Amazing Spider-Man #55-56/495-496 (2003): Unintended Consequences

This issue has a very nice plot where Peter Parker takes an interest in protecting a troubled student who lives in a bad neighborhood. That plot is mixed in with more about Ezekiel.

A student named Melisa has a brother who was recently released from jail–after being caught stealing a car by Spider-Man. Melissa blames Spider-Man for her brother’s disappearance, and blames Peter Parker for his having stolen the car in the first place–after being flunked out of school by Professor Parker, he felt he was out of legit options. The boy, Josh, is in hiding because Josh owes money to some thugs who are also threatening Melissa and her mother–so Spider-Man beats them up.

I like the weaving of both of his identities into Josh’s life–and it is completely believable that Peter would hold himself responsible for Josh’s actions. The only Marvel character who is even more unable to allow people the consequences of their own bad choices is Cyclops.

When Spider-Man finally tracks down Josh–who is about to be beaten by the gang he owes money to–Ezekiel breaks in and squashes the fight. He tells Spider-Man that the gang works for him.

Turns out, Josh doesn’t owe money. He’s a recruit–and Ezekiel’s gang taps into the Spider God to identify and stop crimes before they happen.

The ending–with Ezekiel–takes some of the wind out of the plot introduced in the first issue of this arc. I still like the Ezekiel storyline, but not as much as I used to. It’s starting to wear thin–time for something big to happen.

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