Page 45 Review by Stephen
"I feel there's something between us, you and I. I hope that doesn't sound odd. You baffle me. I've been in the centre of the city for my entire life. I have met drug dealers and kings and everything in between. But I have never met anyone like you."
I adore Sara Pichelli's art. She is perfect for this title, keeping it young, sprightly and chic. Indeed each of the artists here is on top form but there's one unassuming show-stealer: Chris Samnee whose subtle expressions do total justice to a scene I never thought I'd see, for the final chapter in this book contains the most surprising yet convincing, fully thought-through portrayal of J. Jonah Jameson since the newspaper publisher was first created fifty years ago. The quiet conversation - the exceedingly frank discussion - he has with young Peter breathes a real life and humanity into a character used in the regular Marvel Universe as nothing more than a two-dimension foil, a bellicose bully, and a very thick man. No one who has achieved what J. Jonah Jameson has achieved in newspaper publishing could possibly be as incessantly stupid as that human hurricane of expletives, that Ian Paisley of pejoratives.
Journalism at its best is a window on the world, and journalists at their best are constantly peering through it, pointing at things and learning from their experiences. Over the past 150+ issues, J. Jonah Jameson has seen a lot he never thought he'd see - a great deal he hoped he'd never see - and his experiences have indeed shaped him. They have changed the man; he has learned stuff. Specifically, he has learned who Peter is and what he really does, and why.
"I know I just said this two minutes ago... but I have never ever met anyone like you before in my entire life."
J. Jonah Jameson could have outed Peter as Spider-Man weeks ago, and it would have sold him a million newspapers. He hasn't. He's thought about it long and hard, but he hasn't. Here we learn why.
Before that, however, there's a knock on Aunt May's door. The government-sanctioned peace keepers, The Ultimates, have had a discussion of their own and some of them are adamant that Spider-Man needs locking up, shutting down or at the very least training. The destruction he leaves in his wake has been enormous (you can expect a great deal of destruction during this particular instalment with the return of the Black Cat and Mysterio hot on her tail). He's young, relatively inexperienced and been going it solo with no one to advise or in anyway temper him. Up until now, they believe, luck has played no small part in Spider-Man's survival, let alone his often pyrrhic victories. As to Aunt May, Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane
well, prices have already been paid and it's a miracle that any one of them is still standing. And one day, they are sure... one day Peter's luck will finally run out and there will be casualties.
Next: Peter's luck finally runs out.