"The Last Stand" Marvel Knights Spider-Man 9 - 12 (2005)
Reader Rating: Above Average; Thunderbolts Interest: Medium
Summary: Mac Gargan reveals to Spider-Man that he is responsible for abducting Aunt May. The price for May's release: Spidey must break the Green Goblin out of Ryker's!
Spidey and the Black Cat execute the breakout, only to fall under attack by the Goblin's new Sinister Twelve: Boomerang, Chameleon, Electro, Hammerhead, Hydro-Man, Lizard, Sandman, Shocker, Tombstone, Vulture -- wait, that's only eleven -- oh, yeah, Mac Gargan as the new Venom!
Spidey and the Cat are bailed out by the arrival of Captain America, Daredevil, Iron Man, Yellowjacket and the Fantastic Four (The Human Torch, the Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic and the Thing).
The Goblin seizes his opportunity to kidnap Mary Jane, leading to yet another bridge-top showdown. With timely intervention from Dr. Octopus, who has been brainwashed to kill the Goblin, Spidey saves the girl.
Finally, Peter puts the clues together to locate and rescue Aunt May.
Continuity: Concludes the story begun in "Down Among the Dead Men" (2004/06/01) and "Venomous" (2004/09/01). Gargan bonds with the Venom symbiote. Peter's narration states that, after falling into the river in battle with Doc Ock, Osborn's body "is never recovered." That's true as far as Spidey knows, but this may be the point at which Osborn is taken into secret custody by SHIELD.
Comments: This brutal, demanding storyline is too long at 12 issues and is bogged down by the imposition of a complex mythology involving people-in-power manipulating super-villains to keep the heroes off their backs. It is compellingly written by Mark Millar and drawn with intensity (if an occasional lack of detail) by Terry Dodson and, in a couple of chapters, Frank Cho (whose portayal of Mary Jane is the epitome of modern Good Girl art).
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This page was revised on April 18, 2009
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