Spider-Man : House of M #2

Writers : Mark Waid & Tom Peyer
Penciler : Salvador Larroca
Inker : Danny Miki
Colorist : Liquid!
Letterer : Cory Petit (VC)
Editor : Tom Brevoort
Publisher : Marvel Comics

The alternate-universe Spidey continues, as the one and only J. Jonah Jameson attempts to return to ‘civilization’ with the evidence that Spider-Man is really just a human who had an interesting encounter with a radioactive spider.

The story here, as with most of these House of M / alternate-world cross-overs, entertains on an intellectual level far more than an emotional one.

Indeed, since the characters of this world appear far more morally ambiguous, it is interesting to monitor our reactions as we follow the path of Jonah, as he makes his way through the city with what he perceives to be vital evidence. Should we be hoping for him to succeed? After all, in this world Peter certainly has been lying to his friends, family and contemporaries. He hasn’t treated poor old Jameson that well either. But then again, good ol’ Jonah doesn’t exactly seem like a figure that merits too much sympathy. He appears greedy, bitter and vindictive.

I give up.

At any rate, while Jonah struggles through New York, there is a ‘wink-wink’ moment from a ‘Spider-Man movie’ where Spider-Man attempts to rescue Gwen Stacy, as played by Mary Jane Watson, after she was dropped off a certain bridge by a familiar, though different, foe. I have no idea as to whether this sort of thing will tie into the storyline proper, or is more of an ‘Easter Egg’ for fans. The input of Gwen Stacy and her father is certainly interesting, and in some ways is one of the most interesting pieces of characterization in the series so far.

Having built up some kind of ‘suspense’ with regard to the attempts by Jonah to publicize his information, the pay-off certainly seems lame. Of course, its impact on the remaining three issues is still to be seen exactly where it is going. Nevertheless, it’s a slight disappointment.

The art is certainly a high-point, with the depictions of Rhino as Spidey’s bodyguard definitely worth a chuckle. The coloring seems a little off, though, with just waaay too many different shades of brown.

This series works, but really only as an intellectual curiosity. I have a funny feeling that things ‘will’ be the same when the series is over.