This issue marks the beginning of Spider-Man's biggest event in a while. Honestly, I am pretty excited to see what takes place in this story. There's been lots of speculation over the last few weeks about what will take place.
The issue starts with Spidey talking to himself, proud that he has it all together. He's been stopping lots of crime recently, inventing new gadgets and working on three super hero teams. He stops some small time robbers and is congratulated by the citizens and cops. Apparently, of late, everyone seems to love Spider-Man again. Mayor Jameson however is having some problems however. Reason being that his campaign against Spider-Man is no longer gaining the attention of the public.
Returning to Spider-Man, we see him rushing from one crime scene to another. We see that he has a few new gadgets ( again ). Among them is a new suit he is wearing which can change from Spidey gear, to his FF gear, and even civilian clothes. As Peter, we see him successfully selling his new invention to his boss and coworkers at Horizon labs.
The story really kicks off when Carlie gives Peter a call stating that she has to tell him something. While on the phone, she is seen taking out a robber with one hand! ( Shes been infected). Peter agrees to talk with her later that night.
After the phone call, Peter almost gets hit by a bus, but is saved by Phil Urich, aka the Hobgoblin. Peter can't believe how helpless he is without his Spider-sense. He then notices that Phil is with Norah, and the two appear to be dating. Norah then says something that reminds Peter that he's supposed to be at the Baxter Building.
Finally moving away from Peter, we see a small, seemingly unnecessary scene of Jay and Aunt May, spending their last night in NY. We also see a young man, cornered, being attacked by two thugs for losing their money. He takes them both out easily, able to stick to the wall and do other Spider moves. He is then approached by the Jackal who gives him a card and sends him on a mission.
Back at the Baxter building, we see the kids, and Sue being sent off to New Atlantis as a safety precaution, in case the sinister six have booby trapped the place. While the Baxter Building is being quarantined, the rest of the FF will be staying with the Avengers. While still in the Baxter Building, Peter gets a call from MJ, who reminds him not to bee too busy with Spider-Man. She basically reminds him that it is Aunt May's last night in NY, and that Betty is still in the hospital by herself. ( Flash is away on duty again )
The scene then changes to Flash, who has just trashed an army of bad guys. He then requests to make a phone call to Betty. Betty appears to be doing fine, working from the hospital as she sees quite an interesting story building up in there - loads of people coming into the hospitals with Spider like powers.
In the Avenger's tower, the team, just like Susan said, are all sitting down playing poker. It is established that Spider-Man was never invited to play poker before because:
- He had Spider- sense
- He had no money
I just had to insert that in here because I found it pretty amusing. Spidey leaves the game early though to go for his Kung-fu practice. As his final lesson, Spider-Man has to fight against the new Madame Web aka Julia Carpenter. The fight goes pretty well, except that Madame Web mentions he has a weakness - his inability to use his killing stroke.
Spidey refuses to use a killing stroke on anyone ever. Madame Web insists however that he will need to use it in order to face what is to come. Peter returns to his room to find Carlie waiting for him, still wanting to talk. With all that's on his mind, Peter convinces Carlie to save it for the morning.
Just when you think the story ends, we have yet another scene - The Jackal. The Jackal enters a hidden base with who we will later find out is Kaine - ressurected and more Spider-like than ever before. In the lab, the Jackal has four copies of his human self working ( pretty impressive) Apparently however, the Jackal is answering to a higher person ( a lady ), plotting the whole Spider-Island deal.
This lady provides Jackal with a perfect copy of someone,(Peter I assume) and asks to perform the "procedure" on it. Although filled with doubt, he agrees to perform the procedure. We then see the man ( who was to be experimented on ) transform into a Spider-like beast, an exact copy of what Kaine now looks like. He bursts out trying attack. The Jackal orders Kaine to take him out. A fight however is not necessary as as the mystery lady is able to control it. She then states that whatever they were working on is working perfectly, and that she will soon be able to control this island of spiders.
Well, there's a whole lot to discuss here in this issue. As a first issue to the biggest event in a while, I thought this was absolutely fantastic. All the bases are covered. A number of important points are covered here. Firstly, we see a few new gadgets Peter as invented. It is also highlighted pretty strongly that Peter's life as Spider-Man is going pretty well. There seems to be quite a strong trust relationship, on Carlie's part at least, between Carlie and Peter.
Some small, seemingly pointless scenes, including Jameson, MJ, and Aunt May, take place. Obviously there will be some significance later. The Mayor will be in for a fit when he finds out that Spider-Men are swinging around. We know that MJ will be playing a key role later on in the story, so I suppose it would make sense to add her in early. Personally, I like it that way.
As with many others, I'm looking forward to see Venom's role in Spider-Island. Moving on the the bad guys, the Jackal, is portrayed as clever and witty as ever - even cracking a few jokes that I actually laughed at. The resurrected Kaine really looks like he's in a sad mess. I have absolutely no clue as to who Kaine's clone was, or where he came from.
Finally, as for who the Mystery lady, whose words appear in red is, there have been lots of of speculation, some even thinking that it could be the clone of Gwen Stacy. ( I hope not) For more speculation and predictions on the end results of Spider-Island, check out Spidey Speculation on ... Spider-Island.