Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Ryan Ottley & Francesco Mobili
Colors: Nathan Fairbairn & Erick Arcinega
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release date March 11th 2020
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
Ryan Ottley and Nick Spencer reunite after a fun little detour with J. Jonah Jameson and Chance, and we even return to the Boomerang/Spider-Man team-ups our wall-crawler never asked for. So, with many different lingering stories left to resolve, this arc is a return to the Mayor Fisk plotline, where when we last saw him in the pages of ASM he had sent dangerous men in pursuit of Fred Meyers (Boomerang). We are finally given all the details why.
The issue is a whole lot of recapping. When its not using exposition to recap events from past storylines, its using a montage format to move the story along in the here-and-now present. Boomerang and Spider-Man have had a fun dynamic together in Spencer’s run, Spencer being no stranger to the character. I found this issue to be one of the more lacking in that fun department. Their shtick together isn’t played up as much as I would like; there isn’t a lot of witty banter between the two, there aren’t any awkward situations we see the two fall into together for a laugh, in fact, most of their time together, montage or otherwise, is Boomerang explaining the situation involving himself, the Lifeline Tablet, and Kingpin to Spider-Man, and the two fighting a swarm of Vermin clones. There actually isn’t much comedy with Boomerang here, and that’s a shame since its one of Spencer’s stronger points with the character.
No, its a relatively routine Spencer issue once you get past the fragmented story-telling and flashbacks. We push forward with another of Spencer’s many unfinished or revisited story angles juggled in ASM. Spider-Man and Boomerang go on a National Treasure hunt, and Wilson Fisk threatens his scientific minions to unearth the tablet pieces before he loses his chance to use them for himself. The story really implies that Fisk only wants the artifact to revive his dead wife, while both Spider-Man and Boomerang believe he means to use its powers to become a god. While any good hero would, of course, assume the worst, I really wonder if his desires are as simple as that; bringing back the woman he loves, and maybe his Vanessa is more than enough. The powers that the tablet are nothing more to him if he can only bring her back. I almost want to believe that’s the most he’d do with such power.
The issue ends with a secondary story showing the Lethal Legion breaking into a facility, and you’d be forgiven if you assumed this was a tease of yet another brand new incoming plot for later, but its actually a tie-in towards the inevitable Sin-Eater story, which is itself a story branching back to the Kindred. We are only nine issues away from issue fifty, where we can all guess the Kindred arc will finally come to its climax.
Boomerang has been an asset to this book, but somehow this Spidey/Boomer story doesn’t feel as if its playing with its strengths as much as Spencer’s previous Boomerang-centric issues. The issue itself is mostly recaps and montages to explain the full extent of the Kingp–I mean Mayor Fisk’s involvement with the book. It’s just an alright issue that didn’t bore me, but didn’t excite me either.