Home > Marvel Comics > Sensational Spider-Man (2006 Series) #36

Sensational Spider-Man (2006 Series) #36

March 26, 2007

Quick Rating: Good
Title: The Strange Case Of… Part Two (Back in Black)
Rating: A

Someone is creating fake Spider-Men – can the real one round them up in time to save their lives?

Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Pencils: Ramon Bachs
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: Cory Petit
Editor: Warren Simons
Cover Art: Clayton Crain
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Freed from the shackles of not talking about why Spider-Man is in his black costume again, part two of “The Strange Case Of…” is considerably better than part one. Still waiting for word on whether or not May is going to survive being shot by one of the Kingpin’s snipers, Peter is confronted with another bizarre threat. Someone is kidnapping teenage boys, granting them approximations of his powers, putting them in versions of the costumes he’s worn over the years and sending them out into the city. As Peter rounds them up, he finds out that some of them are transforming even further, becoming more spider than man, and unless he and his big brained friends can figure out what’s happening to them and how it’s happening, they may all die.

It’s amazing, but just being able to say “Aunt May has been shot” is remarkably freeing to this comic book. No more pretending we don’t know why he’s in black, no more avoiding the subject of why he’s so gloomy – not only can Aguirre-Sacasa say it, but he can deal with it, and that small thing is remarkably freeing. The villain’s plot in and of itself is fairly interesting – it plays off the unmasking fairly well, but still remains a solid old-school mad scientist story.

I’m also a much bigger fan of the art this issue. I know a lot of people were in love with the Todd McFarlane-style art that Angel Medina brought to the book last issue, but this issue Ramon Bachs comes to the plate with a style that very much evokes Mike Zeck and Kraven’s Last Hunt. When reading this story in collected form, the shift in style will likely be quite jarring, but looking at this issue in and of itself, I consider it a significant improvement.

This is a pretty good issue. Unfortunately, three of the four in-continuity Spider-Man titles are unable to really develop the character right now – they’re all marking time to see what happens in Amazing, but Aquirre-Sacasa is taking the circumstances handed to him to tell a story that, while it probably won’t turn out to have any lasting importance, is at least interesting.

Rating: 7/10

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