By Hervé St-Louis
January 20, 2009 - 21:06
Peter Parker’s best friend, Betty Brant, describes her friendship with Parker. She hopes that Peter Parker will not forget her to give her a great birthday party. But Parker is unreliable as he lives most of his life as Spider-man, capturing villains that look like Lex Luthor and the Hobgoblin. Will Parker give Brant a birthday bash that she will remember or will his life as Spider-man get in the way?
Besides the Barack Obama appearance, this issue is interesting, offering some much-needed characterization to some secondary Spider-man characters, and building up the tension in Peter Parker’s life. It’s not the type of story that will be memorable, or even set up for a larger storyline. But it’s a good break for this reader.
Now the meat. I admit to having little time to bother with the controversy around the Barack Obama insert and various comments on it. It seems like the comic book industry is again involved in one of those belly button debate about stuff that doesn’t matter nor change the lives of many people. I’m not even sure what the furor over the Barack Obama issue is, and it seems that it doesn’t affect me because I don’t care.
Was the story with Barack Obama any good? Well, it read like an expanded Hostess advertisement using super heroes that were published in the 1970s and 1980s. A villain masquerades as President Obama, and it’s up to Spider-man to figure out which one is the real one. It’s a simple story, and there’s not much to say about it.
The artwork for the Obama insert was bad. Surely, Marvel Comics could have found a better artist that can capture Barack Obama. He doesn’t have high cheekbones. But then again, all of Nauck's characters look the same! I felt that Barry Kitson’s part was weaker, now that Mark Farmer was assigned as his inker. If Marvel Comics could go back to the previous team that corrected the weaknesses of Kitson’s work, his run on Spider-man would be priceless.
Rating: 5 /10