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.