Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Comics Review: Amazing Spider-Man #319

Written by: Dave Michelinie
Art by: Todd McFarlane

    Last we left our red and blue hero, we had no cards left against the newly improved Scorpion. This villain had taken the man he was supposed to kidnap, hostage and threatened to kill him, if he wasn't replaced by J. Jonah Jameson. Whew, that was a mouthful, now let's get to business and get on with THIS issue. the very first page has our hero swinging through town carrying around...a pizza?! Yeah, don't worry Spidey, we can't believe you're doing this too. I know times are tough at the Bugle, and Parker probably finds it hard to sell some pics, but to resort to delivering pizzas?! Oh, wait, its to the Scorpion himself. Figured he couldn't order out, military would show up. At least if he sent Spider-Man for a pizza, he knows he won't get caught. Wall-Crawlers got this thing about not hurting people and such. Ugh, damn those good guys. But never fear, for even the good guy can throw in some low blows, in this case...its leaving the anchovies on the pizza! MUHAHAHAHAHA!

    So far, the situation is the same as we last left it. General Musgrave is still in the hands of the bad guy, and the bad guy still wants to swap him out for Jameson. The only development is that Jameson's been contacted multiple times but will not cooperate. As grouchy as Jonah normally is, this is very different behavior for him, according to Spider-Man's thoughts. But also remember, Jonah isn't Jonah these last couple days, Jonah is actually the Chameleon! Maybe Spider-Man can talk Scorpion and convince him to extend his deadline. Ok, cool, that's worth a shot, except Scorpion doesn't want to talk! Time is up and Jonah ain't there so its time to get a new hideout and continue with his evil plans. Scorpion makes a quick escape in a nearby helicopter with his hostage in tail and just when the coast is almost clear, Spider-Man snags on by his web! The helicopter tilts which let's Scorpion know they have an unwanted passenger on board, and his tail quickly snips that line, but that's not going to stop the ever resourceful Web Head this time because he...quickly...snags himself on again. Oh...good thinking Peter! Its not a complete waste of plan though, because Spidey tosses a tracer that sticks right onto Scorpion! Now Spider-Man can trace them in case he gets shaken off the chopper again. Which is exactly what happens next because, comic book. Scorpion tilts the helicopter over so Spidey is swung over it close to the rotor blades! The blades snap the web and Spidey's sent flying through the air with nothing to web onto!!!

    Straightening out his body, Spider-Man takes the hit as best he can, which isn't very easy at all, into the water and heads for the shore. As much as he may want to find the Scorpion, he just wants to go home. Speaking of home, a Mr. Justin Hammer is at his home trying to relax when that falls through and fails. He has just gotten word of the betrayal of Mac Gargan so he pulls up a gian screen of a bunch of villains faces. This next panel HAS to be an homage to the cover of Uncanny X-Men 141 where behind Wolverine is a poster of a bunch of mutants and some faces have signs that say across the face "apprehended" or "slain". In THIS comic, a couple say "inactive" and "deceased". Its a cool little easter egg for some of the more learned comic fans, I'm glad I caught it. Anywho, Peter makes it back home and takes the rest of the night off, he sneaks around and manages to successfully change into his civilian clothes just to find Aunt May finishing some laundry. She tells him that MJ has been out at a gig all day, which is great for her ego, AND their wallet. At least ONE of them is getting money. And it seems to be that time again where, yep you guessed it, comic book comes into play and destroys the thought happiness of the person in the last panel. MJ's partying it up at a club when he finds out that she's not going to be getting any work again! Before that's explained, we're caught up with old friends Liz Allen and Harry Osborn. He brings her to their new home in Soho, where she finds an old Green Goblin mask. I guess Harry isn't too good at hiding secrets, since he left the damn mask out in the open like that!

    We learn that the reason MJ isn't getting any work is because of that dirt bag pig Jonathon Caesar! Apparently, even from jail, he has major influence over things and since Mary-Jane didn't leave Peter to be Jonathon's side piece. And when his threats and intimidation didn't work, he'd buy a booking agency and fire anyone who would try to hire MJ for a shoot! He's punishing her, FROM JAIL!!!, by destroying her career!!! That's kind of nuts. Aside from the obvious, creepy as all hell, this dude really needs to let go of this whole MJ thing. Now all the way over in Connecticut, the Scorpion has himself and the General tied up with a new hostage, a security guard of some sort, in a barn. He's trying to figure out what to do next, knowing that he's crossed him boss and is in over his head in cow dung. It doesn't take long for him to think of the biggest crime name on the east coast, the Kingpin, Wilson Fisk. Guess they all gotta go back to Manhattan tomorrow, and that is exactly what they do! Spider-Man spends his morning trying to get a signal off the tracer he put on Scorpion, and finally gets a hit! Its coming from a suspicious van on the highway. Spidey stops the van and makes sure the General is ok, once that's done he hops out to confront the Scorpion one final time. Heh, you see, its that time again. Where comic book steps in and makes everyone's life really...REALLLLLLY hard. The ground starts rumbling and something's running through the van! Its the Rhino!!! And to make matters even worse, Blacklash is there as well! I guess Hammer didn't care about saving money if it meant getting his hostage back.

    Scorpion isn't going down easy, and starts a fight with the other villains, an opportunity that Spider-Man takes perfectly and tries to make his escape with the General. The villains split up, Rhino taking on Scorpion and Blacklash looking to nab the General. Spidey faces off with Blacklash and gets hit with some of that nasty electricity on his pole, while Rhino tears down some walls to catch Scorpion. The fight rages on, almost leveling a building in the process. Rhino meets up with Blacklash with his prize, but there isn't time for both to get what they came for, Rhino rips off Scorpions tail, and the two of them escape before the cops can show up. The general is safe, and everyone is okay. The Spider Tracer isn't giving Spider-Man a signal, so Scorpion is lost for a bit, and Peter uses this moment to try and pry some pictures. Hey, at least the issue ended on a humorous note! Not a bad issue, another great tale spanning two issues in the life of Peter Parker. Next up, we have part one of a 6 part arc! SO get ready for some juicy stories in the next coming weeks, until next time!

-Matt Milanes

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