Web of Spider-Man 124 – A lot of similar looking guys want to spend time with Mary Jane

Credits: Written by Terry Kavanagh, breakdowns by Steven Butler, finishes by Randy Emberlin and edited by Eric Fein.

Cast: Peter ‘Spider-Man’ Parker, Ben ‘Scarlet Spider’ Reilly, 3Pete, Kaine, Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Dr Seward Trainer, Det. Connor Trevane, Grant Buckner ESQ, Lt. Jacob Raven, J.Jonah Jameson, Joe ‘Robbie’ Robertson, Stunner, Ken Ellis and Betty Brandt.

Plot: Peter Parker, prisoner 79644 is at a press conference regarding his arrest on suspicion of the murder of several people from Salt Lake City, Utah. The fact that Peter’s never been to Utah isn’t the point, the evidence is against him. Reporting the story are several news outlets, including staff members of the Daily Bugle. Commenting on Parker’s innocence or guilt, Det. Trevane is confident of the suspect’s guilt. Lt Raven isn’t, but just this happening will change Peter’s life. Speaking of, Elsewhere in New York , Mary Jane is getting an advanced pre-natal scan. She’s getting the scan from Dr Seward Trainer, who is a friend of the person she’s with, Ben Reilly.

Kaine then watches them from above, watching the future he has envisioned becoming clearer and closer to becoming reality.

In Queens, 3Pete stands in his bedroom in May’s house, shocked at the loss of his Aunt May and confused about how long he has been away and who the imposter who has been living his life is.

At Seward’s lab, Ben and Mary Jane are set to leave, but Seward wants Ben to stay behind for a little while, he has tests to be run on him.

At the Bugle, Robbie Robertson is talking with J.Jonah Jameson about Peter’s legal plight. Robbie wants to run the story, but JJ is hesitant, because he can’t be objective about one of their own. In his prison cell, Peter struggles with May’s death and the roller coaster of events since. A small fire breaks out in an adjoining cell. Peter breaks out of his, pulls the prisoner clear and performs CPR to get him breathing again. He’s back in his cell by the time a fire crew alive, amazed at the prisoner’s survival.

Also in turmoil, Mary Jane is walking home, but is grabbed by Kaine. Not far away, Jacob Raven is similarly grabbed, this time by Stunner, who wants to find the same serial killer that Peter is believed to be, the same killer who took Doctor Octopus away from her. Back to Kaine and MJ, Kaine tries to warn MJ, but she escapes, running into 3Pete.

Notes: Drama, subplots and characterisation, this is why we are here. Peter’s arrest and being paraded to the press is handled in a way to showcase events spiralling out of control in his life. The clone, the baby, the death of May, his arrest, he’s carried along a river of problems without solutions and it’s visibly taking its toll.

We also have MJ’s pregnancy and her growing friendship with Ben, who is also falling into this cousin/brother relationship with Peter, moving past his jealousy of his identity and being happy for his other self. I enjoyed that, considering the deluge of fraternal enemy tropes you see. It will no doubt be soon gone, but I enjoyed it as it was here. These are people getting along because of shared history, even it’s not really shared.

Less nice is Kaine and 3Pete moving towards MJ who is shown here more as a pawn and seems to lack any kind of agency. But it’s the scenes between that I like the best. The press conference where everyone has an agenda, the Bugle scene with Robbie and JJJ talking about journalistic responsibility and how it can affect Peter, who they both believe is innocent. Even the scene with 3Pete, my least favourite character here, as he looks through his childhood home is well done. The job of part 1 is to make you want read the rest and this was a job done.

Verdict: Writing 4 out of 5 = Not as effortless in the characterisation as say J.M. Dematteis, Terry Kavanagh does a good job in weaving story and characters to give us a sense of synchronicity with parts of the story seeming to rhyme and flow one into the other.

Art: 3 out of 5- With Butler only doing breakdowns, the art isn’t what earlier issues have been, but Randy Emberlin shows how much of my appreciation of the art has been his doing and the smooth style is both present and correct. It’s not great, but still pretty good.

Overall: 7 out of 10 – A good start to a story and enough left out to keep me hooked. Geniunely looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Next Time: Magneto faces the Apocalypse.

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