Thursday, September 10, 2009
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Barry Kitson
Red-Headed Stranger concludes with this issue and I have to say, while it was far from a perfect storyline, it was the first time I've actually enjoyed the Brand New Day-era Amazing Spider-Man. There were no 'cute' jabs at readers over the status quo, Chameleon as Peter was great, the havok he caused to Peter's life deliciously evil and Mary Jane, while not having a huge presence in a storyline named after her, is finally back in Peter's life again. All in all, I'm liking Spider-Man again and will continue with the series for the foreseeable future.
Now, as for this issue, I'm still not impressed with the cop-out answer as to how Peter survived the acid bath from the Chameleon. It felt cheap and I would have preferred Chameleon dispose of his victims in a different, easier for Spider-Man to survive, manner, but it's also easily forgivable in the long run.
Another oddity was the Harry Osborn encounter with Chameleon as Peter. Chameleon was pulling a gun while walking into the Coffee Bean and we cut to Spider-Man escaping with the ominous "bang, bang, bang" sound effects acting, or so I thought, as a double meaning for Peter's escape and Chameleon's use of the gun. Instead, the gun and pulling thereof was pointless and Chameleon actually offered Harry a place to stay at Aunt May's place as an act of selflessness, as Chameleon called it.
Now, don't get me wrong, I loved what they did with Chameleon here and the reveal that he actually 'helps' the people he impersonates, despite killing them and replacing them, but I didn't like the fake out on the Harry thing, which mirrored how I viewed the whole fake out on the acid bath for Peter. Again, a minor nitpick that didn't overly affect my enjoyment of the book.
I suppose the biggest thing to come out of this issue was Mary Jane and Peter, the real one this time, finally meeting up again. Where it was a bit ambiguous in earlier chapters of the story, it's made quite clear that MJ does know that Peter is Spider-Man with comments about how his only real skill is punching people with metal arms in the face. Not much else is really explained and how their relationship ended wasn't touched upon, but they are back on speaking terms and I hope this means she'll be showing up more often now.
Verdict - Buy It. Solid ending to an all around good arc, which was one of the first BND era Spider-Man stories to, well, feel like a Spider-Man story to me.