This issue has some Spider-Man, even has some Spidey messing with Jonah, but it’s a really light read.
Peter convinces Kong he’s not Spider-Man by taking a kick in the rear–I like how Superman always had to go through great lengths, while Kong is easily convinced.
Gwen is revealed as a troubled youth–probably because her father is too busy to go to school when she’s pulling knifes (still no Mary Jane response to her yet).
Doctor Octopus menaces from afar… and what else… oh, Ben Ulrich has a big scene where he convinces Jonah to let him investigate Doc Ock.
The issue, while not bad, fits into one of series’s problem categories–it’s not like Bendis is doing a one scene issue, time does pass…but nothing important happens.
The Kong suspicion was just an easily resolvable excuse for a cliffhanger the issue before.
Confrontations; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inker, Art Thibert; colorist, Transparency Digital; letterer, Dave Sharpe; editors, Brian Smith and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.
There’s a scene missing from this issue, the one where Mary Jane and Liz react to Gwen Stacy. Bendis gets in the boys’ reaction, but not the girls. Maybe, as I did, they were admiring her manly physique. Whatever Bagley was trying, he fails on her brief appearance. She looks like an Aryan She-Hulk.
Actually, it’s a fine enough introduction, but Bendis does a lot of other good stuff this issue so Gwen gets lost. Doctor Octopus has his first appearance post-accident here and, wow, do Bendis and Bagley do a good job with it. They make him tragic without having to make him sympathetic–SHIELD has let him suffer as a test subject. Just great stuff.
There’s also a cliffhanger with Kong figuring out Peter is Spider-Man.
Speaking of Spider-Man, Peter doesn’t appear in costume this issue. I hadn’t even realized until typing this response.
Doctor Octopus; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inker, Art Thibert; colorist, Transparency Digital; letterer, Dave Sharpe; editors, Brian Smith and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.
The conclusion to the first arc is beyond depressing. It’s not just depressing because it showcases the futility of Moses’s quest (before the quest even starts), but because everything is revealed, in the end, to be futile. The good Moses has done is all for nought.
And the character accepts it and moves forward because it’s his place to move forward, which dehumanizes him almost completely–but through a conscious decision.
Like I said, depressing.
Dysart uses the same approach–the varied points of view–this time, but it doesn’t provide any relief here. It makes the issue somewhat more digestible, with the most horrific events occurring off-page.
I haven’t read further (I was rereading before continuing) so I don’t know what comes next. I can’t wait to see, since it seems like the story (just like the first issue did) has stopped.
Unknown Soldier is a fantastic comic.
Haunted House, Conclusion; writer, Joshua Dysart; artist, Alberto Ponticelli; colorist, Oscar Celestini; letterer, Clem Robins; editor, Pornsak Pichetshote; publisher, Vertigo.