Peter finds himself going through more changes in the next issue of Ultimate Spider-Man as he deals and learns to control his new powers. But people are on to him. Norman, thanks to Doctor Octopus’s blood sample that he retrieved from Peter last issue, knows full well that Peter has his powers. At this point, Peter of course has not donned the suit and taken the mantle of hero so Norman’s focus is more along the lines of how what worked for Peter could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams.
Capitalism has its benefits and its drawbacks. The biggest benefit of course is the fact that pretty much anyone, with the right resources and ingenuity, can and will get rich. You can read through the history books and see person after person come from nothing to suddenly ruling financial empires because they had the foresight to know that the general public needed something before the public themselves did.
Take Steve Jobs. He was born from Syrian parents who did not have the ability to raise him. They put him up for adoption and he ended up living an upper middle class life in Northern California. Along the way he meets up with folks interested in electronics. They introduce him to home built computers. Who knows what they had planned for those computers but the fact was they were made pretty much as machines that only enthusiasts would enjoy. Inspiration hit him when he thought how useful could be as a personal device. He imagined the personal possibilities the devices could have when others scoffed. But he stuck to it and thanks to him, we live very different lives. For all his faults, he found a way to help make the world much smaller because he had a simple idea that others had no interest in doing.
On the flip side you have douche bags like Martin Shkreli. Anyone reading the news over the past couple months will be familiar with the name. He’s the scumbag who bought into a pharmaceutical company and raised the price on a particular drug many thousands of times over for no reason. His claim was that it was to help fund research into new medicines but only the most deluded accept that answer. He did it to make money. Making money in and of itself is not the problem here. If he were selling car parts than I would say more power to him and think nothing of it. It’s his business. He can do what he wants with it. But when you have someone so vain and full of themselves pull something like this and take a drug that has saved countless lives because he needs to pay for the Wu Tang Clan album they only made one copy of, you see point blank what the excesses of capitalism can bring.
In a lot of ways, this Shkreli ass face is very much like Norman Osborne in our story. Norman has one goal, the preservation of his company. Anything, absolutely anything, which gets in the way of that goal will be brought down like a stack of cards. He even goes so far as to have Doctor Octopus and his team inject him with a purer version of what made Peter powerful in an attempt to make sure this was the real deal.
Peter is finding that with his new powers he can do new things. Due to breaking Flash Thompson’s hand, Aunt May and Uncle Ben were forced to pay for his hospital bills. To find a way to make up for it, he comes across a professional wrestling outfit that appears to be run out of a mall challenging members of the audience to take their main villain down in the ring. As a wrestling fan, this annoyed me. If this story were written in the 60’s that would be one thing because kayfabe, the term used in wrestling which describes the lengths people in that industry went to in order to hide what was really going on from the audience, was very much still in effect then and you hear stories about how wrestlers would challenge folks with stunts like this. However, this comic was written in the early 2000’s, well after the fact when Vince McMahon finally revealed that wrestling was very much a form of entertainment. I could be wrong. Maybe stuff like this still happens somewhere in the country but the wrestling stunt was just something I did not believe.
Also, for the sake of argument let’s say that a scene like this happened. You see later in the story that Peter ends up working for the wrestling company someplace else. What business man worth their weight in salt would allow someone whose name they don’t know to perform a physical activity that could set them up for future liability lawsuits if Peter were to screw up and hurt someone in the ring? At the very least the wrestling gig gets Peter his suit. We had to get to this point.
This is not the best issue. It’s a necessary issue but not a very good one because a lot is happening here that if you think about it logically just makes no sense. Sure, some may say that it’s a comic, I shouldn’t be thinking too hard about what is going on. I disagree. The best stories, regardless of genre and who the audience is for, should have an internal logic that makes sense. At any time during your read that you encounter a moment where you just shake your head as to why something is going on, you’re losing the reader. When you have established that a character cannot do something like play a simple game of basketball like Peter in the story and out of nowhere, simply because he has his powers he’s the star of the basketball team, you have to explain how he got the powers. Getting the proportional strength of a spider doesn’t necessarily mean you get sweet moves on the basketball court. Show me how he got the moves.
The art work is once again pretty solid. No real complaints. Sometimes the best art in a comic is work that does its job so well you don’t notice it. While we don’t have an iconic shot like Batman posing in the moonlight in The Dark Knight Returns, the art goes a long way of placing you in this world. Well done.