Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Comics Review: Amazing Spider-Man #314

Written by: Dave Michelinie
Art by: Todd McFarlane

    This issue opens up on a very cold day. No, not because people are emotionally dead, but its snowing! And as if that's not enough, Peter Parker and his lovely wife Mary Jane Watson Parker have just been evicted! As you know, they live in a building owned by a man who recently kidnapped MJ and kept her hostage, almost forcing her to marrying him. Luckily he was stopped and sent to jail with some help from Spider-Man. Aunt May is a bit worried and offers a room at her boarding home in Queens, but Peter's got a spot already set for them and its a surprise. Elsewhere in Queens, a shady business man stands in his office with what may be his accountant or something. Its a small scene, only a page, but it doesn't feel like any of these men are up to any good. Back at Peter and MJ's apartment, they get all their belongings moved out fairly quickly, MJ decides to head to her lawyers office to see if there's any advice she can get from them on what to do next. While Peter heads to the Bugle to see if there's any work in store for him there. On the walk over, Peter admits to MJ that he actually doesn't know where they're going to be staying. He doesn't want to go back "home" with his Aunt May as much as he may love her, he doesn't want to take a step back. And awesome MJ understands this, but the moment is cut short by a near by mugging which Peter barely even wants to go stop, but does. You know, that whole Power/Responsibility thing.

    Spidey quickly deals with the mugger with a bad fashion sense. Purses don't really go with his outfit. Meanwhile at a private security facility in Flushing, Queens, a truck races out of the facility while the clerk from inside chases it out. The driver forgot to sign himself out, and the guards that were with him were acting very new. Well, that's because they were! The original guards are inside the truck, tied up! Over at the Bugle, no ones got any work for Peter, not even Jonah. Luckily, there's a Christmas party going on and hopefully that'll take everyone's mind off of things, at least it does that for MJ. Pete's going around debating to himself on who he could ask to live with for a while. Robbie and his wife have enough going on in their lives, Joy Mercado would cause too much jealousy and he even resorted to Jonah! But he backs out of that idea before he even asks. Peter finally finds someone willing to help, in the form of his old high school bully Flash Thompson. Currently, he's been staying in a back room at his local gym but he can bunk at the YMCA so Pete and MJ can stay in his room. A good friend indeed.

     That truck from earlier finally reaches it's destination and the weird keeps on coming. That shady business man from earlier, Howell Thurston III, he's on the recording end of that truck but the workers seem weird. The regular guy in charge isn't there, he's off with his "family". Except he not even married! Thurston trusts his second in command from earlier with his suspicion and gets a gun pulled on him. Yep, I guess he was right about everything. The next page shows Peter at Uncle Bens grave, asking for guidance. He's torn between being out on his own and independent and taking a step back from growing up. Unfortunately, his visit is cut short when those robbers get caught and grab a hostage. They make their getaway and drive straight through the graveyard Peter is standing in, ain't that convenient? He quickly changes his threads and hops the car as the Amazing Spider-Man! The car smashes and all three robbers hop out. Separately, they can catch one Spider-Guy for sure! That is until Spidey webs one to a tree, one to a tombstone and the knocks the other out cold from behind. Who's next?

     The last baddie is the secretary man. All his plans ruined. And to make matters worse, creeping behind him is a very pissed off Santa and a very heavy bag of money. WHUD! Right in the side of the face! You know, them heroes gotta stick together! While getting dressed back into street clothes, Spidey notices there's someone else at Ben's grave. It's his Aunt May! She says she's been coming there every year but never wanted to tell Peter because it would upset him. This makes Pete realize that she's always thinking about him, and he's always thought of no one but himself. He asks if him and MJ could stay at the house with her. It would make her feel great to be able to help them in times of need. Back at the house the entire family has the best gathering imaginable. Peter, MJ, Kristy and Aunt May. One big happy family!

     This was an issue with a much slower pace. Almost every other issue in this book has had our webbed hero all over the place and in this one he was grounded most of the time. By that I mean we saw a lot of Peter and his inner thoughts and not so much the spider. But personally, I love these kinds of issues, more emotional ones. They mean the most to the fans and the creative teams themselves. Well, that wraps up another issue in this massive omnibus. Be back in one week where we put Spider-Man against Hydro-Man and the return of a dark fan favorite!

-Matt Milanes

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