Current Reviews


Spectacular Spider-Man #24

Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell

"Sins Remembered: Sarah's Story, Part Two"

Writer: Samm Barnes
Pencils: Scot Eaton
Inks: Cam Smith
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
$2.25 U.S. / $3.25 CAN

As Peter settles in for a bit of a stay in Paris, we slowly discover Sarah is not the innocent soul that Peter believes her to be, as she's popping pills by the handful, and looks to be involved with some pretty unsavoury types. What's more Peter seems to be a bit slow to register the danger that surrounds him, and the issue ends with a sniper scope centred on Peter's head. Meanwhile, Mary Jane decides that she needs to be a Peter's side, so off she flies to Paris.

The problem I'm having with this arc is that Sarah really isn't all that interesting, and her problems feel more like a collection of plot devices designed to make Peter's life more difficult. I mean we have a character who is not only popping pills by the handful, but she's also been targeted by a band of street thugs who are looking to collect on a debt owed to them by her twin brother. We also have the obvious plot device where we see Sarah is holding a torch for a seemingly oblivious Peter, and I can already see the soap opera moment where Mary Jane will make her arrival just in time to witness the moment when Sarah decides to act on these feelings. Now perhaps Sara Barnes will avoid the obvious plot devices that the material looks to be building toward, and take the story in an unexpected direction, but I'm not holding my breath as thus far the story seems to be perfectly content to follow a path that has been travelled many times before. Still, I will concede that the flashback scenes do a pretty effective job of showing us the evil influence that Norman Osborn made on Sarah life, and while it does seem like the character is being moved into place so she can play the preset role in the story, I did enjoy the conversation between Aunt May and Mary Jane, as it does an effective job of showing us that MJ has already made up her mind to travel to Paris. Also I rather enjoyed the little tidbits of history about the city of Paris that were inserted into the story, though I had been under the impression that Jim Morrison's body had been removed from Pere Lachaise Cemetery.

I probably already made mention of this during my review of the first chapter, but it is worth noting once again that Scot Eaton's work on this arc is a pretty close match to the work that Mike Deodato is offering up on "Amazing Spider-Man" which helps to make this arc feel like a direct extension of the arc that this story has spun out of. I mean all the players look the same, and Peter looks amusingly out of place as he adjusts to this new environment. In fact the art does such and effective job of conveying the emotions of the characters, that when the action did make an appearance in the issue it felt like an unwelcome intrusion. In fact if I had to make one quibble about the art it's that the scene where Sarah is attacked by the street thugs, the art utterly fails to convey any real moments of danger, nor any of the visual excitement that such a scene should have. Still, the art does a nice job of filling the background with shots of Paris.

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