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by Cable » 30 Dec 2022, 19:27
We are now midway through the series. Anyone else get this?
- Spoiler: show
- Peter Parker now has the sacred stone embedded in his chest. The man-sized crow appears again and takes Spider-Man to the otherworldly edifice that is The Maze. Mr Crow says it was once beautiful but now a sickness lives within and the Demon Bear wishes to send it back. Mr Crow tells Spidey to hurry as he will shift back to reality soon. As Peter rides on the giant bird's back it tells him that this is a dream to him but to others it is home. Spidey asks who did this to this place and Crow says it was Peter. Spidey balks at this but Mr Crow says dreams are woven from reality. Spidey questions whether this means his own reality comes from someone else's dream but Mr Crow has no time to explain but rather must show Peter the center of the maze. On the way they encounter the mountainous bear and it opens wide its jaw to swallow them. Mr Crow says the answer is there within the patterns as Pete glimpses glowing red symbols as he heads into the maw. He snaps back to being in the bathroom again and finds he has written the pattern on the mirror with Crystal's lipstick. As he studies the symbols he begins to think they look like circuits. In fact they resemble pathways of the junction activator in the lab. He can't quite figure out the pattern before he is interrupted by Crystal wondering what is taking him so long in the bathroom. He takes a picture of the mirror and then wipes it away. She asks if he has seen any more strange visions but he decides not to tell her about the flight with the crow and instead suggests maybe what happened in the diner was some sort of hallucinogen from the feather. She says it reminded her of stories her grandfather used to tell, like Iktomi the Spider-Man and the Coyote. She mentions a mystic rock called Iya and how it flattened Coyote after he stole from it. He decides to show her the rock embedded in his chest but when he takes his shirt off it is gone. They get a call from Randy and Janice to be ready in 15 minutes. They wait outside and while throwing a frisbee witness a crow that vomits forth many smaller crows. Both confirm they saw this but before they can talk further they are interrupted by Randy and Janice arriving to take them to Joshua Tree. While driving in the car they all start singing a song (I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas. We see what you are doing Taboo lol). Pete sees a storm forming on the horizon but the others seem like they are in a trance as they just keep singing the song and don't even notice as he climbs onto the roof and suits up as Spider-Man. On one side of the horizon is a massive black cloud of crows and on the other side is a sandstorm in the shape of the demon bear. The bear swats the car off the road and Spidey catches tje vehicle in a web. Peter then enters the swarm of crows and as he becomes one with them the stone in his chest flows with power and Spider-Man grows into a towering figure over the desert road as he prepares to face the Demon Bear.
Plotwise this is very much 'middle issue'. But really this isn't a series to read for the plot. There is an inciting incident and there is sure to be a resolution but really this book is more about a vibe. At first Spidey vs Demon Bear might seem a strange choice but it works because it is a blending of science with indigenous mysticism (co-writer Taboo is Native American/Mexican). A lot of the value comes from the bursts of surreal art by Ferreyra. But there is also value in thinking about the connections between the concepts that are referenced, like the ways that chess and engineering both involve solving problems and/or the way that dreams and fables both involve interpretive storytelling. In the story Peter is trying to decode a puzzle by observing a pattern, and the book itself is a puzzle with patterns. It is a comic where get out what you put into it. Although you also could just sit back and enjoy the awesome visuals!
Best Comics of Week 12
X-titles: X-treme X-Men #4 by Chris Claremont (2) and Salvador Larroca (2)
Non-X titles: Monica Rambeau Photon #4 by Eve Ewing (1) and Luca Maresca (1)
In parentheses number of times creator had best comic this year