Hello, I’m a unicorn, and it’s our one year anniversary!
It has been a busy year, with aliens from other dimensions knocking at my door and hiding in my closet, making new friends, new enemies, discovering an inter-dimensional highway in my basement, forcing myself through one of the worst books I’ve ever read, and having a voice in the head of a superhero from another dimension named Textbox attach himself to me and my house. My life has gotten weird.
And it only gets weirder from here.
That’s comforting. For this very special review, I thought I’d go back to my roots with another issue of the Spider-man arc that started it all: Spider-man Big Time. In all honesty, when I look back at the review, I think it was a bit harsh. I still find Carlie Cooper annoying and the scene where Peter and MJ laugh at the idea of their marriage still makes me angry, but I respect that the writer is finally letting Spidey catch a break and that he’s called out for acting childish. Do I like the story arc? No, but it isn’t nearly as bad as I made it out to be.
Previously on Spider-man Big Time: Peter, through his own stupidity, is out of a job and an apartment. While he’s looking to crash at a friend’s house, Aunt May is trying to get him a job at Horizon Labs. He scores an interview and gets the job after saving his potential boss from an experiment gone awry. Meanwhile, two reporters named Ben Ulrich and Norah are investigating a Green Goblin gang, someone’s experimenting on a Venom bonded Scorpion and a mysterious person has it out for Mayor J Jonah Jameson.
And now for the review: Our comic opens with the Hobgoblin shooting at soldiers in the South American Dictatorship of Delvadia. This is dated a few weeks ago, and a voiceover talks about how he’s just evil enough for the job. The job isn’t specified, it’s just a vague thing that they need HobbyGobby to do, like maybe work as that telemarketer that always calls at dinner time, or literally steal candy from babies. It’s revealed that the HobbyGobby is talking to a cowboy named Montana. We cut to present day, where they talk more about this vague job with none other than the Kingpin. He wants to be sure that HobbyGobby is his man by asking him to “say it”. To which Hobgoblin replies “I’m your Hobgoblin.” In slight seriousness, that dialogue gave me Twilight flashbacks, and that is not okay. Hobgoblin is given a dossier and heads to one of Norman Osborne’s old Goblin hideouts. HobbyGobby literally sniffs out Ben, the reporter with a crush on Norah. Hobby lifts Ben by the collar and is about to kill him when Ben starts laughing maniacally. Apparently his hyena-like laughter shorts out people’s brains or something, because the Hobgoblin falls to his knees, clutching his head in pain. Ben takes this opportunity to kill HobbyGobby by beheading him. I’d make a pun about how HobbyGobby used to have a good head on his shoulders, but if I do I think I’ll be the one losing my head. Ben decides to take up the mantle of the Hobgoblin and to use the previous Goblin’s head as a paperweight.
We cut to Norah, who is going undercover in a Goblin Gang. They’re revealed to just be a bunch of racists, which Norah wises up to pretty quickly. Unfortunately, one of the members realizes that she’s not who she says she is. Norah is rescued by Spidey and the–
You mean the Black Cat.
No, I mean the Butt Cat. Just look how she’s drawn:
You’re right, she is the Butt Cat. I loved Felicia in the 90’s Animated series, but man, this is bad, and it’s not even the worst example. In every panel, she twists her body in impossible angles so her boobs and butt are seen at the same time. It took me a second to realize what was going on in this panel. It looked like she was falling on the mook bottom first, not that she was kicking him in such a ridiculous way. That cannot be a comfortable way to kick someone. After the mooks are all tied up in a neat little package for the police, Spidey rushes home to get a good nights sleep before starting his new job.
As soon as he puts away his suit, there is a knock at the door. It is none other than the Relationship Sue herself, Carlie Cooper. I really hate this character. She’s always shilled as the perfect match, even by Mary Jane, and is just plain grating. Any post One More Day love interest for Peter was going to get some heat, but making them “too perfect” for one another just makes things worse. It feels like her creator is jumping up and down saying “See? MJ, the wife of Peter for nearly twenty years and the mother of his child, isn’t the perfect match for him! It’s this nerdy Gwen Stacy wannabe who is basically a composite of every single love interest he’s had, even the other characters agree!” One of my favorite moments from a later issue is when MJ echoes every readers’ sentiments by wishing that Carlie would just jump off a cliff. I know it’s meant to show her as jealous and a little mean spirited, but I couldn’t help agreeing. Carlie Cooper, please jump off a cliff. That way I won’t have to suffer through another scene where she nearly discovers Peter’s secret identity like the one in this issue.
The next day, at the new offices of the Daily Bugle, Robbie Robertson is giving a rousing speech about the future of the Bugle. His son, Randy, and Phil Ulrich show up. Ben is jealous because Randy and Norah are an item, and Norah decides to drop the Goblin Gang investigation. That’s about all that happens.
We cut to Peter, who is woken up by Aunt May because she broke into his apartment to make him breakfast, pick out his clothes, and hold his hand all the way to the first day of his new job. Look, I know Peter often acts infantile, but this is ridiculous. He’s a grown man. The end of the scene is a little sweet, but the buildup is a bit weird. I mean, imagine your mom breaking into your house on the first day of your job. That’s some Doctor Phil episode fodder right there.
In a brief interlude, Mayor Jameson’s son gives up his day to receive the key to the city so Spider-man can have it. Meanwhile, a group of scientists are studying the Scorpion while the Beetle talks about how the Scorpion die without a venom or a venom substitute.
Peter meets two other scientists working in the lab. One is a hippy named Bella and the other is a pipsqueak genius named Uatu. After the obligatory “with great power comes great responsibility” line from his new boss, he spends the day struggling to come up with an invention. Peter, being the genre savvy person that he is, tempts fate by thinking that he needs a Spidey problem in order to come up with an idea. Of course, because the three fates have a sense of humor, the new Hobgoblin shows up at precisely that moment. When Peter show up as Spidey to fight, Bengoblin does the hyena laugh from before, and the comic ends with Spidey at his mercy.
Overall, I’m not a huge fan of the comic. it’s not necessarily the story-line that bothers me, it’s the little things like how Peter acts less mature than a middle schooler, Carlie Cooper being Carlie Cooper, and the art. The majority of the issues I have can be summed up with this image:
At first, it looks okay, but look at the lack of lips on Peter and Aunt May. It makes them look like scarecrows. The artist seems to have an aversion to lips, so it feels off. I know there are people who like the style, but I really don’t care for it. I was definitely too harsh on the last issue, but this story-line just isn’t my favorite. Instead, I’d recommend reading Maximum Carnage, which was controversial, but I really enjoyed it, and Kraven’s Last Hunt, which was fantastic. Don’t get it confused with Kraven’s First Hunt, which was not very good, and I might get around to reviewing one day.
And finally, I want to say thank you to all my readers for their support and making me feel welcome in this wide and scary place called the Internet. It’s been one long, crazy year, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. May the next year be as fun and wacky as the last.
*All images belong to their respective owners.