Chapter By Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
Last time we had the cliffhanger that Aunt May is about to lose the house…again. If this ends with a rock battle between Spider-Man and Carnage for the prize money…I will be incredibly surprised because that is just stupid. Also, an old school will tie into Carnage’s escape because people are generally stupid in the Marvel Universe and this is another example. I see dead people in our future.
However, peeking into this week’s chapter to see if the chapter image better reflects the chapter this time (it does) it seems the focus for this one will be on Dr. Catrall with a minor bit of why Aunt May is about to lose the house. Don’t worry, May. In a few years you end up living in Avengers tower and dating Jarvis until…you know, I wasn’t even going to tread the Mephisto deal in this gag but then I realized it was aimed that way. Then she dates Jolly Jonah’s dad instead. You know, if it wasn’t for the most cursed bullet wound known to Man and God I would say she was better off.
In this chapter we learn Dr. Catrall’s backstory, and it’s one that only works in a comic book universe. While seeking a cure for violent tendencies, because he’s a scientist and they seem to think everything is biological whether it is or not, he instead discovers a chemical that can trigger violent tendencies. Now the CIA shows a lack of intelligence in that they want to weaponize it to turn their enemies on each other. I don’t know if the CIA is truly as evil as stories make them out to be. Oh there have been cause for concern but for a group whose job is to gather intelligence, what their name actually stands for, fiction loves to have them doing black ops stuff. As we saw in the Op-Center novel even fictional intelligence agencies are given their own strike force. Lucky for him when the agents find him at a diner the owner takes his side when they attack him before learning who they are, giving him a chance to escape. He even pays for his meal despite needing to get out of there fast.
We also learn a bit about his life. Nobody’s going to miss him, which puts him in even worse trouble. I thought the vial was going to tie to Carnage somehow, like a piece of the symbiote or something. The book description seemed to indicate that he’s insane but he seems to be the saner one. I can think of a few other ways this might tie to Carnage but I’m not sure how Kasaday is going to find out about this besides dumb luck. Well, that question is answered for me. partially anyway, after a bit of the…what, C plot? B plot? Where does the charity dinner fit in? Something about the news story about Carnage gives him an idea and I shudder to think what he hands in mind to get rid of this stuff. It’s like some miracle kill (hardly the cure he was hoping for) in that it can’t be diluted or separated from water when pored into it. He has the only remaining sample and no notes exist because he’s one of those scientists who don’t make notes. I’m going to be surprised if he makes it to the end of the book.
As for the B-C plot Aunt May needs Peter to co-sign a loan because she hasn’t been able to pay the mortgage until some bonds she has matures. He has a time limit, so you know something is going to seriously stall him. It’s kind of how Peter’s life goes. Will he make it to the bank on time after work? Will Dr. Catrall or Carnage be responsible for the delay we know is coming? Perhaps the answer will come next time.