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.
So where were we? Carnage basically has the virus from The Last Of Us (I think that line would work better if I actually played the game or saw the cinematics but I think it’s about people turning violent without becoming zombies), Aunt May is about to lose the house, and Mary Jane is feeling useless during her unemployment. I can relate to at least one of these. We’re almost two-thirds into this book so let’s see what kind of wacky hi-jinks Petey gets into this time.
Peter heads to the Bugle hoping to find a lead on Carnage, when MJ calls reminding him he’s late getting to the bank to help Aunt May. Peter kicks himself for missing the appointment but the bank people are surprisingly giving him a chance. I guess they really like May or at least feel sorry for her. Also money is usually better for a bank to get than property they have to go through the trouble of selling or auctioning so if they have a chance to get their loan paid I’m sure they’ll take it. However, with the entire city in danger of going insane or being chopped up by someone already insane I think Pete’s being a bit hard on himself.
We also get to meet Gloria Grant, JJ’s secretary, but it doesn’t dwell too long on the introduction. She’s needed for this scene and I’m glad she got in since she one of the most unacknowledged characters in Spider-Man‘s supporting cast but they only take the time they need and nothing further. Because right after the phone call JJ stops him to get him to the park to take photos of the charity event and then that’s halted when Carnage is found out (killing a bunch of people even in a penthouse has screams loud enough to get noticed by other tenants and people outside–who knew?) and Peter notices he has the case but it’s empty. It’s a good cliffhanger to end the chapter on as Peter wonders what happened to the vial of crazy juice.
This chapter does a good job balancing the plots of the story–Carnage, the serum, Aunt May, and the charity event. It shows how they all come together. Carnage is surely going to target the event. We saw that last chapter and this chapter we see Peter realize it. Meanwhile it means leaving Aunt May in trouble, one of the hazards Peter picked up when he decided to become a superhero and the source of most of his conflicts in his personal life. Luckily this is back when he had Mary Jane to help him out in this area. Everything comes together here nicely.
How will Spider-Man stop Carnage in time for Peter to save his childhood home? We have a third of the book and five chapters left to find out and next time we’ll get into that. The climax is coming. (That’s what she said.)