|Exploits of Spider-Man (UK) #1
Kingpin is sparring with his son, Richard, and asking him about this new Rose who has turned up. Naturally he's suspicious - but Richard assures his father that he has no idea what is going on. Yeah right.
Meanwhile Peter and MJ turn up at their place and discover firstly that the place is trashed, and secondly there's a dead body littering their living room. Let me explain that a little further.
This is one of the sunglassed goons who was killed by his colleague for talking on an unsecure phone line last issue - a mistake which was punishable by death. But... leaving behind the corpse of one of your own team is also perhaps a bit of a boo-boo, so perhaps the guy who punished the corpse for the mistake should also have been shot and left behind as corpse number two, except...
See what I mean. It's a bit of a plot-hole. But then again, this entire story is the plot-hole equivalent of a 5,000 ton swiss cheese. You could use this story as a multi-level parking lot at an interstate truck-stop. In fact, the bits with the really bad plot actually make the huge sections of this story with no plot seem quite appealing.
The guy responsible for following up the clues is Sargeant Blume of the NYPD. Remember that name.
Nick Katzenburg turns up too, and Peter is less than happy about all the trouble coming his way, when it was Nick who took the photo and who's name should have been on the story.
As for who was in the photo. Richard Fisk meets The Rose, and we discover that the photo is a picture taken of Richard and whoever is acting as The Rose. They plan to redouble their efforts to kill the story before it goes any further. Ouch! Bad news for Peter. Richard Fisk also plans to bring in a little outside help... in the form of Hobgoblin, his former Ally, who is currently struggling with a part-time demonic possession (courtesy of N'astirh, but that's another story).
But before then, The Rose sends in his next set of goons. Three brothers wielding Japanese katana... which when put together also shoot out energy beams. Oh man, this is so tragic, I have to struggle to keep my lunch down where it belongs. Their boss is a guy called Deathwatch. Oh, I can't tell you any more of the tragic details, I have to go lie down for a bit.
OK, I'm back, to tell you three more tragic details that are revealed. First of all, Aunt May doesn't seem to mind at all having her house shot up... except that Uncle Ben's photo took a bullet. Awwww... The woman that had a heart attack seeing a picture of Spidey on TV is pretty easy-going about having to dive into the cellar to save her life as a bunch of uber-mooks let loose with high-calibre explosive projectiles in her living room.
Secondly, Spidey threatens the bad guys with death and mutilation, but then when he captures one of them, and gives him a little cut with a sword while asking him who he works for, he is so shocked by the extremes to which he has gone that he runs away and lets the bad guys all escape. This part of the story comes across with all the conviction of a junior school pantomime version of West Side Story.
Finally, after Spider-Man turns up everytime that Peter is attacked (while Peter simultaneously disappears), and after finding a discarded Spidey costume and webshooters on Peter's bed, the only possible explanation The Rose can suggest is that Spider-Man is Peter's personal bodyguard. Criminal mastermind indeed!
Half a web. That's as low as ratings can get around here!