With Doc Ock running around as Spider-Man (I’m sorry The Superior Spider-Man), you knew eventually things would come crashing down around him. It didn’t take long for parts of his facade to crumble. For example, in Superior Spider-Man #5 he killed Massacre. Yes, Massacre was a violent serial killer who was always killing innocent people, but Peter Parker wouldn’t kill someone. Yet here we see that Doc Ock actually just killed the guy. Not a big loss on the villain spectrum at all, but a total change in dynamic for the wallcrawler.

While the Superior Spider-Man line so far has been taking a look at his new darker side, the Avenging Spider-Man line has been a bit different. The past few issues (and ending in with this issue of Avenging Spider-Man #22), our take on the wallcrawler has been showing that Doc has a larger plan. He’s started a collection.

What do would-be world conquerors who are now pretending to be heroes ever be interested in collecting you might ask? Well, he has decided to collect some old friends and has captured prominent members of the Sinister Six that he’s worked with over the years. This would be great, but Mysterio is supposedly gone (stuck in the Ultimate Marvel Universe which, actually, I’m curious as to how they’ll end up bringing him back as he knows that Spider-Man and Peter Parker are one) and in this issue the first person that he’s chasing after is – Mysterio?

A quick fight shows that it is someone else under the dome when a bullet shatters it – a bullet shot by The Punisher. Yes we’ve got a Frank Castle tie-in in this issue (which makes me wonder where in the continuity is this all happening because right now he’s one of the Thunderbolts and before that he was in prison.)

Spider-Man quickly starts following Mysterio who gets away in the conflict and finds out that he’s run into the Hobgoblin. The original Hobgoblin and not the current impostor flying around. It looks like he’s been selling tech from villain to villain for an unknown reason. The Punisher shows back up and of course things don’t end well. Pretty much both of the villains get away and we’re not really sure why tech is being sold, who is buying it, and why Hobgoblin is actually selling it. It all seems to be part of a larger plan.

Continuity problems above aside, The Punisher and Spider-Man slightly square off over the whole ordeal and it ends up with Castle grudgingly giving Spider-Man his respect. We also see him showing his War Journal which reveals that while he likes Spider-Man’s new outlook on life (now that he has all of the details), he will keep in eye on the Web Head. If he ever steps too far out of line, he’ll be there to deal with it.

Well with it being the last issue of Avenging Spider-Man (until it returns as Spider-Man’s new Team Up comic that’ll be coming in the next few months,) the issue couldn’t let us off without a full tease on the Sinister Six that he’s been collecting. We see Spidey silently sitting in his underground base staring at his ex-teammates (Including the new Mysterio?) who are all pounding on their cages. He’s forming a plan and I really need Superior Spider-Man to catch up with whatever is happening with the Green Goblin to get to this plan because I am dying to see how the return of the Sinister Six is going to tie into this.

It’s truly a shame this run is coming to an end as I’ve loved each and every page of it! I can only hope they keep the Superior Spider-Man this interesting until Peter eventually gets brought back into his own body.

Writer: Christopher Yost
Artist: Marco Checchetto