Written by: Dave Michelinie Art by: Todd McFarlane
All is well in the world of New York. Crime is rampant and unemployment is probably up, but MJ is back home with Peter, so that does something to the city's morale...right? Guess not =/
The cover of this issues shows Spidey going webs to cape with the Shrike Force. This issue wastes no time getting to business, as the first couple panels show the Shrike pulling off an expensive heist. However, he's thwarted in the nick of time by a web on his wrist bands. The webbing is easily cut off with Shrikes other wristband, but they can't stop a good of feet to the face! The fight between the two costumes men ends quickly with Shrike tossing a garbage dump at pedestrians, using that as a distraction to get away. At least Spider-Man was able to save some lives. And even better, he scored some pictures to sell to the Bugle. Pete finally gets home to his wife Mary Jane Watson Parker, they set up a date night for the two of them after he goes to ESU to register for some classes.
At the school, Peter makes his way to his lab where he'll be a research assistant. He meets Marie Baker, a fellow assistant, and finally Dr. Evan Swann. Introductions are cut short however, Dr. Swann receives a package, but Marie questions this because she was under the assumption that the equipment budget was spent already. Swann hurries into his office and slams the door and immediately, something isn't right. This bothers Peter all night, even well into his date with MJ. At the end, he tells her the truth and goes back to the lab as Spider-Man to get to the bottom of things. He shows up at the lab and immediately gets rough with Dr. Swann, and just before he breaks, the Tinkerer shows himself! Thought to be out of the villain game, he reveals that yes, he's no longer fighting bad guys, but that doesn't stop him from making goodies for bad guys that pay the right price. He shows off a new invention he just finished making, its a machine that intensifies nearby electrical devices. Making them believe there's more power than there really is. Basically, it beefs up devices. And not a moment too soon, Shrike comes breaking through the window of the lab, and even Spidey mentions that no one would believe this even if it was written as a story. All at once, everyone thinks the same thing, Shrike getting that power booster. Shrike makes his attempt by shooting some blasts from his wrist bands at Spider-Man, and he tries to get up close but that doesn't work. Shrike's been conditioned for pain, plus he's trained in martial arts AND his wrists have those blades. Spidey's gotta take this fight to him from a distance which he does just fine, swinging cabinets around the room right into the Shrike.
A fire distracts Spidey for half a second, and that's all Shrike needs to make his way to the Tinkerer. He doesn't exactly have the money to pay for the device, since Spider-Man stopped his heist earlier that day but he takes the power booster anyway. Right as he gets ready to blast our favorite Web-Head into oblivion, he actually zaps himself stiff. Tinkerer reveals that expecting some kind of double cross, he withheld one circuit from the finished project. So now that the Shrike can't even move, its the biggest cue of the century for Spider-Man to drill this loser through a wall! In that time, the Tinkerer made his escape into Dr. Swann's private lab, a door unlocked only with a key Tinkerer had. Not a problem, Spidey's got a super strong foot that can take care of a door no problem. He seems to have had an escape vehicle ready by the window in case things went South, as they did tonight. As the cops show up, Dr. Swann knows he needs to turn himself in. He was supplying the Tinkerer with supplies, aiding in the distribution of devices to villains, but why. Why would a good lab doctor need to do such a thing, well that's simple. He's dumb. No, seriously! He dropped out of high school, for some pretty bad reasons. He had financial troubles with his family when he was young, and needed to work to help support the family. Its very unfortunate, truthfully. He bought some degrees when he was older and posed as a smart doctor at the school. Spider-Man isn't too thrilled to see a good intentioned man like Dr. Swann go to jail, but that's how life is. That's how the cookie crumbles. That's how...some other analogy.
Well that concludes another jam packed issue of the Amazing Spider-Man! Another great one-and-done issue that continues the great Omnibus by Michelinie and McFarlane. As great as this is, its got to end soon. Luckily for everyone involved, that's nowhere near soon! We've still got about another half of this book to go so stay strapped in for the many adventures of New York's most favorist bestest awesomest Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man!