The latest issue of Marvel Action: Spider-Man picks up immediately where the last left off, seeing the spider heroes dealing with the aftermath of the Shocker’s attack. The trio have to jump in to prevent the destruction of an apartment building. Whilst this is fairly standard superhero fare it does have a little bit of a surprise when a few of the residents who hadn’t had time to run fall out. Gwen swings in and saves one and I thought to myself ‘Huh, that guy’s hair looks like an updated version of Harry Osborne’s, that’s cool’. Well, surprise surprise – on the next page he introduces himself as Harry Osborne.
If I was going to predict things that would happen in this issue Harry Osborne being introduced would not have been on my list. But this is something that I really like about the Marvel Action: Spider-Man series, the fact that they set things up way in advance, slip unexpected characters in, and talk about big name characters even before we’ve met them, such as the Kingpin being talked about a lot in the last run of the series.
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I also like how the series sets up the potential of their being something romantic between Gwen and Harry, with Harry flirting with her superhero persona, and Gwen seeming to not only enjoying it but being distracted thinking about it after. There’s always been a thing about Peter and Harry getting into something of a competition over a woman in the history of Spider-Man, and whilst there’s not been any kind of hint that this version of Peter and Gwen have any kind of attraction perhaps this is indicating that maybe this classic story could be revisited in the future.
The rest of the issue is given over to the furthering of the Miles plot and his growing relationship with Mr Schultz (who is totally and completely still going to turn out to be the Shocker). It was nice to see the two of them getting to know each other a little more, and it was good to see Miles treat the revelation about him being a former convict as nothing that really bothers him. With him being the son of a police officer, and a super-hero, it could have been easy to paint him as being flatly against people with criminal pasts, but the fact that he acknowledges that people can make mistakes in their past and learn from them shows a welcome level of maturity and wisdom.
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Issue #2 also manages to fit in a fun fight sequence with a big spider-like robot that takes the heroes through Columbus Circle and down into the subway system. Whilst it’s nothing that is going to wow you or strike you as new and innovative it’s a fun use of different environments taking the fight below the streets, and the drone has a great design that reminded me of the Tachikoma walker robots from Ghost In The Shell.
A great middle issue for a story-line that is giving a much needed spotlight to Miles, and reinventing one of Spider-Man’s more ‘joke’ villains.
Marvel Action: Spider-Man #2.2 is out now from IDW Publishing.