MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER reviews AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #645!!!!

SPIDEY’S WEEKLY WEB-UP

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #645

ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES, PART 4

STORY: Mark Waid

ART: Paul Azaceta & Matthew Southworth

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 SPIDEY’S WEEKLY WEB-UP! This week, AMAZING is back with the penultimate chapter of MARK WAID’s ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES.

Last time out, Spidey was duped by THE CHAMELEON (Posing as Harry Osborn) into thinking that the newborn baby that Spidey had been fighting an army of super-villains to protect had just died. Spidey flew into a rage, swearing to punish DR. OCTOPUS for this horrific tragedy.

So Peter cooks up a fresh batch of web fluid, and pounds the pavements and stalks the seedier sections of the city, pursuing the villains who had just been pursuing him, trying to get the lowdown on Otto’s whereabouts. The issue begins with a terrified HYPNO HUSTLER bursting into a police station seeking protection. He’s followed by a webbed-up ball of beaten villains: DIABLO, OVERDRIVE, and THE SPOT. Our anger-driven hero then confronts SCREWBALL and THE LOOTER on a rooftop, making short work of them.

Quick side note… I LOVE Screwball. The character concept is fun, and her whole attitude is great. Looter approaches her, and she turns to face him… “Back off, loser!” “No, no. LOOTER. LOOTER. Not ‘loser’.” Good stuff!

Yaay, Screwball! Call me!

Meanwhile, MJ and LILY HOLLISTER, still holed up in the panic room, are menaced by a determined TOMBSTONE, who trailed CARLIE COOPER to find them. Been diggin’ the occasional appearances of Tombstone, I must say. They really didn’t do much with him for the longest time, and It’s nice to have him back in the regular rotation of Rogues.

Then we’re treated to a series of panels showing a succession of defeated villains, fresh from their unfortunate encounters with Spider-Man. There’s VERMIN. Or is that FREAK again? Hard to say. Nice to see the Spidey Spotlight back in use, though. Then ELECTRO, then… wait the THIRD one’s gotta be VERMIN. Hmmm… with all the villains involved in this story, it probably would’ve been wise to NOT have two furry, pointy-eared villains with sharp incisors used in the same sequence. Just a little confusing. Still, the point here is that Spidey’s fucking shit up and taking names all over the place, and that message is read loud and clear.

Spidey finally gets the information he needs after a brief scuffle with SANDMAN, THE ENFORCERS, and SHOCKER. I love how badass Spidey is in this scene, employing some psychological warfare before the physical attack. And Spidey is ALL business here, no wisecracks. Even in GRIM HUNT, he made a few zingers, but we’re talking a dead baby here. Not a hint of humor to be found from Spider-Man. He uses one of Shocker’s gauntlets to zap Sandman, then gets the dirt from a drowning Shocker… Otto’s at Kravinoff Mansion. What’s this? ANOTHER big climactic showdown at the Kravinoff Mansion already? Déjà vu all over again?

Not quite, though we do get a little bit of a repeat from GRIM HUNT. Spidey gets to the mansion to find Otto gone, but he does manage to find an injured Chameleon. Remember in GRIM HUNT, when Spidey stalked Chameleon and pulled him through the windows of the mansion? Well, here he stalks him and pulls him through the wall. So, Otto’s gone, and so’s the baby. But Otto doesn’t have him. And he’s not happy about it. He threw Chameleon around in a fit when he didn’t deliver.

So now Spidey knows that the baby is in fact alive. And he also knows who has the baby now. I won’t spoil it… it’s a doozy! And ANOTHER great ending and parting shot!

This storyline ROCKS! Never a dull moment, terrific supporting cast. The first few issues had some good comedy, and now we’ve got a wonderfully pissed off Spider-Man. Cigars all around for the creative team! Next week, we’ll have the thrilling conclusion, presumably featuring another battle between Spider-Man and Dr. Octopus! If you ask me, that shit NEVER gets old. And toss in the surprise kidnapper, and things should get really interesting.

STORY: A++

ART: B+

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

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(MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER is the resident Poptards Spider-Man nut, and the author of SPIDEY’S WEEKLY WEB-UP right here on this site! Also, true to his name, he is the writer/director of the locally made films DAISY DERKINS, DOGSITTER OF THE DAMNED!, EVIL BREW, and THE HALF-LIFE HORROR FROM HELL or: IRRADIATED SATAN ROCKS THE WORLD!)

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