After an extremely lackluster first arc, Peter Parker’s “return” to the Marvel Universe in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ continues in issues #700.3 and #700.4. During an epic battle with Firebrand, Spider-Man ends up with some pretty severe burns all over his body. He’s so disfigured that he’s unrecognizable to anyone, including the clean up crew from The Black Lodge, the supervillain hospital run by the very creepy (but very dedicated) Surgeon General. But when the staff discovers who he is, Peter is in some big trouble.
Because I was so disappointed by issues #700.1 and #700.2, my hopes for this series had severely decreased. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this story by Joe Casey. The Night Nurse, the physician who deals with injured superheroes, had always interested me whenever she popped up to help people, but now we get to see the other side of the coin and witness how the villains get patched up after a battle. The whole idea was quite intriguing and then to throw a hero in the mix made it all the better.
The whole concept of how far a doctor will go to treat a patient was a fun thing to play with in this story. While the Surgeon General has dedicated himself to healing villains, above all else, he is a physician first. That’s why it’s interesting to see how he handles the situation when he uncovers one of the greatest enemies of his clients.
Another cool thing about these two issues is the supplemental stories that they included. I love Black Cat, so major points to the creative team for throwing in a story featuring Miss Felicia Hardy. Also, I liked how both stories featured little kids being mentored by these heroes. Of course, I use that term lightly in the case of Black Cat, but you get what I’m trying to say. Basically, they were just fun little stories that are perfect for one offs, which is what I was expecting this series to be in the first place.
But going back to the Black Lodge for a second, I hope that they pop up in a book somewhere down the line again. There are plenty of possibilities where we could see the Surgeon General to pop up again and maybe get more of a backstory on him. He could even end up being a pretty decent villain himself if the right writer got his or her hands on him.
As far as this little trip down memory lane with Peter Parker goes, the series is currently at 50/50 in terms of being good. While the first two issues are essentially birdcage lining, these next two books were very awesome. The final chapter of this brief reemergence of the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ also came out this week, but I’ll tackle that one in a separate review. Until then, Joe Casey and his team did a great job with this one.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.4
Written by Joe Casey
Art by Timothy Green, Walden Wong, & Brad Simpson
Cover by Pasqual Ferry & Andres Mossa