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Spider-Man/Marrow (December 2000)
Lobdell Garza Dery

Spider-Man/Marrow the plot: Spider-Man, on the top of the Brooklyn Bridge, holds on to Marrow, formerly of the X-Men, for dear life as she hangs off the edge. Marrow, claiming that falling is the answer, forces Spidey to let go, and she falls to her apparent death. Flashback twenty-four hours earlier to when Peter and his roommate Randy Robertson, while clubbing, encounter Sarah, a student at ESU and fan of Peter's guest lectures on science. Sarah tells Peter that she felt his passion towards science and Peter asks Sarah out for coffee.

That night however, as supermodel Veronica Crandle exits the club and Peter takes a few pictures for the Bugle, a body is discovered in Veronica's limo, pierced to death by large bones. When Marrow is spotted looking down at the scene, Spider-Man confronts Marrow, who doesn't seem to remember him despite having met twice before. When Peter later arrives to meet Sarah for their date, he leaves sadly, Sarah having not shown up.

The next day, as Peter finishes another guest lecture, Sarah shows up, and Peter takes her out for hot chocolate. The two talk about each other, and when Peter takes Sarah home later, she invites him in...for the night. After Peter stutters awkwardly for a moment, Sarah says she understands and Peter heads home. However a scream emerges from Sarah's apartment, and as Spider-Man, Peter investigates.

Spider-Man rescues Sarah from two large men with hypodermic needles and the two websling away, until Sharon Carter and S.H.I.E.L.D arrive. Suddenly though, Marrow shows up, and Spidey realizes that Sarah is actually Marrow! Marrow gets away and Carter explains that S.H.I.E.L.D found Marrow in the sewers, implanted the memories of Sarah Rushman into her to give her peace and have been using her to eliminate renegade LMDs (Life Model Decoys).

Spider-Man and Carter track down Marrow to the Brooklyn Bridge and Spidey tries appealing to Sarah, despite Marrow's claims Sarah doesn't exist, Marrow avoids killing Spidey when she has the chance. Instead she leaps off the bridge, prompting Spidey to try to save her to no avail. The following week Peter cleans out Sarah's dorm room, and puts her things into storage. Wondering just who Sarah was, and wondering if he's not quite ready to begin dating again. Meanwhile Marrow, hiding away in sewers, is discovered by an associate of hers from Gene Nation, telling Marrow "we have been notsame without you!".

the review: As was the case in the first Spidey/Marrow meeting in Uncanny X-Men #346, Scott Lobdell proves himself to be a truly gifted Spidey writer. It makes sense that Peter might return to ESU as he has in the past, considering his recent dismissal from Tri-Corp and Peter's need to work on his scientific skills. Also nice was Peter's club scene with Randy. It's unfortunate that we don't get to see things like Peter clubbing like this or Peter's teaching job in the regular titles, since they both work very well over here.

It wasn't all too difficult to figure out that Sarah was Marrow, but I doubt that mystery was the intent. Despite the fact that this was a forty-page book, and therefore space for characterization was limited, Sarah came off as being very likeable and sympathetic. I was very saddened at the fact that the tortured character of Marrow was able to be happy for a time, and she and Peter seemed very cute on their date. And Sarah inviting Peter to spend the night? I can honestly say that this book better portrayed as being a young guy in his early twenties, more than the last few years of the regular books did.

I should add though that I tend to feel more sympathetic towards characters that are really likeable, yet die in their first appearances, as Sarah had. It is possible that that had something to do with my sympathy towards Sarah.

On the art side, Ale Garza does an all right job. His quirky, hip art is not what I'm used to seeing in Spidey, but what I'd like to see more of. It worked very well here. The detail is nice and Peter, Randy and Sarah all look like the young people they should. Not that I'm complaining about the art in the regular books, but Garza's characters really look hip.

This was a fun book, and most certainly not the horrible mess, not to mention waste of space many thought it would end up as. It's not perfect but it was a nice read.

Spider-Man/Marrow gets ****1/2 out of ***** and is recommended my yours truly.



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