I have a confession to make: I’ve been a terrible comic book fan. Not to say that there’s a wrong way one can be a comic book fan, unless you happened to think DC’s Countdown to Final Crisis was just the bee’s knees. No, my failing comes with the fact that I simply haven’t been keeping up with my favorite characters; not even my all-time favorite comic book character, our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The last time I was up to date on Spider-Man comics was around the time Peter Parker managed to get his body back from Doctor Octopus, which was all the way back in the spring of 2014. A lot was happening back then, and I put off reading comics for a while. When I finally entertained the idea of getting caught up, seeing as how I was reading most of the non-X-Men related stuff Marvel was putting out at the time, I kept putting off what seemed like a mountain of backlog to get through. That mountain grew bigger & bigger until I eventually reached my current decision: Screw the backlog, I’m just gonna jump onto the Spider-Man books where ever they happen to be right now & go from there. My comic fandom as an adult had been re-ignited when I jumped onto the Spidey books out of the blue in 2005 so I figured it was apropos.
So, thus begins a new weekly feature here on Comicdom Wrecks! that I’m calling “This Week in Spider-Man”, where I’ll go through whatever new Spider-issues have come out that week & review them from my point of view as a lapsed fan. It’ll go up sometime after Wednesday, when new issues come out, but before the end of the following Tuesday, when more new issues come out. And if you’re wondering why the inaugural edition of this is called “Last Week in Spider-Man”, it’s because the muses didn’t strike me with this idea until late last week. Since the only week I’d missed was the first of the year & it was only one issue, I decided to cover it.
This week we cover Spider-Man #236, where the numbering alone would confuse the hell out me even if I weren’t several years behind. Now, onward to the adventures of the spider people, dear readers!
Spider-Man #236 is written by Brian Michael Bendis (although probably not for very much longer) with art by Oscar Bazaldua.
The first thing I thought was “How this book on issue #236?” followed by “Is this Miles Morales‘ solo book?” followed by “If this is Miles Morales’ solo book, then how in the hell is this on issue #236?!” Turns out that yes, this is Miles’ solo book. It’s on issue #236 because this book is actually a continuation of the original Ultimate Spider-Man series & Marvel up-jumped the numbering of all of their books after last year’s “Legacy” event. But Miles is no longer in the Ultimate universe after it & most of reality was destroyed in the new “Secret Wars” story but then part of that and several other realities were merged with the regular Marvel reality and Miles & his friends & family only kinda sorta remember that they lived in a different reality from the one they live in now and that their reality was destroyed but then it wasn’t destroyed because Miles went back there to visit an old girlfriend and OH NO, I’VE GONE CROSS-EYED!
Anyway, Miles Morales is now living in the Marvel universe proper and has taken up the position of Spider-Man of New York city while Peter Parker has become the a more global Spider-Man. Because being a globe trotting, millionaire CEO is a perfect fit for Peter Parker, if you’re examining the situation after suffering a few severe blows to the head. Miles has a friend named Lana, who with her Lori mother make up The Bombshells & have the power to shoot explosions out of their hands. They were a mother (who got her powers through experimentation from the Roxxon Corporation)/daughter (who was born that way, baby) thieving duo back in the Ultimate universe who made the transition over to this new reality. Lana has turned over a new leaf but her mother still wants to live a life of crime. Lori has enlisted the help of the Iron Spider, who exists thanks to a law passed by Congress back in 1988 mandating that 53% of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery be visually similar to him.
Spider-Man & Iron Spider throw down, with Miles making use of his noodle finger powers, which I didn’t know he had.
Iron Spider eventually gets unmasked during the fight, leading Miles to discover that it’s his uncle Aaron, who he thought was dead. That’s always an interesting development.
The “Sinister Six” referred to on the cover seems to be the aforementioned Bombshell and Iron Spider along with Sandman, Electro, Spot, and Hobgoblin. Only Electro is now a lady. I’ve got no problems with it. If ladies can be ghostbusters & doctors, why can’t they be Electros? This new Electro is a woman named Francine Frye, who is a clone of a former girlfriend of Max Dillon (the original Electro) who died due to being electrocuted because she couldn’t stop herself from trying to get busy with him even through his powers were malfunctioning. Dillon’s powers eventually went kaput & an experiment by the Jackal to restore them went haywire resulting in Dillon’s death & the clone of Francine getting the Electro powers. As complicated as that origin story is, it’s still nowhere near the can of worms that is the Hobgoblin.
Also, the Sandman has a tiny, baby Groot style version of himself that he sends on recon missions.
He’s coarse, rough, irritating, and gets everywhere but gosh darnit he’s cute. That’s all for this week. Check back next week when I cover:
Spider-Man vs. Deadpool #26, which exists for some reason and Venom #160