By J. Michael Straczynski & Mike Deodato Jr. (Marvel/Panini UK)
Peter Parker is Spider-Man, and family has always been important to him. Perhaps that’s because when he was a nerdy science geek at high school, he didn’t have many friends. Perhaps that’s why when one of those rare school-chums turns up begging a favour, Peter doesn’t think as long or hard as he should before acquiescing.
Uber-geek Charlie Weiderman had a worse educational experience than Parker, and the casual brutalities he experienced made him a man with no compunctions in using any method to achieve his ends. When his experiments turn him into a monster capable of almost any feat of murder, nothing will deter him from his goals. Not friends, not Parker’s family, not even Spider-Man himself!
Although sporting impressive creator credits this is a slow little tale, with lots of character-play and insights into Peter Parker’s past, but a decided lack of old fashioned Spider-action and indeed the costumed persona himself. I’m a great proponent of people over punches but even I felt the urge to shout “Get on with it!” every few pages. Also, casual readers should note that this was originally printed as Amazing Spider-Man issues #515-518, and the tactics of periodical publishing don’t always transfer conveniently to a trade paperback. It all starts with a hanging plot thread and closes on a partial cliff-hanger, so you might feel a little bit gruntled by show’s end.
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