Story: Mark Waid

Art: Paul Azaceta

Review: Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner

Hola, Arachno-philes! Tis I, your favorite Amazing Spider-Fan and local indie horror icon MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER, with another installment of the Weekly Web-Up! This time, we’ll be taking a look at Part One of Mark Waid’s ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES. OMIT’s finally over. So what does THIS tale have in store for us?

Page one begins at “the abandoned Kravinoff Estate”. There’s a brief exchange between ELECTRO and HAMMERHEAD. OK, already, I’m diggin’ this story. And it gets better. A mystery villain cloaked in shadows has assembled several of Spider-Man’s Rogue’s Gallery (including MYSTERIO, SANDMAN, MORBIUS, and others) and sends them on a top-secret mission to retrieve something of extreme importance to him.

From there, we’re taken to a photography convention, where Peter Parker is about to sell the camera which he used to make his living with (For much less than it’s worth), because it’s the only thing he has left that has any real monetary value (He’s still unemployed, you see). Betty Brant saves the camera by spotting Pete some money until he gets back on his feet again. Pete returns to his apartment to find his roommate Michelle hosting a rummage sale of all his stuff, to make up for his share of the rent that he hasn’t paid yet.

All she’s left for him is an ugly sweater that MJ got for him as a gag gift once. And, of course, Pete’s got a date lined up with Carlie Cooper, and all he’s got left to wear is this sweater, even though he hates it and it’s way too hot for a sweater outside. Can Pete’s luck GET any worse? Well, of COURSE it can! He IS cursed with the dreaded “Parker Luck”, after all. Once he arrives at the Coffee Bean to meet Carlie, he finds her there hanging out with Harry Osborn and MJ, who are telling Carlie all kinds of embarrassing stories about him. You get the sense that he’s just WISHING that something would happen to interrupt this scene, but NOTHING could prepare him for what happens next!

Hmmm… what can I say here that WON’T spoil any surprises? Well, not much, I guess. But, suffice to say, the scene gets pretty wild. We get the return of a character we haven’t seen in a while, in a very precarious situation, indeed. Then, we get the big reveal of just WHO the major villain in the story is, and a tussle between Spider-man and the villain’s goons, SHOCKER and TOMBSTONE.

So, yeah. After the underwhelming conclusion of OMIT, we’re right back to more fast-paced, action-packed Spidey fun, with good comedy, classic villains, and some nice artwork. Yay!!!!! This makes me very happy, indeed. We’ve got four of the Sinister Six in here, as well as THE SPOT!!!! AWESOME!!!! I’m all about this one. Good thing, too. 6 issues can be a very long time when the story doesn’t grab you. Oh, and beautiful cover art, also. So let’s wrap this one up, shall we?

STORY: A +. Thanks, Mark Waid!!!! Great first chapter. Starts with a bang, and sucks you in. Kudos!

ART: A. I really dig Azaceta’s work. It sorta kinda reminds me of Mignola. My only problem is that he draws some big lips in a few panels. The panel where Carlie screams “Peter? Peter, where’d you GO?!” is the worst case of this. Carlie’s usually adorable, but in that instance, she’s cartoonishly grotesque, like a Dick Tracy villain. LIPS MANLIS’ daughter, maybe.

And THAT is THE WORD, so sayeth THE MASTER!!!!

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