"What Goes Up"
Writer: Sean McKeever
Artists: Mike Norton (p), Jonathan Glapion (i)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Gravity finds himself getting his head handed to him by Black Death, but manages to escape and explains his numerous bumps and bruises by saying he was mugged. A dejected Greg spends the next few days in a funk as he's seriously questioning whether his plan to become a super-hero is even remotely close to being a good idea. He's then offered another path that doesn't look quite as difficult to make his way down.
Sean McKeever continues his homage to the early days of Spider-Man by offering up classic personal crisis moments that Peter Parker has faced so often that it even has its own catch phrase that readers like to attach to this well worn plot device. Yes, this issue of the miniseries has our young hero faced with the "Spider-Man no more!" hurdle, but unlike the dozens of times that Peter Parker has decided to toss out his costume, Sean McKeever actually has the added advantage that it's entirely possible that his lead character could very well follow through on the decision to hang up his costume. If nothing else, except for a brief moment of success when he defeated the Rhino, our young hero hasn't exactly been given much in his super-hero life to encourage his continued efforts, and he has a wealth of reasons why a normal life would look very enticing, starting with a fairly harrowing opening battle where he gets thrashed quite soundly by the big, bad villain. The miniseries would be dull if Greg actually decided to quit the hero game, and storytelling logic states that Greg is going to have to face Black Death once again if only to resolve the question of whether Greg could've made it as a hero. The issue also left us with the question about what happened to the Greenwich Guardian, though if I had to guess I'd imagine that he simply ran away when he saw that there was a super-villain there. Sean McKeever deserves full marks for the work that he's doing on the relationship between Lauren and Greg, as Lauren is given a genuinely likeable personality, and it's quite easy to understand why Greg would want to spend time with her. While it could've been an overly sentimental Hallmark moment, the scene where Lauren details why she collects discarded postcards, and than offers up a story that she connected to one of them was a very engaging exchange.
Sometimes I am a little disappointed by the open quality of the backgrounds, and the book pulls the blank void backdrop trick a little too often, but Mark Norton does a lovely job when it comes to presenting the various emotional reactions of our young lead. There's a lovely scene in this issue where Greg vents his frustration out on a nearby garbage bin, and a quiet moment where he spends the entire night lost in thought. I also enjoyed the sheer delight that is reflected on Greg's face as he gets his first look at Spider-Man. On the downside, the establishing shot of Lauren's dorm room looks like a half dressed set, and if not for the wall of postcards there would be no real clue about her personality. This miniseries is all about selling the highs and low points of a new hero, and the art does an effective job of selling the various emotional reactions of Greg, so I can't get too caught up when it comes to the rather simplistic quality of the art.
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