Last time, the Wrecking Crew tried to steal the Quantum Particle Engine from Alchemax. Spidey (along with his mind-controlled Superior Six colleagues) stopped them, then took the QPE into protective custody. The Wrecking Crew’s boss, Lightmaster, is not finished yet. He brings in the Masters of Evil to help out. Oh, and the new Sun Girl is involved as well.
“News 8,” a local television affiliate, broadcasts the breaking story of Spider-Man’s partnership with the Sinister Six and, look! Team-ups! (sort of) as Captain America, Jarvis, JJJ, Maria Hill, Phil Coulson, the New Sinister Six, and Carlie Cooper hear about it.
In his secret headquarters “beneath Battery Park,” Spidey examines images of the QPE which he has stored for safekeeping at Parker Industries. (Parker Industries? Last I heard, Otto was getting funding for Parker Industries. When did it become a thing?) The imprisoned five of the Superior Six scream at him. Electro promises that Spidey will soon be dead. (“I will add that to the already considerable list of things you don’t know,” replies SpOck.) Mysterion denies being Mysterio (which he’s not). The Vulture declares the mind-control to be “wrong” and “criminal.” Chameleon says, “You’ve changed, Spider-Man. Same face, but everything else…different.” (Doesn’t he mean, “Same mask?”) Sandman says nothing. (Perhaps he’s sleeping. I know, I know. Bad joke.) Suddenly an “alert” blasts out of SpOck’s security system. “Prepare yourselves, gentlemen,” he tells his captives, “no rest for the wicked.” (Heh.)
Elsewhere, Selah Burke wakes up in her SoHo loft, brushes her teeth, goes to class, and calls her Dad. Why should we care? Because, Selah, it turns out, is the new Sun Girl. She flies to a disturbance in the Bowery where Whirlwind is creating tornadoes to attract the Superior Six. He succeeds, and once SpOck and his gang appear, the Masters of Evil attack. They consist of the Wrecking Crew, the Absorbing Man, Titania, Mr. Hyde, Blackout, and a guy who looks like Arsenal but who is never named and doesn’t figure in the battle at all. (Saving him for next issue?) SpOck realizes that this is all a diversion to occupy him while the QPE is left undefended at Parker Industries. (And check it out! Parker Industries has a big building with a giant sign! Did they put this thing up overnight??) He’s right. Lightmaster has arrived to snatch the QPE.
Spidey tells Sun Girl, “When I leave you behind, please know that it’s only because I have somewhere more important to be.” Then he orders his group to attack. A big battle ensues with SpOck coordinating his team through his mind control. “Sun Girl is a wild card,” he thinks, “but I admire her fearlessness which will probably kill her.” In the midst of the fight, SpOck summons a giant robot spider-walker but Titania quickly dispatches it. The fight continues. “Sun Girl! We are leaving!” orders Spidey, attempting to get away to Parker Industries. But she gets caught in an explosion and Spidey must rescue her. “Foolish girl,” he says, “I didn’t redesign your weaponry for you to simply get killed the first chance you get.” “Still can’t believe you’re such a jerk,” she replies, “Wanted to be just like you.” But then Lightmaster, who has arrived with the QPE, calls out Spidey. Spidey and Sun Girl can’t believe their eyes, for completely different reasons. SpOck can’t believe that the Masters of Evil are working for “a somewhat pathetic super villain.” He tells Wrecker, “What did he promise you, money? He doesn’t have any money! He probably can’t even work that thing!” Wrecker confers with the others and Whirlwind says, “We should just crush both of them and take the thing.” Sun Girl can’t believe she’s facing Lightmaster because he is her Dad. (“I’m biracial, you idiot,” she says to Whirlwind when he begins to doubt she is Lightmaster’s daughter.)
This is the diversion SpOck is looking for. He has his Superior Six attack. When Lightmaster starts firing light bursts, Sun Girl intervenes, causing a massive feedback that knocks Lightmaster and the QPE to the ground. Seeing that Lightmaster “was able to power the QPE with his light” and knowing that Sun Girl’s equipment “is based on [her father’s] designs,” Spidey orders Sun Girl to “shoot the engine.” She does, resulting in a burst of light (and one all-white comic book panel, as Marco gets to take one panel off) which does…something. Spidey, Lightmaster, and Sun Girl seem to have teleported someplace. There are airplanes and ships lying around. There is also sand everywhere. That sand apparently comes from Sandman. He and the other four “Superior” members are also on the scene but they are no longer mind-controlled. And they are out for the Superior Spider-Man’s blood.
In last issue’s review, I said, “And if the “Next” illustration can be trusted, it looks like next issue’s cover will feature a variation on the original Sinister Six cover back in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, 1964. I enjoy little tributes like this.” And this turned out to be true…so points to Pablo and Joe Rivera for the cover.
Last time, I also said, “The return of Lightmaster, the Masters of Evil, and Sun Girl’s origin all seem promised for next issue. And don’t forget that Lyla told Miguel that the QPE would destroy New York in three days.” All but one of these was covered this time. Lightmaster is portrayed as a second-tier villain who knows he is a second-tier villain but thinks it is unfair that he is considered a second-tier villain except that the label of a second-tier villain has clearly affected his confidence. Spidey doesn’t help by trying to talk the Masters of Evil out of working for him. The Masters of Evil are good foils for a good battle scene with the Superior Six. And Sun Girl’s origin turns out to be simply told as well as a genuine surprise. The only thing not covered, that the QPE may destroy New York will, I assume, be part of next issue’s conclusion. So, all good.
As mentioned last time, Marco does great mayhem. He also does great energy discharges and big ball of light explosions. But here’s the thing…there’s a little too much of that. I like a good super-team fight as much as the next guy but lately this book seems filled up with them. And what the heck is Arsenal doing in there? Assuming it is Arsenal.
And speaking of things that shouldn’t be there, when did Parker Industries get built? There hasn’t even been enough time to get a permit!
I like an awful lot of this issue especially the disrespect for Lightmaster and the Sun Girl reveal but there’s just been too many “fight-for-fight-sake” sequences in recent issues. So I can’t bring the rating up any higher than three point five. I look forward to next issue, though.