After the last 3 disappointing issues of Spider-man's Tangled Web, we come to an issue I consider a modern masterpiece of comic book story telling. Blows me away every time I read it.
The story opens with two brothers in their apartment, the older one on the phone, the younger watching Insectman cartoons ( in a nice touch Insectman is a parody / homage to Spider-man). The older brother is ticked off because their life kind of sucks: Mom's always sick, Dad's not around, and he's stuck watching his little brother. They get in a fight over whether Spider-man's really a hero when the wall crashes in.
Lying on the floor, in a red and blue ball, is our titular hero and standing above him is Electro. The younger brother tries to stop Electro from hurting Spider-man, and finds himself on the receiving end of a little shock. Big brother steps in and sticks up for his sibling. Electro talks to the boy about being an outcast - and Spider-man webs up Electro's hand and kicks the snot out of him.
The older brother yells at Spider-man for breaking their wall and, in one of my favorite scenes ever, Spider-man hands the boy an envelope labeled "Rent" and tells the boys to never lose hope and swings away. The two boys then sit down and watch TV together.
Everything about this issue is perfect. The art is painted, the faces show genuine emotion. The panel framing is brilliant. This is what happens when an artist has a clear vision for the story he wants to tell - and is given the freedom to do it.
This is a gem in my collection - not because of the monetary vale, but because of the sheer joy this story brings me.
Well, enough gushing over this issue - until next time, happy reading!