Spider-Man has a Doctor Strange adventure.
After the cliffhanger that dropped in the last issue in the “Threat Level: Red” storyline one might expect to see more Carnage. Alas, this issue is more about Spider-Man’s girlfriend and poor man lifestyle. Christos Gage and Dan Slott aim to make you care about this character now that his life has been rejiggered, but is it good?
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
This story is driving us ever closer to Dan Slott’s final issue on Spider-Man, which will be a sad day. Until then, he’s clearly building up towards a crazy finish with the Red Goblin storyline. If you want to understand and enjoy that to its fullest you got to read this.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Ouch, Parker luck.
Remember when Marvel was saying they’d reset the characters and get back to basics? This is a good start! Opening with Peter Parker cold, broke, and living in a depressingly small apartment is a reminder of where he came from. It also makes for great comedy as he swings through New York in a big coat and wearing a winter cap. As the story progresses Gage and Slott do a good job dropping little details about Peter’s life, be it his girlfriend or his day job. It’s just enough to set things up for later and also remind us Peter’s life is hard. Much of the issue involves Doctor Strange (or at least the guy who is standing in for him) and that’s where a very clever twist is involved.
Mike Hawthorne draws this issue and his lines remind me of an older time for Spider-Man in a good way. Spider-Man has a thin and long look to him that is more realistic due to muscles that are more natural and at the very least smaller than some other artists draw him. A highlight of the issue has Spider-Man thinking about big life events in the past and Hawthorne does a good job reflecting them in wispy, flashback-like memories.
Back to that clever twist, which is subtle in how it drops on the reader. Doctor Strange promises Spider-Man something and what he requests seems simple, but could help him at the very least make his personal life easier. I didn’t see it coming and it’s a nice way to end the issue for Spider-Man.
I mean, you could walk Peter.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Like the last issue Norman Osborn is in it, but not for very long. His inclusion continues to be a tease for what is to come, which sticks out even further when you have Spider-Man teaming up with Doctor Strange to take out giant robot-looking wasps. The main adventure does have that clever surprise, but it also seems wildly pointless. Chalk it up to laying some Peter Parker groundwork, but don’t expect any big ramifications.
Is It Good?
A good issue that’s more of a subtle check-in than a story that has big changes and shifts in story.