The Goblin Nation arc continues in Superior Spider-Man #29 and I’m here to give you my thoughts on it as I review what went down.
The story picks up where it left off, with Anna being brought to the Goblin King by Menace. He tells her to hush up since he’s watching a News Report saying that Peter and Carlie were buried alive, leaving Menace and Anna distraught as their sister/lover were thought to be killed. The Goblin King brushes the death of Carlie off, saying he’ll make her a new sister, thinking that the death of Spider-Man’s best friend was the real tragedy since it was so boring.
The goblin raid continues and it’s revealed that just about every hero in New York is out there and trying to stem the flow, with the head of Alchemax trying to have the mayor unleash the Goblin Slayers to help save people for the PR boosts. JJ, however, doesn’t’ want them out until they can take down Spider-Man with it being made apparent his grudge was getting in the way. It’s enough that one of his staff members leave him behind, saying enough is enough.
MJ is with May and the others she saved, as far away from New York as she could manage, telling them to keep calm and explaining that it was their only choice. She receives a call from Otto, who she tries to get to calm May down, only for him to brush her aside as he tries to cure Carlie with Sanjay. That ends when the Goblin King hacks his number and tells him to put on the mask and meet him.
The Goblin King apparently took killing Spider-Man personally, because he wanted to be the one to do it as his number one enemy while Otto was number two, so he destroys everything related to his legacy, including his childhood home, the place where he had his accident, the clinic where he saved a little girl, and the place where the police have stashed all his goodies. He then tells him that he’s got a classmate of his as a hostage and tells him to meet him at the university.
Trying to get there he ignores a mugging and tries to have the police chief come help in his place, but they think he’s in on it and JJ unleashes the Spider-Slayers to search for him. When he finally arrives, the Goblin King has Lamaze as the hostage. He states he saw the footage of Otto trying to save him during Stunner’s rampage (he must’ve glossed over Anna being there) and assumed he was the closest thing Otto had as a friend.
Disappointed, he threatens to leave and find someone else he cared about. Otto tries to gut him like a fish, but the goblin turns out to have hacked his mechanical arms and turn them against him. One is about to kill him when Lamaze intercepts it, leaving Otto confused about why he would do such a thing.
Lamaze states that it was because when Spider-Man saved him and Anna from Stunner, he regretted running away when she needed help and since then all he wanted was a chance to do what was right. To that end he thanked Otto for showing him what it meant to be a hero and then dies in his arms. Okay, credit where it was due, that was bittersweet.
However, the moment is ruined when the Spider-Slayers show up. Jameson is willing to lose everything to kill him and manages to get Otto in a pinch until Spider-Man 2099 shows up and shuts them down. But, unlike everyone else who grabbed the idiot ball, he knows something isn’t right with Peter and wants answers. Sadly the comic ends before he can get them as the Spider-Slayers are hacked by the Goblin King and grabs both of the Spider-Men.
Okay, review time.
The fallout continues as we see more character assassination on Peter by Otto, who’s getting a taste of what it’s like to be on the opposite end of the whole situation for once. Not only that, but he’s dragging Jameson and several others down with him in the process. That being said, I’m calling bull that the Avengers and every hero in New York are being pressured. New York is where like 90% of them are concentrated at. It’s the one place where the only way for things to get this bad was if they had super-powers again like Spider-Island.
However, I did like the issue and I’ll give it a 4 out of 5.
THE WILD CARD APPEARS!
Well, it’s going down as the Green Goblin has declared war on the Superior Spider-Man in issue #28, so let’s get it on.
The comic begins with civilians in the distance watching Spider-Island burn as the attack begins. The Green Goblin gave him a chance to join up, but since he refused all he can do is retreat or die, which he reluctantly does after his favorite henchmen, #23, gets killed off in an explosion while the rest of the Spiderlings up top are getting slaughtered. He orders the ones still alive to hold the line while he escapes with his robot, so they’re all dead I’m sure.
Inside his noggin we have Peter Parker, who tried hiding in his memories and got sucked into seeing just what type of life Otto has lived. An abusive father and a smothering mother, bullies outside and only science as a bastion against the world, it’s really no wonder he turned into a villain. But for all their similarities, Peter had Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and that allows him to hold onto his sense of self as he continues to ride out Otto’s memories…for now.
Back to the Goblins, they destroyed Spider-Island in less than ten pages and the Goblin King has come in for a report. When they report Otto has gone missing, he’s not really worried since he knows his every weakness and orders his men to seek out the people important to him in order to draw him out. Namely the people important to Spider-Man, since he doesn’t know that Otto is wearing Peter Parker’s skin, as you may recall when he first got his hands on the journal and questioned Carlie one it.
At Alchemax, Mayor Jameson has called together the media and informed them that he’s transformed the Anti-Spider Patrol into Goblin Slayers, to which MJ states he’s out of his mind from her living room. She’s with her new boyfriend, who isn’t part of the inner circle, so he doesn’t see why it’s a bad thing. Before she can explain why, the little goblin kids who threw her off a roof and then bombed her club make a third play for her and she busts out the web-shooters.
MJ proved goddamn genre savvy after being the damsel in distress enough. She knows what’s going on and knows what her role in this is, the Wild Card. So the first damn thing she going to do is remove all the pieces off the board.
Back to Otto, he finally arrives at Parker Industries, where his partner is waiting and furious that he’s been missing for a month and tells him the police have been harassing them since Carlie went missing. That’s when Wraith showed up and tried to make him talk, but he knows about her tricks with fear gas and lets her get knocked out by Carlie, who has arrived for him just as a couple of the Ninja Goblins try to kidnap Aunt May and Jay Jameson, only for them to have been take away to safety by MJ already as Peter Parker loses himself in the memories of Otto in the mindscape.
Carlie chases Otto around, making it clear she knows who he is without saying his name as she cuts through the robot butler and defense system of mechanical tentacles. To this end he splits up with Sanji Jaffrey and confronts her alone, willing to defend his legacy now that Spider-Island is gone and kill all the Goblins. Luckily he kicks her right in the earpiece, which allows them to talk in private. Carlie reveals she’s still somewhat sane and needs Otto’s help in holding onto it before she loses control again, cryptically mentioning that he has no idea what the Goblin King has in store for him and the world.
As the comic ends, we see that Carlie’s sister was the only one who managed to get a piece on the board as she finds and kidnaps Anna Maria without her even knowing it by claiming to have been sent by MJ to retrieve her….crap…
Okay, review time.
So the plot moves again as Otto’s first line of defense has been breached. We see a good portion of the people who have been involved in Otto’s time as Spider-Man acting reasonable with more on the way, including MJ doing a magnificent job as the Wild Card. As for Carlie and Anna…well, damn. One’s going to have to live with the fact that she has killed people while on the Goblin Formula, so I feel bad for her, and the other is getting the Gwen Stacy treatment like I feared because the Goblin King wasn’t an idiot. I’ll give the dude credit, he plays hardball.
The art didn’t pop as much as it did in the past, at least to me, but the darker tone probably matches the mood as this is taking a dark turn already. So I won’t hold it against the artist.
A perfect, must have issue that gets a 5 out of 5.