Spidey’s Weekly Web-Up!

ooo! she looks mad! in the ..snow?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN PRESENTS: JACKPOT #3 (Of 3)

So it’s the second week in a row without a new AMAZING to review, and that makes my head hurt.  They’d put THE GAUNTLET on hold for this “Something Can Stop the Juggernaut” story, then they’re taking weeks in between issues.  Gah.  I’ve been spoiled by the new 3-times a month AMAZING publishing schedule.  I’ve been SOOOO HAPPY having a new AMAZING almost every week, that now when they take a break like this, it’s a total drag for me.  I genuinely look forward to new Spidey adventures EVERY week.  It’s comfort food.  Whatever craziness that’s going on in my life at the time, I can always count on Spider-Man to be there every Wednesday to entertain me for the 20 minutes or so it takes me to read it.

Luckily, Spider-Man is just too big for one title, so he makes frequent guest appearances in other books, and has several mini series per year. Last week saw the 1st issue of SPIDER-MAN: FEVER.  This week has the 3rd (and final) issue of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN PRESENTS: JACKPOT.  They’ve had a few of these ASM PRESENTS minis, and I’m really diggin’ ‘em so far.  They take a supporting player in the Spidey Universe, and let them have their own 3-part story. Last time it was ANTI-VENOM.  This time, it was JACKPOT’s turn.

Jackpot is the costumed crimefighter who debuted during the whirlwind year that was SPIDER-MAN: BRAND NEW DAY.  At first, they were kinda trying to get you to think that she was Mary Jane, but that was quickly revealed to NOT be the case, and then, well, the character was killed.  As quickly and mysteriously as she had appeared, she was gone forever.  Except… not.  This IS the world of comics, after all, and dead characters tend to not stay dead for long.

Well, in THIS case, Jackpot really IS dead.  Well, ONE Jackpot is dead.  The Jackpot who appeared in BRAND NEW DAY, Alana Jobson, is dead.  So, what the hell is this mini series about then, anyway?  JACKPOT, of course! The ORIGINAL Jackpot, Sara Ehret.  You see, Sara Ehret became Jackpot when she accidentally injected herself with Lot 777, an experimental drug that gave her enhanced strength and senses.  But, Ehret had a husband, and a young daughter, so she really wasn’t interested in being a super-hero.  She sold the name and image of Jackpot to another young woman, Alana Jobson, who actually WANTED to be a super-hero (Despite the lack of any real super powers).  Jobson was killed on the job, and Spider-Man told Ehret that “with great power comes great responsibility”, or something along those lines, and that SHE ought to be Jackpot from now on.

So the first two issues of JACKPOT saw Sara Ehret trying to juggle her dual lives as both a loving family woman and a somewhat-reluctant super-hero. During a nightly patrol, she inadvertently stumbles upon a new crime operation in town, fronted by arch villain The Rose.  But, wait.  Wasn’t The Rose killed off as well?  Yup. He sure was.  So, who’s this New Rose?  Well, that was the mystery of this mini series.

We’re treated to a handful of colorful super-villains in this story.  In addition to the New Rose, Jackpot (And Spidey, of course) was faced with the return of Boomerang  (Seemingly “Gauntlet-ized” as well.  He’s got a new costume, and seems to be reaching for a Bullseye-level of villainy).  Our heroes also contend with The White Rabbit (A favorite of mine) and, in this final issue, the Armadillo.  So, yeah.  As far as villains, go, the series scores pretty high in my book.

If you read the first two issues, you know that Boomerang has killed Jackpot’s husband, and had an eye on finishing off the entire family. At the start of this issue, Jackpot defends herself and her child, and escapes.  She spends the rest of the issue on the warpath, consumed with rage and wrath, trying to find the Rose, and exact her revenge.  Spider-Man goes along for the ride to keep her in check.  In other words, to keep her from killing anyone.  And, as usual, he provides some classic comic relief. When Spidey and Jackpot make their way to New Rose’s place, Jackpot stops at the door and says,

JACKPOT: Locked.  For all we know, the guy’s home in bed.

SPIDEY: I doubt it.

JACKPOT: Why?

SPIDEY: Y’know what?  I don’t really know.  They just never are.

Moments later, Armadillo crashes through the wall and attacks them.

JACKPOT: What the hell?

SPIDEY: This what you had in mind?

JACKPOT: No.

SPIDEY: I didn’t think so.  This is Armadillo, by the way.  He’s mean.

And so on.  Funny stuff!  By the end, we learn the identity of the New Rose, but what we DON’T learn is WHY he adopted that name.  He has no connection whatsoever to the Fisks, or any organized crime before this story.  Of course, Jackpot knows him, and they have a history, and he has a reason to be pissed at her, however wrong he may be.  All that was fine, I just don’t understand why he had to be THE ROSE.  They could’ve just come up with another name for him.

Still, with that as my biggest complaint, I can say that I did enjoy Guggenheim’s story.  There was enough action, B-list villains, and good Spidey quips to keep me entertained. If you’re into that kinda stuff as much as I am, you probably dug this mini series as much as I did.  And if you missed it, you’ll probably wanna pick up the trade when it comes out.

Next up in the “ASM PRESENTS” spotlight is HARRY OSBORN, in next month’s AMERICAN SON mini series.  I’ll have reviews of that as it hits the shelves.

And that concludes this Weekly Web Up!  See ya next week, Web-Heads!!!!!

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2 Comments to “Spidey’s Weekly Web-Up!”

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  1. jd says:

    Nice review, Mark!
    I had picked up the first issue of this to see if I cared, but then it turned out …I didn’t. So, I’m glad you read it for me, though now i’m curious to see more about the gauntlet-ized Boomerang and this new Rose..I remember the old Rose from the cool Gang-War storyline back in the ..80s? Can’t say I recognize Armadillo though!

    Also, a thought. I remember the death of Jackpot II, and then Spidey tracking down the original JP and telling her to go fight crime?!?! I always thought that was strange. It’s a woman who didn’t want to risk her life and that of her familie’s by fighting crime. I can respect that. It’s like the opposite of Batman, any time anyone puts on a costume, Bats tries to STOP them from risking their lives, etc..
    and now Spidey is convincing people to endanger themselves? Seems a little strange to me..

  2. This is one awesome article.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

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