Spoilers ahead for Marvel Action: Spider-Man!
So, the Shocker story-line has come to a close much in the way that I was anticipating. The villain was brought down, and revealed to be exactly who we all thought he was going to be, but despite this resolution being something that I was pretty sure about from the very first issue it was still a really entertaining read. Brandon Easton is really good at telling his superhero story, but he’s even better at telling a human story, and that’s what makes this final part of the story really work.
The stuff with Shocker is pretty standard fare. He’s upgraded his suit and is more powerful than ever, using his powered-up abilities to hold the city to ransom. His new suit is pretty cool, and is what you’d get if you mashed together Iron Man‘s hulk-buster armour and Shocker. Whilst this is a bit of a stark visual change, thanks to the standard Shocker suit having some vaguely Iron Man hints to the design it isn’t too big of a change to this version of the character.
It even proves to make more sense for Shocker to be in some kind of armour rather than his normal quilted jacket as the heroes make a point of him needing to be insulated from his vibrations. I know that that’s what the classic Shocker’s suit is supposed to do, but it always looked a little hokey and weird, but this big armour looks like something that would actually work and do that job.
The action scenes are pretty good once they get going, and the powered-up Shocker is actually one of the more impressive villains the heroes have had to take on. He’s not just a physical challenge for them, but is able to cause substantial property damage and a risk to civilians in ways that some of the other villains haven’t.
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Now, to talk a bit more about the story and character elements I’ve got to go into spoilers, so if you don’t want to know stuff skip ahead to the next paragraph. So, it turns out that Shocker is actually Mr Schultz, Miles’ teacher. The revelation isn’t a complete surprise, but the effect it has on Miles is the important part. He spent so much of this issue thinking that his mentor was a victim, or being forced to help the Shocker in some way. He wanted to believe that Schultz was a good man, and refused to think he was the villain. Whilst this is a definite blow to Miles it does go to highlight that Miles has a good support network around him, that he’s able to rely on his friends and parents to support him. This definitely plays into one of the bigger themes of the entire Marvel Action: Spider-Man series, that friendship can help get you through.
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This issue seems to put the Shocker story-line completely to bed, and it seems like Miles is relatively okay come the end, so I don’t know if this will have any lasting consequences for the book or the characters. If there are other things to come that tie into this I’m excited to see them, but if not this story still proves to be a great jumping on point for the next volume. It shows how the characters work together, and how important their team is to keeping them being successful heroes.
Marvel Action: Spider-Man #3 is out now from IDW Publishing.