After the roller-coaster ride that's been Peter Parker's life, of late, it's understandable why he (and his readers) could use a breather. I hope that's what you enjoy, because that's what you're in for. [Spoilers follow.]
There's a one-page scene reminding us that yes, someone else was bitten by the same irradiated spider some ____ years ago. She's apparently in some kind of bunker, where she spends her time eating pre-fabbed food, and watching old Spidey fights on VHS tapes. Okay.
Cut to Parker and Anna Maria Marconi's apartment. What feels like it should be a milestone event— someone finding out Parker's identity— feels like just another beat of the story. Marconi takes it ludicrously well that the man she fell in love with doesn't exist anymore. Like, crazy-well. "Let me bake some cookies and take a walk" well.
Spidey swings to an Avengers summons, where once again, the explanation of "That wasn't me, that was Doc Ock high-jacking my body" goes over enormously well— provided it comes with a full-body-and-brain scan, and a bit of comedy: Octavius changed Parker's web-fluid formula. The webbing no longer dissolves after an hour... so Spidey's pants are currently webbed to his butt.
Electro visits a seemingly intelligent young woman named Francine, a former girlfriend (or something). He warns her not to get too close— twice— and she still moves in for some smoochies... at which point she's incinerated by his touch.
I want to point out that Electro tried to avoid hurting someone. That might be a career first. I usually feel bad in these scenarios— people (usually women, grrr) getting killed in the crossfire, but this, too, falls flat. He warned her not to touch him and she killed herself going to first base. She is literally too stupid to survive.
Electro lashes out, Spidey shows up, Spidey wards Electro off with a fire hydrant. This is not new. It falls flat, like almost everything else in this issue. It's... not bad. It's just nothing exceptional. The consequences we've been dreading for Parker in the aftermath of Otto's machinations... all feel like they're wrapped in cotton. No-one's calling him a liar, no-one's saying how preposterous it is. (Where's JJJ?)
A talk with the still-depowered Johnny Storm leads Parker to the first good idea he's had since he came back to his senses.
So... good? Spider-Man's taking his first step (on his own volition, not Otto's) to be proactive about handling villains. Given the nigh-countless times Parker's defeated his rogues gallery— one of the most notorious in all of comic books— it's astonishing this never occurred to him before. Or us. There's no-one more qualified to trap and imprison New York's supervillains.
Chapter #2 is not much on its own. The artwork's good, the dialogue's on point. But there's no drama. Yet. Chapter #3 could really be something, though, based on this capper. Time will tell.
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