Written by: Dan Slott
Art by: R.B. Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto, Marte Gracia
Review by: Branden Murray
The ending to Superior Spider-Man, along with Peter Parker’s subsequent return to the red and blue suit is responsible for getting me back into the weekly comics game on all fronts. I absolutely love when Spidey gets to battle those classic villains. So, for someone like me, it was the perfect time to jump back in when the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus were causing havoc in the streets of New York for extended periods of time. How could any Spidey fan not love that? However, I have found the last two arcs of the Amazing Spider-Man have gotten away from what worked so well for me when I jumped back in. That was all before the newest arc, though, because Before Dead No More has started spinning that web back into shape. What can I say, I am a man that forever rides an emotional roller coaster. So let’s see who’s doing what, where, and why in this latest issue leading into our newest relaunch.
The issue starts with a recap and reminder that Francine, a former love interest of Electro and sort of super villain groupie, has been brought back to acquire his allegiances for “team Jackal”. Meanwhile, we get the Hoobie Brown version of Spider-Man handling things on the West Coast. Hoobie gets a call from Peter Parker to complete one more job, which involves getting more information on this mysterious company, New U, and the procedure Peter is considering using. Hoobie changes out of the Spider gear and gets in his Prowler costume to take care of some late night espionage and we’re off to the issue’s main event.
Prowler gains access to the top secret New U building and is able to find the Jackal’s lab to see this nefarious group trying to restore Electro’s power set. The experiment seemingly fails because Electro was totally cured by Parker Industries, back in volume three, after his powers became highly unstable. As the Lizard tries to calculate what went wrong, Francine gets too close to Electro which causes a reaction between the two. Francine apparently likes it rough because the sudden shock leaves her wanting more, resulting in Francine jumping Electro’s bones to get some more sugar. After some scientific mumbo jumbo goes down, our end result is Francine’s kisses have killed poor Max Dillion and his latent powers have transferred to her ... I introduce to you, female Electro!
Before the final death kiss, Prowler springs into action, trying to save ol’ Max. However, in the midst of dispatching the Lizard he realizes it's a lost cause and gets the hell out of town. Jackal offers Francine the opportunity to prove her worth and she gives chase to Prowler.
When female Electro catches up a rookie mistake by the Prowler ends in “bad things man” (remember that old Bruce Smith commercial?!?...anyone???). The issue then ends on quite a cliffhanger. We see that Jackal has a plan and the plan involves resurrection, revenge and a little drug dependency to boot. Say no to drugs, kids...even if they keep you alive!
So, as our mystery deepens and story continues, I am nothing but all in. Even though this issue basically runs concurrent to the story we read already, it still feels fresh and new. Slott writes from the perspective of Hoobie instead of Peter and in doing so, fills in some gaps which ends up being a real interesting change of pace. The art by R.B. Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto, Marte Gracia does a great job of mimicking the current style (they aren't the usual team), so if you trade wait, the change won’t shock you.
Bits and Pieces:
Dan Slott is currently weaving what seems to be a new take on a classic Spider-Man tale. I just can’t state enough how much I’ve loved the Before Dead No More story arc. The Amazing Spider-Man title currently has years of stories finally merging together and I love when you put in that commitment to a comic and it all starts to pay off in new and interesting ways . The mystery of what the Jackal is up to, who exactly he is, why he has returned, and who he is bringing back with him has me gobbling up each issue while my brain is spinning like a top trying to guess what will happen next. Basically, Dan Slott is making Spider-Man great again!