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Amazing Spider-Man #35 v.2 (September 2001)
Straczynski Romita jr. Hanna

Amazing #35 the plot: At the lab he managed to get to in Amazing #34, Spidey concocts a radioactive serum he injects into himself and allows Morlun to absorb him. The serum's intended effect worked however and Morlun undures a great deal of pain, giving Spider-Man an opportunity to take him down. Spidey explains to Morlun that whatever the spider that bit was there for, it was irradiated by the radioactive machinery all those years ago, and it doesn't matter why it bit him. His strength weakened, there's little for Morlun to do except take his beating from a battered Spidey, who pauses when Morlun's true, lizard-like form emerges and begs for mercy. Spidey doesn't know what to do, should he let Morlun go, knowing he won't come after him again, but in doing so he'll run the risk of others being attacked or killed by him.

Spidey's thoughts are cut short though, when Morlun's lackey Dex enters and shoots Morlun, who crumbles to dust. His final words, "I was just hungry, that's all...It was nothing personal...I was just...Hungry..." And with that Morlun dies. Spidey goes after Dex, who flees that scene and tells him to go away and never come back, or Spidey will hurt him a thousand times more than what Morlun ever did. On his way home, Spidey stops by Ezekiel's offices to tell them of his death, and finds the building empty, with the exception of a small rubber spider. Pleased with the knowledge that Ezekiel has survived Spidey heads home, jubilent, while Ezekiel heads off to help others. Tired, sweaty, battered and bruised, Spidey heads home and goes to sleep, his door unlocked, which allows an unsuspecting Aunt May to enter to gather laundry and instead finds Peter's costume.

Whoops.

the review: So, if you can believe it, we're now six months into the Straczynski run on Spidey. And what are my thoughts on his initial run. Well, I liked it, I guess. In all fairness, things weren't great, I mean there were some continuity problems and such, some things that didn't make sense all together, but looking back the last six issues were all right. That is to say, when read in one big story. Amazing Spider-Man #35, read on it's own, left me a little...unsatisfied. It seemed rushed, for one thing, if you can believe that with the three week delay on this book. And it was a really quick read. I was able to read and process everything in about five minutes, only looking back briefly at that with the bit about the spider's origins.

That wouldn't be a problem though if it were enjoyable though, but quick reads that leave me a little dry aren't that fun. I see what they were trying to do, capping a storyline and all, but there just wasn't much else beyond the basic plot of Spidey versus Morlun. The book could have really used a page or two to show what Midtown High is doing without Peter there to teach or maybe what J. Jonah Jameson and the Bugle think of Spidey fighting this guy in a suit around the city. The book went by so fast and had so little to it that the shocking ending of Aunt May finding Peter's costume had no impact.

Basically my feelings on this book are that it ended a great story that I'm sure will read very well in a trade paper back, but on it's own it wasn't that much fun. What I think it needed was a little more to it, a little more of what made the earlier issue in run more enjoyable. If they had been able to find a way to combind the story development of the first three issues of Straczynski's run, with the action of the latter issues this would have been better, but as it is it falls flat and seems almost repetitive after issues #33 and #34. I'm really looking forward to next month for a clean slate with a better sense of story balance.

So while I may give the Morlun storyline three stars as a whole, Amazing Spider-Man #35 only gets ** out of *****.

 

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