True Believers! I'm thrilled to report that a bevy of excellent comics were released today (most of 'em Marvel), and Amazing Spider-Man #6 was no exception. It's got action, some laughs, and in typical Parker luck, ol' web-head puts out one fire and lights two more. Let's dive right in, shall we? (Spoilers below!)
When last we saw our beloved web-slinger, he was dazed and paralyzed, mere seconds away from being unmasked on national television. (Hero un-maskings are one of my all-time favorite cliffhangers, btw.) My guess for the resolution, was that Electro was going to accidentally black out the entire studio, giving Silk time to grab Parker and make their getaway. The real solution is far more elegant: J. Jonah Jameson's ego.
As you can see, Jameson insists on being front and center— completely blocking the shot of one Amazing Spider-Man, unmasked in broad daylight. It's beautiful. Black Cat can't make him out, she's the one holding him from behind. No-one but Silk is in any position to see who Spidey is, and she quickly webs up his face to protect his identity.
Silk gets Spidey outta there and hoists him back home. Electro and Felicia are furious, but they're nothing compared to Jameson, who's beside himself. What a maroon.
Felicia shows up at the nameless bad guy bar, looking for muscle to join her crew— not a bad impulse, given that Spidey's now working with Silk. However, the small army of C-listers aren't having it. Electro killed half the crooks in SingSing when he blasted his way out, and he accidentally killed Francine, a personal friend of said C-listers. (Technically she got herself killed when she ignored several warnings, but I digress.) Point is, Felicia's not welcome. (A tasty biscuit to whoever can identify the villain with a magic eight ball for a head.)
Parker licks his wounds at home base, with Silk and Anna Maria starting to actually get along. Progress! Elsewhere, Electro and Felicia still have Parker's business partner, Sajani Jaffrey, held hostage. I can get why they grabbed her— she's half the genius behind PI's new supervillain-prison initiative. Aaaaand here's where the plot thickens.
Electro wants to be cured. That's not necessarily news. But Felicia has some alone time with Sajani, and coerces her to explain how to amp up Electro's powers, without his knowing. Felicia continues to skate on the sword's edge, double-crossing and playing recklessly with fire. She's counting on her bad luck powers to steer her clear of any consequences. I'd call her out for being sloppy and careless, but it's working. This is a woman that needs nothing more than a lab coat and a pair of glasses to slip in to a high-security demonstration. Go figure.
I have to credit Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos, and Edgar Delgado, here. They're on the front lines of one of Marvel's longest-running titles (706 issues, to date), and they're knocking it out of the park. Nothing says comic book adventure like a deliberately set up arena for high stakes action. To wit: Parker Industry's test run of the de-Electro-fier. (Patent pending.)
You've got a massive piece of machinery, two supervillains heading your way, and massive amounts of electricity pouring through that thing. What could possibly go wrong?
As it turns out? Everything. All the things could go wrong.
Silk demonstrates that she can tweak her organic webbing to be more shock-absorbent. Handy skill. She and Spidey make the scene. Electro blows a fuse, and that goes about as well as you'd expect.
Spider-Man does what he does best: save people. When Electro threatens to explode with raw power, Spidey throws himself around him, still bundled up in insulation. Spidey saves Electro, Silk saves Spidey.
Aaaaand Parker Industries is in trouble. Never mind that the city's finest don't appreciate expensive, over-specialized equipment that half-destroys the Waterfront. That machine won't work on anyone but Electro. The interns quit out of a pesky thing called self-preservation, and we learn something awful:
Sajani is actively sabotaging her own company, and Peter right along with it. She has no interest in supervillain science, calling it the "worst business model ever". So she's officially sandbagging Parker Inc. at every turn. Which is just great.
Honestly... yeah, it's kinda great. The Amazing Spider-Man is at its finest when Parker's life is falling apart at the seams. It harkens back to Stan Lee's initial proposal: People don't want to read about perfect heroes, they want to read about losers struggling along to keep it together. The cherry on the sundae is that ol' Pete is completely oblivious to any of this. He's happy that Electro's been cured, but he has no inkling of the trouble brewing for his company.
Amazing Spider-Man #6 is magnificent. It holds true to the formula that makes Spidey great, and it shows no signs of flagging. I can't wait for issue seven.
How about you?