Monday, April 15, 2013

Retro Review: What if Vol 2 # 31

This what if branches off when Spider-man had briefly become Captain Universe. Rather than leave Spider-man once his mission was done the Uni-Power decided to stay in him due to his high sense of responsibility. So Peter stays Captain Universe, with the only visible side effect being his eyes are constantly whited out and he needs to wear sunglasses to protect his identity. He teams up with the Avengers against Nebula, just as he did in Avengers #314-318, only in this world he proceeds to basically take her down by himself. At one point the Hobgoblin makes the mistake of attacking him and Peter, still getting the hang of his new powers, accidentally burns most of his face off. He tries to use his powers to restore his face and accidentally remakes his face to be identical to his own. He later fights Venom, whom he makes short work of. Venom ends up taking Spider-man's place as New York's street level hero, becoming arch foes of the Hobgoblin who now has the face of the man he hates. Peter slowly gets consumed by the power, losing touch with his humanity and become a cold hearted asshole. Even MJ leaves him, feeling he has become some sort of god now. Realizing he can't handle the power he relinquishes it, which gives all of humanity a brief moment of bliss and contentment and turns Peter into a normal human. Later we see him back with MJ, she has given birth to a baby girl who has whited out eyes.

This wasn't nearly as good as it should have been. I mean it's a basic story of too much power being corrupting, hell at one point Captain America even quotes the famous Lord Acton quote, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely", you know, in cased you missed the subtle theme. Also the whole think with Hobgoblin now having Peter's face, how does that not cause all sorts of massive trouble for Peter Parker? This issue had a lot of moments like that. The ending didn't make sense. Why did the Uni Power disperse into happy thoughts like that? Why didn't it just go back to switching hosts? This issue had it's moments, and it's worth checking out for Spidey fans, but it was still rather disappointing and I would say make sure you don't pay more than two or three bucks for it. It was a great idea, but the execution was pretty weak.

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