SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN # 31
GOBLIN NATION: PART 5
This issue begins with the Goblin, holding Ana Maria up on top of a building, showing her the destruction of the city and what he has done to it.
Back at Parker Industries, the real Peter Parker is back in his old Spider-Man suit! It doesn't take long however before he bumps into an angry Sajani, who is not impressed with Spidey showing up at the lab, afraid his presence will make it another target for the goblins again.
After seeing, Carlie, with some remaining effects of the goblin serum still in her system, Spider-Man pulls Carlie aside, asking to be updated on everything that has been happening. He explains to her that he really is back for good this time and proves it to her by reminding her of how she tried to shoot him when he told her he was trapped in Ock's body. Carlie then brings Peter up to date on how the Goblin became so powerful and told him about the spiderbots.
Peter's next job as Peter Parker is to call Aunt May and make sure that she is safe. He later swings by and meets Spider-Man 2099, who at first is furious at our Spider-Man, but upon hearing the truth about the mind swap forgives Spider-Man.
Over at the Mayor's office, Jameson is distraught, regretting his decision to release the Spider Slayers. meanwhile at Alchemax however, Tiberius Stone is busy auctioning off the Spider Slayers to criminal lords over the phone, starting at twelve million dollars per unit.
The two Spider-Men then take out more goblins, and help out the Avengers. Once Peter triangulates the signal guiding the robots, coming from the former Oscorp building - now Alchemax.
Miguel O'Mara explains to Spider-Man how Allan Chemical and Oscorp had merged a few months ago, creating Alchemax. When the Spider guys arrive at the building, they are attacked by Menace, who is soon turned back to Lily Holister when she is injected with a same serum that cured Carlie.
The Spider-Men, then notice a freaky laughter coming from inside a room. Inside, they see Normie, laughing and reminding himself of how this is all for him. ( These were his mother's words in Superior Spider-Man #30)
Just then, Liz Allan comes into the room with Tiberius Stone, surprised to find the Spider-Men, and relieved to find her son. Liz tells Spider-Man that there is a bomb on the roof, to which Spider responds by trying to get everyone out of the building. Tiberius Stone however uses his spider sense jammer to try to hurt Spider-Man, but is soon knocked out by Spider-Man 2099. Miguel then leads everyone out, carrying the unconscious Lily and Tiberius on his shoulders. Peter then proceeds to the roof to take on the Green Goblin.
Up on the roof, the Goblin mocks Otto for his attempts to mimic the real Spider-Man. The Goblin however is shocked when Spider-Man makes a joke about his 'man bag.' Realizing the real Spider-Man is back, the Green Goblin tries to flea as he had not anticipated this. Spider-Man, knowing fully well how Ana Maria is capable of escaping, tosses her one of the Goblin's version of a 'batarang' for her to cut herself free. He then chases the Goblin down and unmasks him, only to find a totally unfamiliar face - the face of Mason Banks. (who?)
Apparently Mason Banks is an Executive at Alchemax, but is secretly Norman Osborn. (He changed his face and took on a new identity) Essentially, Norman thought his face and reputation was too infamous and decided he needed a new identity if he wanted to build a corporation, aka Alchemax, for his grandson - Normie.
With the Goblin unmasked and busy revealing his evil plan, Spider-Man's mini spider-bots inject Norman/ Mason with anti goblin serum. Spidey then proceeds to save Ana Maria, who has successfully cut herself free and jumped off the building just before the explosion (quite dramatic)
Without his Goblin Strength, Norman starts falling off his glider, but is soon saved by Spider-Man as well. When finally on the ground, Liz Allan 'accidentally' sets the spider sense jammer on, allowing Mason Banks to escape!
We see Osborn/ Banks, in the sewers, one street away, wondering why, as the Green Goblin, he ever bothered to build a pointless, theatrical, underground lair. Though lacking the Goblin's strength and healing powers, Osborn is glad that he got what he wanted - an empire for his grandson. Finally free from the madness of the Goblin, Osborn can't wait to get back at Spider-Man as a new person.
Up on ground level, Ana Maria asks Spider-Man if Peter Parker is okay. Upon hearing that he is safe, Ana Maria breaks into tears of joy, causing Pete to realise that he she truly loved Otto as Peter, and to some extent is sad that Otto had to die.
Epilogue/ Second Story: Actions have consequences
In the aftermath, Peter goes to find Aunt May and is glad to see her. MJ's new boyfriend has to leave to help put out the fires, leaving Peter with MJ, Aunt May and Jay.
Jay is furious at Peter for his previous ill behavior toward his aunt but soon forgives Peter after some false explanation and false promises about not working for Spider-Man anymore. Peter's next task is to have Sajani check Aunt May's leg implant to make sure that Ock didn't put anything dodgy in it.
Peter then has a chat with Mary Jane, who interrupts him half way saying that she believes whatever he has to say, but that he really just wants nothing to do with him anymore. As disappointing as it may be to us fans, Mary Jane essentially tells Peter that she has to stay away form him for bad things to stop happening to him. She also explains that she is happy with her new life and new boyfriend. Peter apologizes for every harm that has ever come to her because of him and lets her know that he just wants her to be happy.
When Peter leaves, Carlie appears to talk to MJ, telling her that she is doing the right thing by staying away from Peter. Carlie, still suffering from some residual effects of the goblin serum has decided to leave New York for good in order to get away from Peter and advises MJ to do the same.
Peter, as Spider-Man swings off, having heard the whole conversation I presume, because he somehow knows that Carlie is leaving New York. While part of him wishes they would stay in his life, he also understands why they would want to leave.
Spidey next pays Mayor Jameson a visit, returning the spiderbot that recorded the blackmail, reassuring the Mayor that he will never use it ever! He also advises Jameson to stay as Mayor and fight the allegations against him, stating that it is the Green Goblin's fault that the Spider Slayers her hacked and not his own. Little does Spider-Man know that half an hour earlier, Jameson had already resigned as Mayor.
As the conclusion to the Superior Spider-Man series, I thought this issue ended everything that has been built up by Ock over the last thirty issue rather quickly. While the conclusion was a good one, it did seem a little rushed.
For starters, the battle between the Green Goblin and Spider-Man, a battle that the Superior Spider-Man was battling and losing terribly at ended way to easily. Sure, Parker had the element of surprise which the Green Goblin did not take into account, yet, I would think that the Goblin might have been able put a little more fight into that battle.
I thought the reveal that Mason Banks was behind the mask was absolutely brilliant! Nobody could have predicted that. Up to this point, Mason Banks was a nobody who was only briefly mentioned in a panel some issues ago. Unfortunately, this will also probably be the last we will see of him ( or his face anyway) and his terrible 70's styled mustache. I always thought it was silly how the world was letting Norman Osborn walk around, knowing fully well that he was the Goblin. This face changing Chameleon identity that Osborn has now taken on makes much more sense.
I was also glad that Norman was able to realize how ridiculous and cliche he looked as the Goblin, having an underground lair! I will certainly be looking forward to a more practical Norman Osborn, now that he is free of the madness from the Goblin. As for my opinion on whether or not the cure will last, I think it's pretty obvious that this will not be the last we see of the Green Goblin. Phil Urich, aka the Goblin Knight is still out there, and with his blood, I'm sure it is not too difficult to replicate the Goblin Serum.
As for Liz Allan, I think it is pretty obvious to the reader that she is a crook. We last see her whispering to little Normie a reminder that his grandfather and her are doing all this for him. Only Peter Parker, is unable to see behind the lies, although he is aware that he should keep an eye on her. There really isn't too much more to comment on this matter.
Normie, going all whacko and goblin like would certainly make sense given his heritage. In my opinion, Liz probably went to Norman asking for help when she realized that he son was beginning to display goblin symptoms. Norman obviously convinced her that for him to lead a normal peaceful life, he would need an empire under him to finance himself for any future problems that may arise, and in the process convincing her to go 'grey' as far as crossing the lines were concerned. This is really the perfect explanation for why Liz keeps talking to her child as if he is a nut job. Norman on the other hand, obviously used this to his advantage to compliment his own agendas. At least we all know now why in Superior Spider-Man # 17, Ock's spider sense was going berserk around the kid.
One complaint, although I wouldn't really want it to be any other way, was the fact that everybody seemed to forgive Peter/ Spider-Man for his past actions really quickly. Like I said, every bad Ock has done in the last thirty issues seems to be forgiven really fast. This includes Miguel O'Mara, who bought the truthful, ridiculous sounding story, that actually made sense, way too fast.
The teamup between the two Spider-Men was spectacular. There's nothing cooler than two Spider-Men kicking ass - namely Menace's.
The Avengers will obviously have a few questions, of which I have no doubt will be quickly answered resulting in full forgiveness for Spider-Man's past actions, just like with everyone else.
Mary Jane's response was a huge disappointment, although I can understand the necessity to keep some romantic drama in the series. Unfortunately this series never ends, and so the main character never seems to get together with his love interest.
Carlie leaving will not be an issue for most fans out there I believe, so likewise, I have no issues with her bailing on Peter. Peter is obviously feeling distraught about all his friends leaving him. While in Ock's mind, his friends and family were his support that he held on to. Now that he is back, his support seems to be leaving him.
Honestly however, with the new Amazing Spider-Man movie set for release soon, which sets Gwen as the main love interest, I think this whole abandoning of Peter by his ex girlfriends, is just an excuse to highlight Gwen Stacy as the one true love interest that was ever best for Peter. This move is a good one for this purpose as it leaves fans hating Mary Jane with her current actions are way out of her pre OMD character.
As Amazing Spider-Man # 1 relaunches, it is only necessary for Jameson to step down as Mayor. We all knew his time as Mayor was not going to last forever. The new launch will bring in a number of new readers, and it really won't be true to the Spider-Man story that everyone knows if Jameson was still mayor.
Ana Maria's future is the real tragedy in this issue. It would have been easier if she had just died. Peter will not be able to explain to her that he is actually Spider-Man and that the man she fell in love with was an imposter- namely Dr Ock! As such, Peter has two options.
- Get into a relationship with her to preserve her heart break
- Totally ignore her, breaking her heart
Finally, I have to add that I find it really weird that Spider-Man 2099, is still from the year 2099, even though the current year in comics is 2014. Miguel O'Hara appeared in the 90's and has since then been transported to the current timeline a number of times now. This is all fine, except that he is still from 2099! This must be a really long year for him if all his stories have been taking place in one year with him jumping timelines so many times in one year aka the year 2099!