Writer – Peter David
Artist – Greg Land.
Dr. Strange and Spider-Man share burgers and milkshakes at a Howard Johnson in the heart of New York City. Dr Strange tells Spider-Man how a man disguised as a reporter for the Daily Bugle entered the Sanctum, incapacitated Wong, and took control of the Word of God tome. Dr. Strange was removed from his Sanctum by a group of Mindless Ones.
After lunch, Dr. Strange tells Spider-Man that in order to defeat Hobgoblin and his master, the former Sorcerer Supreme must teach the Webslinger magic. Before Spider-Man can give his answer, he asks Dr. Strange for some time alone, which is granted.
Spider-Man calls his Aunt May to check on her. She seems to have forgotten about their tiff resulting from Peter missing breakfast to discuss his decision to quit school. She invites him over for tea. To Peter’s shock and surprise, Uncle Ben answers the door! Peter sits and has tea with his aunt and uncle and thinks to himself, maybe he can find a way to live in this brave new world. Before he can finish this thought, The Hobgoblin attacks the Parker’s home.
Peter changes from his civilian garb to his costume with just a thought and tells Ben and May to run. Ben calls the police as Spider-Man and The Hobgoblin tussle. Spider-Man is able to dodge Hobgoblin’s Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, causing the villain to be ensnared instead. Just as Spider-Man seems to have the upper hand, Hobgoblin unleashes a spell to create a massive explosion and escapes. As the police arrive, Spider-Man carries the body of Aunt May from the rubble of her home. Uncle Ben, in shock and anger, blames Spider-Man for the death of his beloved. As police officers point their guns at Spider-Man and tell him to surrender, smoke blinds the uniformed men and women. Natasha followed Hobgoblin’s trail to the suburbs and unleashed a smoke canister to distract the men and women in blue. She tells Spider-Man to get away and he flees the scene immediately.
The issue ends with Spider-Man meeting with Dr. Strange once again. Spider-Man decides he wants the Master of the Mystic Arts to teach him the ways of magic.
Although this reality is not his own, Spider-Man had his fondest wish come true with the return of his long-deceased Uncle Ben to the land of the living. As the rug is pulled from Peter, his aunt dead, and his uncle blaming him for her death, can Spider-Man keep his emotions in control long enough to restore reality to what it once was? I can see the alien symbiote finding a way to use Peter’s anguish, grief, and rage to its advantage.
I hope we get an 80’s training montage at some point next issue with Dr. Strange teaching Spider-Man magic spells and defense against the dark arts set to Eye of the Tiger! I love the bits of 80s nostalgia sprinkled throughout this miniseries.
I am not sure who is pulling the strings and changed reality to the way they wanted it to be. Dr. Strange believes its someone who craves ultimate power. I am flummoxed on who it could be at this point. Hopefully some clues are revealed next issue. I don’t want the reveal to be in Issue 4 with a final battle that fixes everything neatly in Issue 5.
Does anyone reading this have any guesses on the big bad? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section.
Next Issue – PETER PARKER: THE SPIDER SUPREME?! After reliving one of the most horrible moments of his life, Peter Parker turns to one of his oldest allies for a magical helping hand. Don’t miss the next history-shaking adventure of Peter David and Greg Land’s landmark SYMBIOTE SPIDER-MAN Series! In Shops: Feb 12, 2020