Writer: Patrick Gleason
Artist: Mark Bagley
Color Artist: Bryan Valenza
Cover Artists: Arthur Adams & Jim Campbell
Publisher: Marvel Comics
While Peter Parker was out of commission, Ben Reilly stood up to bat as Spider-Man again, this time backed by the Beyond Corporation. But after discovering some of their secrets, Ben was mind-wiped while Janine to go public, so Beyond sent their newest creation – Queen Goblin. After a brief fight, Ben rescued Janine but left Mary Jane Watson to fend for herself from Queen Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man #89.
The comic picks up where it left off with Ben leaving MJ alone at the Daily Bugle with Queen Goblin who’s ready to murder. We get some more clues about Queen Goblin’s origins and her secret identity, but not the whole picture, just some narration mixed in with a quick flashback. The real focus of the comic is what you see on the cover – Black Cat versus Queen Goblin!
Sadly, that ends up being a huge disappointment. I won’t go too much into spoilers here, but if you want some cool fight between Black Cat and Queen Goblin, you don’t get it here. The real focus of this part of the Beyond storyline is to show off Queen Goblin as the next big Spider-Man super-villain. However, she hasn’t left much of a good impression on me. She has a cool look, but that’s about it, and because of her origins, it doesn’t feel like she can actually be anything more than Beyond’s murderous toy-villain.
Despite all of this, the comic isn’t terrible. The characters’ dialogue is well written, the pacing is good, and there is a momentum to the story and action. We do get a surprise appearance from a favorite character at the end which sets up good things coming to readers in the next issue. Not only that, the ending of the comic does set up some more intrigue for the Beyond storyline.
Of course, with all of this being said, there’s the matter of Ben Reilly who’s nowhere to be found in this issue. We do get to see Janine show up in the comic, but Ben’s not with her. So, it’s likely we’ll get more with Ben Reilly in the next issue where it might switch between what’s happening with Ben and the fight with Queen Goblin at the Daily Bugle.
One quick nitpick, though. I think it’s safe to say that Queen Goblin’s “Goblin Gaze” just feels like a watered down version of the Ghost Riders’ Penance Stare. The page where she uses it does look good with Mark Bagley’s art Bryan Valenza’s colors which make it look appropriately nightmarish.
Amazing Spider-Man #89 shows more of the Queen Goblin in action as Black Cat steps up to fight her. However, the comic doesn’t follow through on that match-up as much as expected. The artwork is good and the comic is well-written, and there’s a surprise appearance that will surely excite fans and get the story rolling in the next issue.