is Marvel's new "showcase" title. Released bi-monthly, each issue features two separate stories each month by guest creators. The first couple of issues have been a bit inconsistent, each featuring one good story, and one rather disappointing story. Maybe this issue we can finally get a couple of decent episodes in the same magazine, given that it's a fully-priced $3 title!
The title, "6th" refers of course to Peter's Spidey-Sense. As he heads in to work at the Bugle, he muses about one of the copy editors who got hit by a bus. In between episodes of said musing, Peter's Spidey-Sense allows him to do a few good deeds, avoid getting jostled, beat up the Vulture, and eventually manages to get flowers for the editor's family. Then he gets hassled by a pigeon, and almost gets run over by a bus. It's irony, apparantly.
Actually, it's a pretty ho-hum story, is what it is. I'm really not too sure what was the point of it all. There's plenty of stuff happening, lots of noise, but very little actually being said. Writer Brandon Thomas has given us script without plot. Penciler Ale Garz and Inker Sean Parsons do a thorough job on the artwork, but it can't make up for the lack of any real substance. In the end, you're left with a feeling like having eaten half a packet of plain potato chips, when you weren't particularly hungry.
At last, an issue where the second-best story still scraped in with three webs. But still, like the preceeding two issues, there's such a big gap in quality between the two halves.
Then again, maybe I'm leaping to conclusions. Maybe I'm being unduly prejudiced. Maybe there's another 50% of the general Spider-Man reading populace who think that in each of the issues, the story I preferred was crap, and maybe they loved the story that I found disappointing. Maybe that's the whole plan... Marvel are giving us two deliberately different stories with the theory that any individual reader will probably like one of them.
Sadly, that cuts the other way. In each case, there's at least one story that I found particularly uninspiring. And since I have to pay for BOTH stories, that doesn't make me very happy at all.
It looked good, and it filled 11 pages, and passed a quiet five minutes of reading. Nothing in particular was offensive, or even unreasonable. I guess we can be charitable and give it a bland but slightly salty three webs. The first story was better though, did I mention that?