ComicList Critiques by Charles LePage

Spider-Man #544, $3.99 from Marvel Comics.

Part one of the four part "One More Day" is big on pathos and action, and at least a little bit light in plotting and characterization. Essentially, I find the current Peter/Spider-Man character to be alien to any other Spider-Man I'm familiar with, and I found the reason for Peter's actions throughout the story to be completely negated by the end.

Peter and Mary Jane watch as Aunt May lies comatose in a hospital bed, the victim of a hit ordered by the Kingpin. Peter, quite appropriately, feels guilty, blaming himself for his aunt's predicament. When a doctor who recognizes him tells Peter there's not much they can do without health insurance or a lot of cash, Pete decides to confront Tony Stark to get the cash. Stark initially says he won't help, but eventually relents and sends a Jarvis-gram.

I understand one of the big themes running through Civil War was Peter looking up to Tony Stark, seeing him as a father figure who was providing him the means to receive the respect and acceptance he normally did not have before. Problem for me is, my first experience with Spider-Man was in the 1970s. In fact, the first Amazing Spider-Man comic I ever read was the death of Gwen Stacy. The Spider-Man in my head certainly didn't have the financial or social success of a Tony Stark, but he was no bumbling teenage failure, either. He was a college age man, with a job, who wise cracked it up with Thor in Marvel Team-Up #7, even going to Asgard in Thor's place. My Peter Parker has a certain hard earned confidence that the current Peter lacks. While he might not see himself on the same level as Tony out of costume, when they are playing superhero, he certainly doesn't see himself as inferior and needing to prove his value.

The plot device of trying to steal or beg money from Stark seemed entirely unnecessary. At first, the doctor implies there might something they could do to help May if they just had enough cash. But, when he has the money, Peter is told 'sorry,' all we can do is make her more comfortable. Gee, maybe instead of wasting time fighting Iron Man, we could just skip to the part where Peter finds someone who can actually help him?

Let's hope the rest of the parts have a little bit more logic holding them together.

Amazing Spider-Man #544

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24

Sensational Spider-Man #41