Amazing Spider-Man #12 and Peter Parker Spider-Man #12 (1999): 1st Mysterio 2; return of Sinister 6

The Sinister Six get a reboot in this series intended to give Spider-Man a reboot. It starts with a clash against Mysterio, who dies.

Again. (See Daredevil #7.)

Spider-Man knows the villain isn’t really dead, but nobody will listen to him.

Peter’s dilemma about not being trusted or accepted as a hero is also impacting his love life, but he kinda deserves it there. Peter promised Mary Jane he’d stop being Spider-Man, but he’s at it again and she has figured out he’s a liar.

And she’s not happy about it.

Back to the villains: The old Sinister Six gang, minus Doc Ock and plus the son of Kraven, come together (yes, check the math: there’s only five of them).

Mysterio eats a grenade–pretending to kill himself. It’s funny. He’s playing with the pointlessness of comic book deaths. But it’s not just funny–it’s relevant to the story because Mysterio, aka Quentin Beck, actually IS dead–this is a new character, but we don’t know that yet. There’s a really nicely drawn back-up feature on this very issue.

Ah, the great Sean Phillips.

Back to the main story: John Byrne doesn’t do a lot of redesign on these characters, but he has some nice stylistic touches. This is definitely one of the better stories in this Byrne/Mackie series so far.

The villains have re-formed to take on their founder, Doctor Octopus, for reasons that really don’t matter long term, but of course they end up fighting Spider-Man.

Venom also wants to kill Spider-Man.

So they fight him, too.

Perhaps the worst thing about this story is that is crosses over from one series to another for no good reason, meaning it doesn’t have a consistent artist palette. It also jams the Venom and Sinister Six (five) story together unnecessarily, so neither really gets room to breathe. It’s all well drawn and the writing is decent enough, and I really loved the short Mysterio piece by Mackie and Phillips, so I’ve bumped this to an above average grade.

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