The last issue until the conclusion of Giant Size at the Chameleon plot, and it’s a bit disappointing. I understand that all big events have to end in these giant sized issues in order to end Spencer’s run at number 74, but these latest issues made it seem like he was just walking on water. It’s to the point that Marvel brought in Ed Brisson to help keep the ship afloat, but it didn’t work as well in this issue as it did in the last issue. There is a bit of a shock at the end, and I wonder how it’s going to play out in the next grim war.
There is very little that the Chameleon is plotting, his involvement with Teresa, the Finisher. The subplot featuring Ned’s return has only a few panels, and the rest are dedicated to Peter, the Stranger, Chance, the Jack O’Lanterns gang (plural), Jamie, and his invention the Catalyst. It’s just a big mash up, and reads like you’re on Adderall for ADHD, you might want to skip a dose because the focus is all over it.
It’s rather a bit of a pain that I didn’t enjoy this problem as much as I expected. Spencer has so many of my favorite elements of the Spider-Man myth here: The Chameleon, one of my favorite underrated villains, The Stranger, CHASE, CHASE, CHASE !!!!!! Ned & Betty, Slyde and many Jack O’Lanterns (a DeFalco alumnus), but it just doesn’t work for me. We still don’t know why Teresa is here, or why Spencer resurrected the Finisher. I know the story isn’t over, but it hasn’t done absolutely nothing in this arc, and it’s frustrating. The chameleon either, by the way.
Part of the problem seems to be the three numbers and a giant-sized special scenario format that he’s been using lately, and that’s very evident with this number. Hopefully he can get things back on track before his run is over, as I mostly enjoyed his run, but a weak ending can sometimes make or break a creator’s legacy with a character.
The artist team pulled out some decent, but lackluster art with this issue. Maybe because the problem is pervasive and the flow with the different subplots from artist to artist has been a huge factor in the inconsistency. The characters all look alike, but they lack that something that should be there. The schedule has certainly let this team down, and this arc deserves better.