Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Subj: My delayed review of SSM #31
Posted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 11:31:26 pm EDT (Viewed 89 times)

I went to my LCS today, and they were sold out of Uncanny Avengers #19 (even though I'm pretty sure I pre-ordered it). I'll instead buy it online, and review it when it arrives.

SSM #31 Recap:

In a last-ditch effort to save himself from death, OTTO OCTAVIUS swapped minds with Spider-Man, leaving PETER PARKER to die in his place. Taking on Peter's sense of responsibility, Otto carried on his mission as the Superior Spider-Man.

After months of thinking he'd done a superior job, Otto learned he failed terribly. The GREEN GOBLIN had risen to power, built an army, and uncovered Otto's secret identity AS Spider-Man--all under Otto's nose. Now, the Goblin's UNDOING all the good Otto's done and killing everyone he's saved as Spider-Man. Next on his list: ANNA MARIA MARCONI, a woman the Goblin DOESN'T know it Otto's girlfriend...

While desperately trying to save Anna Maria, Otto discovered that PETER PARKER'S persona was STILL ALIVE, buried deep inside Otto's psyche. Realizing that Peter is truly superior and the only one capable of stopping the Green Goblin's rampage, Otto sacrificed himself by erasing all of his own memories.

With Otto's memories gone, Peter Parker is the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN again! Now it's up to him to save Anna Maria and end the Goblin's reign over New York City!

The Green Goblin takes the blindfold off Maria, showing her to be on top of Alchemax tower, which is littered with pumpkin bombs, and all the Goblin-controlled Spider-Slayers laying waste to NYC.

Back at Parker Industries, Spidey is apologizing to Sajani, but she doesn't care. Carlie is nearby, saying she's almost recovered from the goblin-virus, which Spidey didn't know she'd gotten in the first place. She explains "Peter Parker" synthesized a cure, and Spidey asks if more can be made. Sajani says yes, while puzzled why Spidey would care so much, to which he replies he's "feeling like a new man." He takes Carlie into the next room to talk, while Sajani works on making more of the cure. In private, Spidey unmasks to Peter, referring to a line he'd once said to her to prove it's him, NOT Otto. Carlie is relieved, with Peter saying he has to save Anna Maria, and asks she give him a recap on the situation. She explains about Otto's spider-bots, and how the GG hacked them to make them ignore anyone with a gobln mask or logo.

We next see Spidey web-swinging through the city, while also calling his Aunt May to make sure she's fine. She says she is, along with MJ, her husband Jay. Spidey responds, using his webbing to take out some goblin-masked street-thugs, saying he's glad they're fine. MJ's boyfriend Pedro "Ollie" Olivera makes a comment to MJ about how her ex "went from jerk to sweet guy in the space of two calls." MJ says that's just Peter, and that's why she left him. Jay makes a comment on him wanting to talk to his son JJJ, to check on him, as well.

At the Mayor's office, JJJ is horrendously upset about the Spider-Slayer problem, saying it's ruined him.

At Alchemax, Tiberius Stone is watching video screens of S-Man and the Avengers taking on the reprogrammed Spider-Slayers. He's also sending the videos to other nation-leaders, and speaks to them over an audio connection, bidding the robots to the highest bidder.

Back at the ESU room from before, where Ock/Spidey and S-Man had been fighting the Spider-Slayers, S-Man, his costume torn up a lot (which isn't supposed to be possible, as it's UMF material), appears exhausted, having taken out all the slayers around him, except for one behind him that he doesn't see. Spidey enters the scene and takes it out. He then makes a comment about how he's puzzled Miguel is in his time, who then grabs Spidey by the throat, angry he left "just to change his costume," and asks if he even saved the girl. Spidey quickly explains the brain-swap deal, and both then agree to team up and take down the Goblins and slayers.

In Midtown, the Avengers are still struggling with the slayers. The Goblin Knight comes in and makes things worse for them with his "sonic laugh," but Spidey and S-Man quickly enter the scene, with Spidey face-kicking GK. GK takes off, with S-Man suggesting they catch him. Spidey says there's no time, as he's tracked the signal controlling the slayers to the OsCorp Building (doesn't know it's Alchemax now yet), and that's a higher priority. He tells the nearby Avengers that both him and S-Man are going to take down the signal at the source, while they continue to deal with the slayers, with Black Widow commenting on there now being two Spider-Men, and that Spidey sounds normal again.

Spidey and S-Man webswing to Alchemax tower, with the former asking what happened to OsCorp. S-Man explains it merged with Allan Chemical some months back, and that this is the start of the megacorp that runs NYC in his time. Spidey says he remembers, with S-Man saying the take the company down now, but Spidey says to do one thing at a time: "shut off the robots, stop Osborn, and save the hostage." Right before they get to the building, Menace gets the drop on them. Both Menace and S-Man crash through one of the building's windows, with her now trying to strangle S-Man. Spidey comes from behind, injecting her with the goblin-cure, turning her back into Lily Hollister. Both Spider-Men hear laughing behind the nearby main-office door, and both enter, only to see the laughter coming from behind the chair to turn and show to be...Normie Osborn, saying, "This has ALL been for me. Because I'm so SPECIAL." Liz Allan and Tiberius enter the room. Spidey asks her what's going on, and she replies that there's no time, and that they have to leave the building fast, as the roof is wired to explode (as previously shown). Spidey says Liz can't trust Tiberius, and S-Man continues that the signal controlling the slayers is coming from this room. Liz says they all still have to escape, with Tiberius pressing a button on some hand-held device, which jams Spidey mentally by his spider-sense. S-Man proceeds to, in turn, give Tiberius a good right hook. Liz picks up the device, calling it a "jammer clearly meant to hurt Spidey," and that Tiberius will answer for it. She then states that Spidey has no idea what GG has been forcing her and Alchemax to do, and he has S-Man lead her, a webbed-up Lily, and the rest out of the building while he leaves to go take on GG on the roof.

Up there, Anna is tied up and gagged to a large pumpkin bomb, connected by wires to other pumpkin bombs, with Spidey now on the roof nearbt, and GG flying above, mocking Otto. Spidey then makes a snappy comeback that only he, not Otto, could make, and GG knows it's the real deal now. GG makes a break for it, but Spidey jumps after him. Confused, GG throws a goblin-boomerang at Spidey, saying he'd never leave the girl to die. But Spidey says she can take care of herself, with the device missing him, and hitting the wall next to Anna, which she uses to cut her wrist-ropes. Spidey wrestles with GG on his glider for a bit, at one point trying to inject him with the goblin-cure, but GG knocks it out of his hands. He then pulls GG's mask off, to reveal the face of "Mason Banks," who's really Norman Osborn with a brown-colored wig, mustache, and eyebrows. He explains he took on the fake, made up guise, who was "an Alchemax executive," and he'll just find another new identity later. As Anna almost fully frees herself with the boomerang to cut her ropes, Osborn/Banks goes on to say that corporations really run the world, and that he built up Alchemax, "a legacy for the Osborn name, for his grandson." Spidey asks why he's going to bomb it then, and he responds "for collateral damage; that it couldn't be the only building in the city NOT hit by the Goblins; that he can't have it connected to them OR Banks, and that he shouldn't have unmasked him." Spidey then admits that's not why he did it, as unmasking GG also allowed the spider-bots he brought with him to be able to "see" him, and infect him with the goblin-cure. Below, Anna calls out to Spidey, a second before the bombs finally go off, with her jumping off the edge in the nick of time. As GG deals with the spider-bots biting him, Spidey saves Anna as she falls. No longer infected with the goblin-virus, Osborn/Banks/GG loses control of the glider, and is also saved by Spidey.

Back on street level, Spidey walks along with Anna and the unmasked GG, with Tiberius, Liz, S-Man, Normie, and a still-webbed Lily nearby. Spidey mentions, "I figure all it'll take is a DNA test and 'Mason Banks' can answer for Norman Osborn's crimes in court," but Liz presses the spider-sense jammer from before, for some reason, giving Osborn/Banks/GG time to escape. S-Man grabs her wrist, and verbally attacks her for it, with her saying "she didn't mean to," and that "she was just tensed up," and such. Spidey advocates for her, but notes to himself to keep an eye on her, AND the weird-acting Normie. Tiberius, Liz, and Normie all walk off, Liz quietly saying to Normie, "Remember, Normie, Mommy and Grandpa did this for you. ALL FOR YOU."

One street over, underground in a moving, secret subway car, Banks/Osborn/GG comments to himself on how he got what he wanted, that "Alchemax has been secured for his heir and his legacy, and that next time he'll return with a new plan, and a new face, and how Spidey hasn't dealt with a Norman/GG with a level mind," which he has now, thanks to the goblin-cure.

Back on the street again, shown in front of the Alchemax tower with a destroyed roof/top-floors area, S-Man says to Spidey that he should probably take off, "before the authorities ask questions he's not ready to answer," and such. Spidey thanks him, saying, "See you in the future!" as he webswings away, with S-Man replying, jokingly, "I wish!" With the Avengers telling the citizens to remain calm, and that they have the situation at hand now, Anna approaches Spidey, asking if Peter is ok. He confirms him being alright, to Anna's delight. Spidey asks if Peter really means that much to her, and she says he means everything to her, that he's a kind, thoughtful person, etc. The medics tell her they need to check her out, and Anna has Spidey promise that he'll tell Peter she's safe, and he, of course, does, and she thanks him, and can't imagine a life without Peter. As the medics walk off with Anna, Spidey muses that she loved Otto, and that for Pete/Spidey to even be here, HE had to die.

The End.

There's a second story after that, by Christos Gage (who scripted the first story, with the plot by Dan Slott) called "Actions Have Consequences," with no Mig/S-Man, which deals with Peter apologizing to Aunt May, Jay, and MJ for "his" actions and that he's not going to "work for Spidey anymore," explaining to MJ privately of the mind-swap, and Carlie overhearing and talking to MJ about Peter/Spidey for a bit. Spidey also confronts Mayor JJJ at his office, giving him the spider-bot that recorded him telling (Ock/)Spidey to kill Alistair Smythe. He also states the Goblin hacked his spider-slayers, and that it's no his fault they turned on the police, and that JJJ can fight this. JJJ replies he could, but he won't, then has it out with him, including about how Spidey manipulated/blackmailed him before, and Spidey saying he's there to tell him he has nothing to fear from him, and he shouldn't take the fall for GG's actions. He then suggests JJJ fight, and webswings away. Instead, JJJ resigns as mayor, which is then broadcast on the news, with him lastly saying, "So long, you vermin. You won't have J. Jonah Jameson to kick around anymore. From now on...I do the kicking."

The End.

Thoughts: This is just the thing I was hoping for, concerning a role for S-Man, except for his costume ripping. PAD has stated in the past that, since it's made of UMF (unstable molecular fabric) material, that it is very hard to tear (although there was an issue of S-Man where he fought a female robot called "Risqué" who shot a laser that grazed his lower leg, and caused a costume tear that was never explained, then disappeared a couple issues later). He explained to me, by e-mail, after I asked him about the costume ripping again in a later S-Man issue, in the Nightshade storyline, that that was a mistake by the artist, that the suit wasn't supposed to be torn and then supposedly "rethread" itself like that, as it appeared. I also emailed him recently about this SSM issue and the costume tears there, and he replied that he heard about this at the offices and pointed out that it was wrong, but it was too late by then to fix it. I'm pretty sure PAD will ignore it when S-Man Vol. 2 starts up in July, like it never happened. I asked him about that the Risqué laser-tear too, and he avoided the question.

Will continue to get the new ASM volume, with #1 coming out next week, in hopes of more Mig/S-Man appearances, which can fill in more S-Man stories until his new volume.

Anyone else have thoughts/opinions?

- Rodimus

Laura Bertram's Fan-Made Video Tribute Project

Help make an "Evil Dead: The Game" tie-in and/or continuation comics from Dark Horse Comics or IDW Publishing:

Starz cancelled the show, Bruce Campbell has retired as Ash, and there's going to be a post-show video game called "Evil Dead: The Game", so help us with our petition for tie-in and/or continuation comics of it!

Also, I've made a .doc file for a posted flyer for the page. Please also print and post these pages at your LCS.


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