Or – “Bad Cops, Bad Cops, Whatchagonna Do?”

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Ever since consulting with his Demonic Attorny, Peter Parker has found himself in a Dystopia, running and enless Dance of the Dead against foes new, old, personal and private.  Even though he’s tried not to Dwell on the Past, the Duplicity of a new friend has left Spider-Man on a Downhill Charge to Disaster.  The presence of a killer using his Spider-tracers to Despoil his reputation has served to further Demoralize, Demystyfy, and Daze our Defiant Vanguard, leaving him in Defense Formation, only to have the NYPD score the Death Stroke, hitting the spectacular one while he’s down.  How’s will our Daunting Defender get outta this one?

Urza’s Tower.

ASM1.jpgPreviously, on Amazing Spider-Man:  Spidey has been running non-stop, as though his life were suddenly controlled by half-a-dozen different people and he was forced to do everything four times as often to please an invisible horde of observers who laugh at his misfortunes…  Hmm.  With the election for mayor of New York upon us, both candidates have been looking for the coup de tat that will win them the whole shebang, when new supervillain Menace arrived to attack a rally.  Barely beaten by Menace’s trickery, Spider-Man is weak enough to be takin into custody by the NYPD , while Menace returns home and (unbeknownst to all but we, the omnipotent readers) reveals himself to be… HARRY OSBORN’S GIRLFRIEND?  That’s a pretty big reveal, there, proving that anyone who sleeps with an Osborn is probably already nuts.  So,  with Pete in jail, looks like this title is over, right?  Tune in next week for “The Amazing Betty Brant.”

We open with another episodeof “Two-In-One,” a news program that, amazingly, recaps all our storylines quickly and efficiently.  Kudos to the Spider-team for coming up with an original way to get all of the exposition out of the way.  The team recaps Spider-Man’s arrest, and goes to their commentation, J. Jonah Jameson in the field.  In a hilarious bit, Jonah doesn’t respond at all, instead humming happily to himself, too pleased to even speak.  At the same time as Spidey is being takien into custody, his roomate Vin (an officer of the NYPD) confronts Carlie (Pete’s ostensible romantic interest) about his part in the Spider-tracer killings.  Vin reveals the truth: There IS NO Spider-tracer killer, only cops planting the bugs at the scene of unrelated murders.  “Spider-Man’s a lawbreaker, Carlie,” he explains.  “He’s a vigilante whose methods interfere with ours.  So, we decided to do something about it.”  Carlie is horrified, but pretends to join in the conspiracy while, at the same time, their boss prepares to unmask Spider-Man.  “GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY CLIENT,” commands a voice from the door, heralding the miraculous arrival of Matthew Murdock, attorney at law.  Murdock tells Sergeant Palone that the mask stays on until the court says otherwise, and Palone asks if he’s kidding.  “I’m a blind lawyer with a history of incarceration and personal tragedy.  What in that maek-up makes you think I have a sense of humor?”  Heh…

Murdock convinces Spider-Man not to bust out, while Carlie visits the Sarge with the evidence of the tracer conspiracy.  The arraignment (rushed through by the Mayor, desperate for the publicity boost) goes through, and the court allows Peter to keep his mask, but unfortunately, Sergeant Palone is in on the conspiracy and orders Vin and Carlie arrested as scapegoats.  Vin’s partner explains that not ALL the murders were unrelated, and Vin is arrested himself.  Back in the prison, Spider-Man sees his roommate being booked (having obviously taken a hell of a beating from his fellow cops) and asks Daredevil/Murdock for a favor.  Murdock gets him sent to Gen Pop, casts doubt on the case by having Iron Fist show up in a Spider-Man costume and even gives him a little present.  Someone, it seemed, broke into the evidence locker and stole Spider-Man’s webshooters the night before.  “On an unrelated point,” Matt finishes, “The Black Cat sends her regards.”  Spidey, armed with his webshooters again is just in time to save Vin from a prison riot, while at the same time, Norman Osborn realizes that somebody has broken into the hidden stash of Green Goblin weapons he keeps.  Norm realizes that it’s NOT son Harry as he suspected, but even he doesn’t realize that Harry’s girlfriend Lily (daughter of one of the Mayoral candidates) has been masquerading as the masked Menace.  The issue ends with Spider-Man face to face with an angry prison mob, trying to save the life of a man who was willing to frame him for murder…  Standard Parker luck.

This is a really good issue, with great dialogue, a stellar art job from John Romita, Jr and more subtlety and plot ins and outs than I thought Mark Guggenheim capable of.  The story as a whole is suspenseful and nicely done, and the cameos by Iron Fist and Daredevil nicely handled.  It’s nice to see some of the ongoing plot points starting to wrap up, even though I am unhappy with the revelation that most of the cops featured in the book are corrupt.  Overall, it’s a very strong issue, with the only weakness being the fact that the weekly frequency makes it really hard to keep up with all the various developments in Peter Parker’s life.  Amazing Spider-Man #587 earns a very impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars, and I’m looking forward to how this whole thing wraps up this week…

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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8 Comments

  1. MaximusRift
    February 28, 2009 at 8:07 am — Reply

    Yanno, this review makes me a little sad since I really want this title to tank. Why? Because the success of this book proves Joe Q. right. Well… not really, but in his eyes; good sales makes him so.

    I know it’s selfish, but I really hate Spiderman’s new status-quo to the point that I can’t enjoy his books anymore. The book being successful makes it so that BND continuity will stick around longer.

  2. February 28, 2009 at 8:59 am — Reply

    I gotta say…. I haven’t enjoyed a Spider-man book in a long time. I really like what they are doing here. Romita Jr’s art is icing on the cake.

  3. Brother129
    February 28, 2009 at 10:31 am — Reply

    Yeah…this is a toughie. But you can’t ASM stable crew of writers for getting a @!#% sandwich from Joey Q to work with. The new status quo has actually been very interesting but the set up will unfortunately taint some quality work being done. I’ll admit though…I’m a Spidey loyalist. If I can get through the clone saga, I can get through this. But I will be needing Mary Jane back soon….

  4. February 28, 2009 at 1:48 pm — Reply

    Don’t hate the players… Hate the game.

    Spider-Man isn’t a title that I normally read, but this last few months haven’t been all that bad. Better than the drek we saw during the Clone Saga, better than the fragmented storytelling that we had with four monthly separate Spider-titles…

    It may not be perfect, and I miss Mary Jane, too, but this new configuration has some life in it.

  5. davek
    February 28, 2009 at 2:09 pm — Reply

    This brings up a question I’ve been wanting to ask for some time: Do you think its really necessary for Peter Parker to be a loser? Joe Quesada often claims that it’s part of the character arc for Spidey to be a loser in real life, but I truly don’t think its important. Granted, I don’t want him to win the lottery and become a zillionaire but I don’t think he *has* to have bad things happen to him on a personal level to show “he’s like a normal person.” If anything, I find it less believeable.

    Am I alone in that?

  6. Brother129
    February 28, 2009 at 2:41 pm — Reply

    @davek: It’s a great question. I believe a reasonable balance has to be achieved. I think many of us have related to Peter Parker over the years not because he’s a loveable loser, but because we connect with his adversity he faces and the fact that he ultimately triumphs. I don’t mind Spidey being put thru the ringer if there is a happy ending at the conclusion of a story arc. However, making the guy suffer because that’s the supposed status quo is definitely problematic.

  7. davek
    February 28, 2009 at 3:09 pm — Reply

    I find it a leftover from the Stan Lee School of Character Development, aka “Hero with a Twist”. Like I said, I don’t mind him having personal challenges to overcome but to make it a cornerstone of the character arc is kind of dull. But then again, it goes back to a larger issue with Joe Quesada’s opinions about Spiderman – Spiderman shouldn’t evolve naturally. “He shouldn’t be married, he shouldn’t be successful, this is how the character has always been.” I truly believe more current readers have known/remembered Peter as married than not, so what does it really gain to go back to a so-called status quo that only exists in a small minority’s mind? (Yeah, yeah. I brought up One More Day. Sue me.)

    Don’t get me wrong – I think Dan Didio is EXTREMELY guilty of this, particularly in his perception of Barry Allen being the “one true Flash.”

  8. MaximusRift
    March 1, 2009 at 10:22 am — Reply

    See that is what bugs me the most. If find OMD as wrong as Tom Grice was, then shouldn’t you not buy into the new status quo? In one of the cons, both EiC practically said that if you buy it, you support it. If that is true, aren’t you practically telling Joe Q he was right when you buy a book that endorses his beliefs? Aren’t you telling DC/Marvel that they can do anything they want to a character as long as you throw good talent afterward to enforce it?

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