In San Francisco, the Scarlet Spider flees a zombie horde. He’s almost out of web fluid so is forced to flee on foot. As he is cornered, his contact is able to teleport him out of there, just before he is grabbed. Waking up, Kaine reassures himself he is back home on Earth, His Earth. He is then called into the other room by an unseen figure, who desperately needs medication. Kaine contacts his partner, worried… and gets no response.
Meanwhile, Doctor Octopus has Spider-Man in his clutches. Peter assumes the villain is just another clone, but Otto remembers everything. After the events of Spider-Verse, he created a neural back-up of himself, and has returned in full. Carefully watching Spider-Man all this time, Otto is ready for this fight.
However, he is stopped by the arrival of the Jackal, who orders Otto to cease at once. The man apologizes to Spider-Man, explaining that the villains are just security, and, well, Peter did break in. As Peter calms down a bit, Jackal insists that he means the hero no harm, and offers to give Spider-Man a tour. Sending the villains away, he, Gwen, and two Miles Warren clones take him to see the Lizard, restored to life along with his wife and son.
They then show him a collection of all the various villains and people who died. This is it. Nobody has to die anymore. The blood of Spider-Man’s entire life, of everyone, is finally off of his hands. Several floors above this, J. Jonah Jameson is enjoying time with his resurrected wife. They are happy together, and she has another surprise. Jonah’s face lights up when they are joined by another.
While Peter freaks out, his friend the Prowler insists things will be okay. When Spider-Man sent him here to investigate, he was killed, but Professor Warren brought him back to life. Prowler insists they are doing good work here. The villains are behaving themselves, after all – the clones need Jackal’s medication to survive. Peter is still furious and can’t believe this is for a greater good, but the Jackal insists this is why he chose to resurrect people in Spider-Man’s life – to prove to him the moral conviction of his work. Suddenly, Captain Stacy pulls a gun on his daughter. He calls her an imposter… and he’s right.
Spider-Gwen leaps into action, attacking the villains and telling Peter it’s time to go. Spider-Man needs no further persuasion and the two escapes into the vents. Disappointed, Jackal calls the Lizard and asks him to stop the two heroes from escaping. Gwen contacts Kaine and says her cover has been blown, and she wasn’t able to get the medication for the clones. Peter says he has some back at Horizon University, so Kaine takes the Gwen clone there to be treated. She is not too pleased to have been captured, and swears the Jackal will make them pay for this, and the Horizon faculty are not exactly impressed with having to take a captured young woman out of a stranger’s car.
But Kaine has no patience for any of this, and tells them to treat her immediately. Anna Maria asks what is going on, and Kaine explains that this New U madness is happening in a dozen other worlds. Everything is about to go to hell for the same reason as those worlds. Mile Warren has a mad idea… and Peter Parker destroys the world.
Well… here we are back again, and this time I… I….. I actually kind of liked this comic. It’s actually pretty good. Yeah, I thought this might happen, but sometimes it’s fun just to rage for the simple sake of raging. Besides, I genuinely thought that issue one was just terrible, derivative, and had one red flag going for it after another. And I was wrong. I’m sorry, it happens!
It’s because this issue has a few great things going for it. First of all, Kaine’s back! Yay! No complaints there, he’s always fun and so far, has a great role in this story. Second of all, Spider-Gwen! I cannot say how much this could salvage the story. She’s got a personality, her presence doesn’t undermine anything, it all works for me, and I like seeing her and Peter work together, especially on a smaller scale compared to Spider-Verse.
It’s distinct enough from just bringing Gwen back that I’m actually okay with whatever they do with her. That was one of my biggest complaints last issue – which they were just ignoring the already perfectly good Gwen Stacy they already had. Well, no more, thank goodness, and yeah, this story is looking far better in my eyes because of it.
Honestly as soon as the Jackal sort of called off Otto I was pleasantly surprised and, happily realized this story had more going for it. Him being like, “oh, hey, it’s Spider-Man! Want a tour?,” was an excellent little twist that I didn’t expect and now I think there’s more to this than I first thought. Good. This is the best kind of surprise and me being wrong on this is okay with me. This is also great because I felt like this issue better lived up the stellar art work. Some of the panels are just so well done that I have to give props to this comic as a whole. It really helps to sell me on this comic.
My relatively far-fetched theory of this being the Green Goblin is looking less likely, but I won’t rule it out yet. I will say I’m going to quietly walk back some of my more general dire criticisms and the assurances I had from the last issue. This story is showing some sense of originality and doing things a little different. I like the multiverse angle and the idea of bringing, well, everyone back. That being said, this who’s who of characters really does more to show how few major names ever really stay permanently dead. Captain Stacy, Jean DeWolff, and Dr. Kafka are back? Whoooo cares?
And also… SIGH! zombies? Seriously? That’s weird, and doesn’t really help with the still ongoing belief I have that this isn’t the most original story in the world. So that is… well, not a great sign, if they’re really going in the direction. As for the Jackal, he’s kind of written really weird here. One minute he’s oddly calm, collected, and friendly. The next, he’s a moustache twirling supervillain giving an evil laugh and going full blown, “behold, Spider-Man!” I’m not sure what to make of it all. And Peter takes in all this crazy stuff around him like a bit of a dope. He gets his butt kicked and then just acts that sort of helplessness that only ever shows up in heroes when it’s convenient to the plot.
I do like how that led to a great Gwen-to-the-rescue moment, but that seems to be at the disservice of our web head’s usual level of competence. So… I don’t know. My opinion has drastically improved from the borderline meltdown I had in response to the first comic. But better doesn’t mean it’s a perfect comic. I’m a bit on the fence at this point in the story, so for now, I’m not giving it a recommendation, but only because I want at least another issue before I start jumping to conclusions again. See, I can learn stuff, too, guys. Maybe there’s more on the way – more twists and something more substantial to make this story even better. As of now – I’m interested. I’m no longer reviewing these out of spite. These are great signs that the first issue was going for shock but had something behind it I didn’t believe was there. I’m optimistic, but I have a feeling this story might not exactly stick a solid landing.