Last issue wrapped a two-part story so, before we begin the upcoming Spider-Man vs Doc Ock in space storyline, Marvel has given us one of their “point one” issues. The “point one’ stories are done-in-one issues that provide a good jumping-on spot for new readers. So, if you’re new to Amazing Spider-Man or if you’re curious about the comics with the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ movie coming this summer (and who isn’t?), this issue is a good place to start.

The story revolves around Peter Parker and Uatu Jackson, one of Peter’s co-workers at Horizon Labs. At Horizon, there are seven labs. Each lab houses the workspace for the Horizon team, which is made up of some of the most brilliant scientific minds in the world. But as Uatu points out on the first page, Lab 6 is a mystery lab wherein no one, except Horizon boss Max Modell, knows who works there. This issue, Peter and Uatu work together to uncover what brilliant mind is working in Lab 6. Of course, there’s no way to continue this review without giving the big spoiler for who it is, so…

[Warning: top secret Horizon Labs spoilers below!]

Peter and Uatu are narrowing down the options for who might be in Lab 6. It’s down to several choices, including Zombie Alert Einstein (yes… for real). But the duo’s detective work is shot and all heck breaks loose when the genius in Lab 6 turns out to be none other than Morbius the Living Vampire! Morbius has been working under the cover of Horizon Labs to help create a cure for mutations and, of course, his own vampiric curse. When Morbius tests one of the serums on himself, he loses control of his bloodlust and runs amuck. Now it’s up to Peter and Uatu to contain Morbius until he can get himself back under control! As the story closes, Morbius, who is now in control of himself again, reveals a plan to test his new serum on the Lizard. Of course, I’m sure this storyline will pick back up when the Spider-Man movie hits later this summer.

[Okay… the spoilers are over. You can feel safe reading the rest of the review from here on.]

Dan Slott has crafted a decent little side story. It’s always cool to see Peter working with his friends at Horizon. Of course, being a point one issue, this story does little more than set up a future storyline. It’s a fun read, but unless you’re just starting into Spider-Man titles or are a regular reader like myself, this issue could be easily skipped without missing very much in the way of story development.

The art this issue is by Matthew Clark who is actually a really good fit for the story. His scratchy pencil work is a great match when the denizen of Lab 6 is revealed, since Clark’s work has a very retro feel to it. And, the final splash page would make for an amazing creepy poster. Of course, that stunning cover from John Tyler Christopher would be even better poster material (Get on it, Marvel!).

It’s a fun issue, but not one that does much for the over-all story so, I can only say…

Verdict: Borrow