Your friendly neighborhood blogger correctly predicted months ago that Dan Slott was on a stupid-trajectory to write”Spider-Rockets” into The Amazing Spider-Man. “Arachno-Rockets” are officially part of Spider-Man history with the ninth issue of ASM. Sadly, it also includes Peter Parker’s “Nuke the Fridge” moment, which anyone remotely familiar with Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will understand.
Here is the set-up: Peter Parker and S.H.I.E.L.D. are desperately looking for an international terrorist organization known as Zodiac, more specifically its leader Scorpio. The group hijacked all of S.H.I.E.L.D.S. satellites to locate an artifact known as The Orrery. Peter thinks he can manually take back control of the satellites and use them to pick up the energy signature of the artifact, a plan that coincidentally eluded Zodiac’s soothsayers because he came up with the idea exactly “one second after midnight.” (Seriously.)
The issue begins with Spider-Man giving Nick Fury a spacesuit he happened to have on hand (it also makes digital logos “on the fly”), and the two literally take off from a launching dock connected to Parker Industries. After successfully locating The Orrey and fending off satellites doubling as battering rams (the “Arachno-Rocket” was destroyed in the process) Spider-Man tells Fury to “space walk” to the international space station while he turns himself into a human meteor and heads for Paris, France.
It is hard not to read ASM #9 and wonder if Marvel has instructed Dan Slott to destroy all of Peter Parker’s credibility at any cost. Besides the jaw-dropping recklessness of turning himself into a meteor over Paris — without knowing if his plan would even work, where he would land, or how populated the area might be — one then needs to deal with the absurdity of “Spider-Suit Emergency Beacons, Spider-Back Spinnerets, and Emergency Web-Foam.
One must assume that it is only by the grace of God that Spider-Man only destroyed multiple vehicles (hopefully no-one was inside), instead of the nearby crowd of stunned citizens.
Spider-Man eventually pulls himself out of the wreckage like Indiana Jones from a refrigerator after a nuclear test, and the terrorist Scorpio appears. The villain says there is no way the Spider-Man will “make it to tomorrow,” but readers know that in many ways their hero is already dead.
It is an absolute shame that the quality of Brian Michael Bendis’ “Spider-Man” towers over The Amazing Spider-Man. There is certainly room in the Marvel universe for fans of both Miles Morales and Peter Parker, but there is no excuse for allowing Dan Slott to “Nuke the Fridge” in the pages of ASM. At this point Nick Lowe is only nominally ASM’s editor because it appears there is little, if any, push-back against Dan Slott’s worst ideas.
The ninth issue of The Amazing Spider-Man should have been renamed The Atrocious Spider-Man. Do not buy it unless you plan on using it for toilet paper.