The Return Of Vulture
I really don't get why the Goblin is giving Spidey such a hard time in this battle. I think Spidey acts like an amateur against this newcomer, and it won't make much sense once the Goblin's identity is revealed. I don't think the Goblin should've been much of an opponent once you know who Peter David intended to be the Goblin either (I'll cover that when I review the last issue). Whatever the case, I didn't care too much about this issue. It reminded me of a few things. It's issue #40, and I really don't care about Kasey. I don't care about Gabriel. Conchata is creepy. And Miguel's soliloquy at the end reminds me that I still don't really have a good sense of what's motivating Miguel to put the costume on at all. If he is driven by his hatred of the injustice of Corporations suppressing the little guy, then why haven't we seen him really excited to be in his new role at Alchemax? He should be there all day hard at work to make a new Alchemax that cares for the underpriviledged. But he says he never wanted to be the protector of Downtown. So, is this all about his hatred for Tyler Stone? Does he really not care about injustice to anyone but himself and those closest to him? Miguel's really hasn't grown into the role of a hero, in my opinion. He's done heroic acts, but this issue reminded me that his motivation is still fuzzy. As a reader, I find myself losing interest when I'm not rooting for the protagonist. It's been 40 issues, and I find myself disappointed there hasn't been more character growth by now.
And then there's Bill Sienkiewicz, revoutionary comic artist who rose to popularity in the 80's with the New Mutants. Wildman's pencils seem upstaged by Bill's inks. It's hard to review an issue negatively based on a artistic style I don't like, when I know he is obviously talented. You could be a chef praised for your adept craftsmanship with mushrooms...but if you don't like mushrooms, you don't appreciate the chef! I never liked the "messy" scribbles and ink splatter approach to comic book art. The surreal style has appealed to me in the past on rare occasions, like the graphic novel Arkham Asylum. There, the obscure shapes and textures generated appropriate feelings of anguish, like a suffocating nightmare. On a book like this (or New Mutants for that matter), Bill's style seems out of place, and just irritated me as if the art was rushed with imprecise sketches - even though I know it's anything but rushed. I know many find his style to be refreshing, breaking out of the tired mold. I can't argue that. Wildman tells a good story with his pencils - but to me, Sienkiewicz's inks detract from the story. Sorry, Bill.
Spider-Man 2099: The end is near. 2 stars.