Friday, September 08, 2006

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #12

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #12
Peter David does it again! Another EXCELLENT issue this month. It's too bad he's not writing a third title (or is he, and I'm just missing it?) so I could give him a hat trick.
Anyways, in what is rapidly becoming my favorite monthly Spider title, Peter David entertains us with his witty repartee and a plethora of pop-culture references. And he tells a pretty good story at the same time. He even gives the disposable characters good dialogue...that's how much he's got to offer. References abound, from "Airplane" to the "Spider-Man" movies and even to Batman, as in this exchange between the principal and Peter: "I hate bats!"/"Everybody does. Huh. Maybe I should've dressed up like a bat instead of a spider. Strike fear into my enemies...nah dumb idea."
Nothing much actually happens in this issue though, it's mostly setup - and leave it to Peter David to make a setup issue as good as one with action.
This arc is PAD's ode to the haunted houses of our youth, rigged with gimmicks and cool stuff to give youngsters a thrill. So a Mysterio wannabe (Mysterio III) has invaded the school, and is confronted by another Mysterio, who claims to be the original, Quentin Beck, although he supposedly committed suicide some years earlier. The second Mysterio shows up outside and offers his support to the police in bringing down the pretender, then, once inside, offers his support to Spider-Man.
And the big reveal? Well, the art kind of gave it away a long time ago. Notice that he who claims to be the original Mysterio is wearing a tattered red cape, a red suit, and when teleporting seems to be surrounded by flames rather than smoke? Think about it.
This is the perfect book for those who are pissed with Spidey's direction in the rest of the Marvel line. JMS has nothing to do with this book, so you don't have to worry about the memories of your childhood being pissed on - PAD is a self-professed fanboy; and Millar is likewise nowhere to be found, so you don't have to worry about him screwing longtime Marvel characters up just because he feels like it. A welcome breath of fresh air among the rest of the Spider books which really smell like they're burning right now. EXCELLENT.
One last quote: Peter speaking to Mysterio II with the principal at his side: "C'mon! Enough of this! Whatever sick jollies this is giving you, you know none of the others matter!" / (Principal) "Wait a minute! I matter! What happens to me matters!" / (Peter) "You know none of the others matter in the strict context of our interpersonal dynamics and your personal enmity for me!" / (Principal) "Oh. Okay."
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