My Chemical Romance.
Black Cat starts her plan to take down Spider-Man even as the latter finds girl trouble wherever he goes.
Slott's writing in this issue is under par at best. The dialogues come off as hackneyed, Cat's motivations feel forced and even Silk turns bland.
Ramos doesn't do much justice to the title either, as after some good work, he lets it all collapse in this issue.
Black Cat starts assembling her pieces to take down the Spider as she brings down The Eel, a mob boss, with a little electricity.
Meanwhile, Spiderman and Silk are….uhhh, you know, still doing what they were doing at the end of last issue – alternating between arguing over what Peter did and what they’re doing right now.
Cindy resolves that she will never go back as for one, the damage is done, and two, she wants to see the world.
Another person is entering a new world, as Jameson is exposed to the fragilities to live reporting. On his first day, he is bumped from the first segment due to an interview with a Parker Industries employee – Sajani Jaffrey.
Only Sajani is now a prisoner of Black Cat and Electro. While Sajani marvels at Cat’s hideout, Felicia intrudes upon a mob meeting and strikes a deal with Mr Li aka Mr Negative (you know, that villain from before who doesn’t matter anymore).
Anna Maria returns home after a grueling day continuing Otto’s work to find two people in spider costumes making it out on her ceiling.
After a round of trying to explain, the best reason comes out to be because Cindy and Peter were both bitten by the same spider, so their primal instincts are to mate. Of the two, Cindy is more in tune with her other side, and naturally the aggressor in the relationship.
Anna Maria comes across as the most sensible character in this entire book as she pushed past the ‘I love Peter’ phrase and is now actively trying to help continue whatever good Otto started.
That means Peter has to take Sajani’s place in the interview, with Cindy tagging along. After a meeting with his brother-in-law Jonah Jameson, things start well until Black Cat comes along.
Silk is the first to draw their attention even as Felicia says to focus on using Peter as bait. Peter’s appearance as Spider-man though is flawed as unlike Silk’s focused abilities, he is unable to dodge both Black Cat’s bad luck and Electro’s blasts.
In between, he tries to get through to Cat and even reveals to the world that Doc Ock was in his head (which Jameson dismisses as ridiculous)
One electric shock to his spine briefly incapacitates him. Even as Silk is busy with Electro, Black Cat attempts to take off Spidey’s mask in front of live television with Jameson proudly reporting the unmasking.
This was bad. Seriously bad.
Not only was it replete with clichés, plot points Slott had managed to avoid before came calling in a bad way.
With Cindy’s mysterious aura gone, she comes across as the bland wide-eyed stereotype and her chemical romance with Spidey feels forced and hackneyed.
Electro has been written well though as his frequent apprehensions of Cat’s actions and his own search for a cure.
Black Cat’s motivations have been far more confusing. I think after One More Day, Cat and Peter had no physical relationships but the Felicia I knew prided the mask more than the man (the opposite of almost all other Spidey love interests).
Yet, here her moment of triumph is unmasking Spidey? There is a thematic appeal in that Felicia’s unmasking led to her fall, but that can’t undo decades worth of character build-up.
And no amount of forced logic by Dan Slott through the mouths of Mr Negative and a lowly mob boss will change that. Their taunts that the Spidey took her ‘underworld credit’ feels like Slott trying to convince us why Cat’s doing this.
Sorry, still not working.
Black Cat’s return to center stage brings back all the doubts of her current actions while Silk loses her mysterious aura and becomes one more bland ally to Peter.
The artwork itself falls apart more often than not, with Ramos failing in both the intimate moments and the action itself (seriously, Anna Maria looked like a balloon in one panel).
As for Slott, juggling too much can be harmful, especially when it’s built on such flimsy grounds. This book is choking from too much plot progression!
But as this is part 5 of a 6-part arc, I’m sticking around for a hopefully better finale. If that doesn’t happen, I’m not sure I’ll continue with this book.
So, I give it 5.0 out of 10.
+Anna Maria continues to shine
+Electro is coming off as more morally ambiguous
-Black Cat’s motivations continue to fall flat
-Silk is reduced to a bland stereotype
-Too much plot stuffing
-The artwork is under par