Flint Marko’s always been a simple guy. In Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #309, he’s a universe-hopping omni-being from the end of time. Is it good?
After Spider-Man brings Sandman out of the hospital so he can enjoy one more day at the beach before his coarse-grained form dissipates forever, Jonah Jameson is none too pleased. Maybe the wallcrawler really is in the tank for villains!
But JJ, you don’t get it. Being Spider-Man is tough. It’s not just punching sinister silicon faces, there are a lot of decisions to make. And it’s not like Flint was lying. He didn’t have to — that’s what future Flint is for!
That single grain of sand that stores the man’s consciousness sure is special, and it’ll help this intruding mind truly live eternally. Unless a power combo move can take him out! If Spidey and Sandy can save the universe, one of them will still be changed — forever!!!
It takes a pretty warped (in a good way?) mind to have an evil, omnipotent alternate universe Sandman from the future consume the mainstream version to get at his consciousness particle, but that’s just what writer Chip Zdarsky does in Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #309.
Helping him bring this mad vision to life is equally insane artist Chris Bachalo, who should excel at this showdown between giant sand monsters, but it’s pretty damn difficult to give two monochromatic things the right kind of shading or linework to actually differentiate them, and even the veteran fan-favorite can’t pull it off here. The panel layouts are more boring than in a typical Bachalo book, too.
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #309 is a bizarre follow-up to what was one of the saddest single issues (yes, in a good way) in some time. The previous installment was a touching, intimate look at the type of character who often doesn’t get a spotlight, and #309 is a bombastic, action-heavy Looper meets Godzilla (NOT in a good way) headscratcher, in which the villain’s motivation and his manner of defeat aren’t very clear, and his final fate elicits no emotion as the reader is still busy wondering what the f*ck just happened.
Sandman’s new status quo is interesting, at least, for however long it will last. It’s definitely not the kind of thing that will stick, long term.
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #309 would be a curious offering under the best of circumstances, but after the previous issue, it’s hard to not call it a disappointment. Following as it does on the heels of a similar trip-up in Zdarsky’s Marvel Two-in-One, it paints a troubling picture of a talented, rising star whose work is still wildly inconsistent. Bachalo is Bachalo, though somehow less so. Take that however you will.
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