Written by Dan Slott & Mark Waid
Art by John Romita Jr
Before I get into the review, how many times is Marvel going to start a new arc with the retelling of the origin of Spider-Man? I swear, everytime I pick up this book, there's a quick one or two page origin recap.
Regarding the New Ways to Die storyline, it's still Brand New Day, just with some hints at Venom possibly being involved in this storyline somehow and a guest appearance by Norman Osborn.
If you were hoping this would change your mind about BND or were wondering if this would kick start the new status quo, you'll be sadly disappointed.
If I had to guess, there's only one or two scenes for the non-BND faithfuls that would make this issue worthwhile. One such scene has to be the final pages of the first story, which saw Norman Osborn and the Thunderbolts (well, half of them) waiting inside Peter's apartment after some Cape Killers took Peter into custody.
Before you go nuts wondering if he knows who Spider-Man is, no, he does not. Sure, Slott hints heavily at it with this cliffhanger, but he doesn't know and this is just one big case of misdirection for hype and shock value. If he did know his identity, he would have captured him long ago. If he didn't want anyone else to know it, he wouldn't have brought all these people with him.
My money is on him simply asking his son, Harry's, best buddy, who happens to be the number one Spider-Man photographer in the world, to help them track Spidey down.
The rest of the issue revolved around BND plotlines which I have been following in the odd issues I buy and online and dealt mostly with Peter getting a new job at Frontline, where Robbie Robertson has set up shop after being fired from the DB and some Menace attacks on political figures. Nothing new or exciting and it seems the his being fired was pointless, seeing as his entire supporting cast has moved over with him. All we need is Betty Brant to join the squad and we can ignore the DB forever.
One thing I found interesting was a scene where, shortly after fighting Menace, who escaped, Peter calls Harry Osborn for some advice and we see a shot of Harry on top of a random building. What was he doing up there, exactly? Is it supposed to mean he's Menace and he just finished his escape and costume change? I can't think of any other reason for him to be up on a building like that.
Finally, there was a backup, by Mark Waid and Adi Granov, which featured Eddie Brock, who made a brief cameo in the first story. He's been magically cured of his cancer, which seems to be attributed to Mr Negative and Eddie's recent hiring at the FEAST soup kitchen.
While I didn't hate this backup, at $3.99 an issue, I could have done without it. They could have simply told us in one or two pages Eddie joined the soup kitchen staff, was free of cancer and hinted at Mr Negative's involvement and knocked a dollar off the pricetag.
Verdict - Check It. It's Brand New Day. If you liked it before this arc, you'll love this. If you didn't care for it prior to this, I doubt anything that happens here will change your mind.