We’re fast approaching the end of this event and these reviews have become bi-weekly because Marvel seems to be putting out just one issue a week. It’s more fun for me to cover more than one book in these reviews, so bi-weekly it is, though it is kind of difficult doing these and restraining my excitement over this event! This installment has restorations, revelations and reversions!
First up we have more peripheral story with SPIDER-ISLAND: HEROES FOR HIRE by superteam Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (DnA) with one of my all-time favorite artists: Kyle Hotz! *The events in this issue take place before the ending of Amazing Spider-Man #670*
After Horizon placed towers around the city that emit sound waves that keep the infected inside New York, preventing the infestation from spreading across the nation and world, the Queen has her spider-army try to take them out so the infestation can spread. Mayor Jameson calls on Heroes For Hire to protect the towers at all cost. It’s easier said than done, even though the Heroes try to not show how overwhelmed they really are, and things get worse when some of them, including Paladin, begins to display Spider-Powers. While trying to control their new powers, the Heroes are sent to Grand Central Station where they discover not just people infected but a group of A.I.M. Agents also infected and in possession of some of their tech which doesn’t help the situation. Paladin does, however, and Misty is shocked to see that he’s changing into a spider!
This issue ends with Misty going to Paladin’s place when she isn’t able to contact him and she finds that he’s completely changed and attacks her. She’s able to subdue him and, in doing so, learns that she’s been infected as well. After wrapping Paladin in webbing, Misty then spends the remainder of the night opening up to him, thinking that there is no good way out of this situation as she begins to enter the final stage of the infestation…
Spider-Island Part 5 in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #671 by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos, begins after a two-page recap with Mary Jane web-slinging and playing the part of the hero that often saved her once upon a time. Will we see more of this? Who knows, there’s only 6 more books tied to this in October, then the Epilogue in November.
Going back to the chaos of Jameson attacking Smythe under the direction of the Queen, Smythe is in bad shape and with her connection to Jameson, the Queen now knows about the goings on in Horizon! She tries to control some of her infected with Horizon in an effort to stop the cure from being implemented, and ends up losing one more under her control. She knows about the anti-Venom, but it’s a certain someone with a love of cloning Peter Parker who actually gets close to destroying it!
At Horizon Labs, Anti-Venom is sacrificing himself to make the cure to the infestation, a cure that will bring about the end of his time as Anti-Venom. It’s during this sequence that we finally learn the identity of the mystery-mind in Horizon, Number Six. It’s a rare moment to see him outside of his lab, but he’s wearing a hazmat suit. He laments that Brock is lucky that he has a chance to end his time of being a monster, something he is unable to ever do. Once a Living Vampire, always a Living Vampire.
So, as we speed to the end of this issue the action picks up and a lot of things are happening: Madame Web finally figures out why she has lost touch with the Web of Life that connects all spiders and no longer has the ability to see the future. The jammers that are keeping the infected inside New York are interfering with her connection to everything. She makes a rather dramatic appearance at Horizon Labs and demands something be done about it. She tells them their jammers were not only responsible for ruining Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense (not entirely true) but it’s jamming her psychic abilities as well. This gives the brains at Horizon the idea of using that same tech to give Spidey his Spider-Sense back!
It becomes a desperate race to the finish as the brains try to restore Spider-Man without knowing that he’s actually IN Horizon Labs trying to keep Tarantula, aka Kaine: Clone of Peter Parker, from contaminating the Anti-Venom cure! Spider-Man uses his newly learned martial arts to fight off Tarantula but it doesn’t work, Tarantula knows his moves!
Things become really bad when Jackal commands Tarantula to stop fighting and to just drop Spider-Man into the cure, Spider-Man has the capsule which would destroy the cure and since he’s not letting it go… just toss him in and he will be cured of his powers right before the cure is destroyed, leaving him as the only human in Spider-Island!
In perfect Marvel Manner, just when things look bad, the brains pull through and restore Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense turning the tide in his fight!
The contaminate is destroyed and Tarantula is tossed into the cure, restoring him to his human self. Catching his breath he reveals to Spider-Man that the Queen is behind all this and he will show where she’s hiding.
Jackal, however, doesn’t have a happy ending as the Queen tires of his failures and learns her powers have grown as her scream kills Jackal!
Madame Web has her connection to the Web back and realizes that her powers along with the Queen were amplified when Horizon fixed Spider-Man. The Queen has the power of a god now and it all was because Madame Web wanted Spider-Man fixed!
(For more on this issue of Amazing Spider-Man, check out the full review from Seth Jacob!)
What happens next? Who knows but the reality here is Dan Slott has constructed a story that has been exciting since it began. Spider-Island is, in my humble opinion, the event of 2011, topping everything else Marvel has done. Each issue is edge of your seat action and if it weren’t for everyone now having Spider-Man’s powers, everyone would fall of the edge of their seats!
I’m going to be looking forward to the trade releases of this event so that I can buy them and have my friends read this story. I’ve been collecting Amazing Spider-Man since 2006 and while I’ve had a lot of fun in that time, I can honestly say Spider-Island is the most exciting story I’ve read in my time collecting this series! My hat goes off to Slott and Ramos for making Spider-Island THE story of 2011!