Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sensational Spider-Man #40

Sensational Spider-Man #40
A VERY GOOD issue that is essentially the coda to Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's interesting take on Spidey in this title. (Next month's final issue is part of JMS and JoeyDaQ's "One More Day" storyline.) Although the central conceit of this particular story is somewhat haughty, RAS manages to pull it off. Peter meets God. God does not look like Stan Lee. He looks like a reject from a Marvel Zombies title crossed with a homeless man. Possibly someone with necrotizing fasciitis. Interesting artistic choice by the ever versatile Clayton Crain. (If this is actually supposed to be a representation of one of the creative team, I sincerely apologize.) God appears to Spidey as he finishes beating the crap out of a dumpster, heals his hands, buys him lunch, takes him to the beach, and plays therapist. Along the way, God tells Peter that everybody suffers, it's just the way that the world was created, and that he's endured it better than most by allowing it to affect him positively rather than negatively. He shows Peter a vision of all the lives he's saved in his short tenure as a superhero. He tells Peter to be brave and strong in the face of all that is to come. And then He drops Peter off in the alley behind the hospital.

This interesting tale is sandwiched between two shorter tales, one of which is only a page in length.

In the first part of this issue, RAS and CC have their turn at revisiting Spider-Man's origin and backstory. Clayton Crain gets to draw his take of the cover for Amazing Fantasy #15. A couple of errors are made in the retelling of Spider-Man's origin. A slightly erroneous addition is made to the canonical origin story by the inclusion of Liz Allan offering young Peter Parker the seat next to her on the bus when going to the fated field trip (which, of course, wasn't a field trip but rather an independent visit way back when). Also, RAS seems to be unaware that Norman Osborn is still alive. No matter. If not for retcons, he wouldn't be. If not for The Clone Saga, he wouldn't be. So let's just pretend that he is. What? He's the director of the Thunderbolts, you say? No! Oh, well, then. Let's just view the Marvel Universe with blinders and pretend that that title doesn't exist, shall we?

The epilogue to this book occurs in the future, as a middle-aged Peter Parker relaxes on the sofa with his wife Mary Jane, and their children Benjamin and Mary (probably intended to be May). And everything is wonderful and Blessed. Finis.

While I haven't been very enthused about the majority of RAS's run on this title, I did enjoy issue #28 very much. In general, though, RAS's story choices and decisions while writing this title seemed bizarre. So much so that this book should have been called The Bizarre Spider-Man. Still, it was better than anything JMS was doing simultaneously in the parent title. It's sad to note that the two lesser Spider titles will be folding into the parent title upon the conclusion of JMS and JoeyDaQ's "One More Day" crapfest.

Fare thee well, Sensational Spider-Man. Better luck next time, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

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