Secret Wars: Amazing Spider-Man
Renew Your Vows # 2
"Because we said so, That's why"
While issue number 1 seemed like a good way to end the story of this alternate earth Spider-Man, it appears that his story and the consequences of his actions are not over yet.
Years after hving killed Venom in the last issue to prevent harm from ever coming to his family, Peter still finds it hard to sleep at night, feeling guilty about what he had done.
His daughter Annie too finds it difficult to sleep, still having nightmares of Venom taunting her at night. As it turns out, Annie, like her father, too has spider powers and can stick to walls. Both Peter and Annie have "inhibitors," specially designed to prevent Regent's scanners from detecting them.
As usual, the Parker family is having monetary problems. MJ is still trying to make it as an actress while Peter is still taking photos for the Bugle, except without the special appearances of Spider-Man. Hiding from Regent and his men also means that he can't climb up walls to take better photos like he used to.
Over at school, MJ reminds Annie once again not to stand out or to use her powers, even if it seems like the right thing to do at the time.
Meanwhile, Peter is busy trying to get some photos that might sell. He comes across D-Man, a former hero, fighting Rhino, Shocker and Boomerang. Not too far away however, Luke Cage and Mockingbird are watching from afar, wondering if they should help. Mockingbird check's in with SHIELD, now headed by an unknown character. The two are instructed to stand down as a hero who is dumb enough to show himself in public is not worth their exposure.
The defeated D-Man is taken to Regent, who is unimpressed with the worthless catch. He orders for D-Man to be inspected and dissected for research purposes. Shocker, having proven himself, is promoted to the Elite force of his team. At that moment, a report comes in from one of the scanners that a little girl with super powers has been detected at the same school that Annie goes to.
When Peter hears about the news at the Bugle, he rushes to Annie's school, exposing himself as Spider-Man with his fancy maneuvers. Though he instructs MJ to stay behind, MJ too rushes to aid her daughter.
Over at school, Annie watches as several of her friends, whom she just found out had powers fight for their lives against Regent's men. Annie contemplates helping them, but not before her father shows up and breaks the party for the bad guys. Peter, in his hoodie, tells the kids to run while he takes care of the bad guys. Unlike before, Peter does not banter or make any jokes while fighting. The fight ends quickly and the bad guys are sent back to Regent empty handed.
Upon hearing that Spider-Man is still alive somewhere, Regent assembles his Elite Squad - the Sinister Six, comprising of Kraven the Hunter, Vulture, Dr Octopus, Mysterio, Shocker, and the Hobgoblin.
Meanwhile, back at the Parker Residence, Peter prepares his family to leave town and run. MJ however has other plans as she knows that they can not run from Regent. She unpacks an old Venom inspired black Spider-Man costume, though it terrified her once before, for Peter to use and hide in the shadows as Spider-Man.
When Annie sees the costume, she freaks, recognizing it as the "Shadow" that comes to her in her nightmares. Peter promises his daughter that it isn't real and that Venom will never come to haunt her again as he got rid of it long ago.
This issue was pretty good providing a means for a possibly very interesting story. Contrary to what the cover implies, Venom is not actually physically present in this issue. Instead, the story focuses more on Peter and his super powered daughter, trying to live in a world where supers are being hunted. ( Really sounds like the Incredibles)
Mary Jane too plays an equally important role as the powerless, yet powerful mother who overcomes all her fears for the safety of her daughter, including her once childish fear of the Venom costume which Annie now understandably shares.
I particularly enjoyed her short conversation with Annie just as she dropped her off at school, reminding her daughter that her powers do no make her special and that she is special either way, to which Annie goes on to assume that it is because of her red hair which he got from her mother.
Unfortunately, the Parker Luck, though used slightly out of the usual context in this story, follows Peter even to his married life as his family is still not financially stable, even years later. I enjoyed seeing the positivity from Annie, as a child who believed the Parker Luck to be a good thing.
In a world that seems hopeless for Peter and his family, there is yet a sliver of hope as Luke Cage and a few others working for SHIELD are still out there working up a plan of rebellion.
When this series first came out, I had hoped that it would continue on after Secret Wars. After reading issue two however, though it is a great story, I'm not too sure I would like to be reading about a Spider-Man who is constantly in hiding from an overpowered villain. It would also not be the same without most of the other big Marvel heroes that add support to the stories.
With that being said, I do hope that the series is not rushed too quickly with the few heroes easily defeating Regent after he just defeated all the heroes in one issue. That would simply be a terrible story!