Trapped in the Negative Zone
The Writing - I guess the most significant moment in this issue is Spider-Man saying good bye to Iron Man. That was, not unnespected, but at least hard to guess, ´cause he´d exposured his whole life by going public, believing in Tony´s words, so this was very hard on him (and it took all the Anti-Registration group by surprise too). Millar made himself very clear that Tony didn´t apreciated this act at all (he really had put a lot on chip in Spider-Man). Other than that, the only thing that actually happened in this issue was Steve´s plans to break in the Baxter Building to get the blueprints of the project number 42 (the prision in the Negative Zone). This issue was way behind the other 4 issues, it was very well written but didn´t showed the magic of the past ones - even the conflictuous idea, the paradox of good and right has a weak aproach (only with Tony do DD, Happy Hogan and She-Hulk).
The Art - If the plot wasn´t the best, definitely the art was. McNiven´s on fire drawing Spider-Man (the Jester´s toy exploding on his face and Jack O´Lantern holding him by his throat were the best scenes). Only McNiven could have penciled Peter Parker getting his ass kicked by such low rated criminals (and they think they´re A-List, how funny!!!). Two splashes in this issue (one was good - the Punisher carrying Spidey and the other was unnecessary - showing the prision). His characters are great, the uniforms, the precise details continues to improve in every issue. Magnificent colors by Hollowell. Great finishes by Dexter Vines.
The Bad - Thor´s been cloned? I will never let this one down. Even Reed agrees that was a terrible idea: "Sometimes I wish we´d never gotten involved. Do you ever stop to think how much easier things would be if we hadn´t spliced Thor´s DNA with Hank Pym´s cyber-tech". Yes, Reed, sure it would be tons easier, but unfortunally Millar (or Marvel) didn´t think like you (and 99,9% of the fans). Nothing really happened in this issue, just the desertion of Spider-Man, and that was it!!! Come on, a whole issue for that? And did Captain fall for Tigra commitment with his cause? Didn´t he sensed that she was a spy?
The Verdict - Even not being the strongest issue, it still gots lots of magic brought to you by Mr. McNiven - he makes it worth it, so Pick it Up.
4 out 5 Ways to sneak Spideys in a sewer