Cover Price: $1.99

#98
November 1998

Value: $3 (Near Mint-Mint)

 

Supporting Cast:
J. Jonah Jameson, Ben Urich, Gloria Grant, Mary Jane Watson, Aunt May


Guests:
Mister Fantastic


Villains
:
Green Goblin, Scriers

"The Final Chapter" - 23 Pages


Writer - Howard Mackie
Artist - John Romita JR.
Inker -
Scott Hanna
Cover -
John Byrne
Letterer
- Richard Starkings & Liz Agraphiotis
Colorist -
Gregory Wright
Editor - Ralph Macchio
Editor In Chief -
Bob Harras

The Final Chapter Part 4 of 4. Continued from Spectacular Spider-Man #263. Final Issue of this volume. Volume 2 begins in January of 1999 with Peter Parker: Spider-Man #1.

Alternate Cover

This is it! The very last issue of the first volume of all Spider-Man titles. Amazing Spider-Man #441 was the last of that lone series first volume. Spectacular Spider-Man #263 was the last issue of that series, period. Now it's time for the last issue of Spider-Man, and it wraps up "The Final Chapter" storyline. This last part will make way for the re-boot that will include only Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man, beginning with new number ones in a second volume that will eventually be dual-numbered to reflect the old numbering as well. This issue has two covers. Not two alternates, but one right after each other, so that there is not two issues, but just one for you collector's out there. The first displays Spider-Man in a ray of sunlight (the "happy cover"), and then we have turn the first cover to see the second one displaying Spider-Man amongst the rubble on the ground all torn and battered (the "saaaaad cover"), then we have the rest of our storyline.

If you remember from the end of
Spectacular Spider-Man #263, the Green Goblin seemed like he was not only triumphant in killing Spider-Man, but he also revealed Spider-Man's identity to be Peter Parker in front of a huge crowd that includes many friends of Peter's. Is this truly the end of Spider-Man? I wouldn't bet on it! As we turn past the two covers on the issue, we see the Green Goblin getting whacky, yelling out that he killed Spider-Man and laughing incessantly out loud. Norman Osborn has believed all along, that he has received the gift of ultimate power from the Gathering of five, when he participated in the ritual in Amazing Spider-Man #441. Instead, it is revealed here that he actually received the gift of madness. You see, the events that occurred at the end of Spectacular Spider-Man #263 was what was seen through the eyes of Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, and not reality. What we see on the second page of this issue is reality: The Green Goblin all webbed up by Spider-Man, and all is well with Spidey and his secret identity. The Green Goblin on the other hand, is not so well, still raving about that he has killed Spider-Man. Spider-Man still has the problem with his Aunt May, who is in the custody of Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four), and awaiting surgery to remove a "trigger" implanted in the base of her brain. The device was implanted by Norman Osborn to set off a worldwide DNA bomb killing millions. The police take away a ranting Green Goblin, as Spider-Man detects one of the Goblin's pumpkin bombs ready to go off in the Daily Bugle building. Spider-Man clears the area as fast as he can, and the bomb goes off. Spider-Man rushes to hold up one of the support beams, but the building is ready to collapse, and Spider-Man struggles with every ounce of his strength to hold up the building. J. Jonah Jameson is outside blaming Spider-Man for everything that has happened with the Green Goblin battle and with the Daily Bugle building, but after some pages of self pep-talk, Spider-Man lifts the building up and plants a support beam under it. Very reminiscent of Spider-Man lifting heavy machinery off of himself from the classic Amazing Spider-Man #33, Spider-Man has come through again, using every iota of energy that he has to return the Daily Bugle building to safety.

After webbing up the entire building, Jameson orders the police to arrest Spider-Man, which they all ignore. Spider-Man walks right by Jameson saying "I'm through", then whispers to Mary Jane to meet him at the hospital. Spider-Man rushes to the hospital where Reed and his team of surgeons are working on his Aunt May, to stop them from exposing the device to air. Norman has stated that if the device is removed from her brain, exposing it to the air will set it off, and Peter does not know what the heck to believe at this point. Spider-Man is very weak after his long battle with the Goblin, and struggles to try and make his way to the hospital to stop the surgery. After a little rest, Spider-Man finally makes it, crashing through the surgery room's door yelling at Reed to stop. Spider-Man asks to save her, but not to remove the triggering device. A little later in the waiting room, Peter and Mary Jane wait, and they talk about their lives. Mary Jane has gotten back into the modeling business, and her agent has set up a new place for them to live along with Aunt May, and then Peter tells MJ that he is "done". All of the recent problems would not have occurred if not for Spider-Man, and he has made his decision.

Reed Richards interrupts the two with some great news: Peter's Aunt May is alive and in stable condition. The doctors were able to neutralize the device in her brain, and she was ready to see her Nephew and Niece. After they make their way into the room with Aunt May, Peter and Mary Jane see their Aunt and begin to cry. This is the first time since May's "death" in Amazing Spider-Man #400" that Mary Jane has seen her. Of course, Peter was shocked to see her again at the end of Spider-Man #97, where it was explained (in
Spectacular Spider-Man #263) that is was an actress that died and not the real Aunt May (all masterminded by the Green Goblin of course!). Later Peter and Mary Jane walk outside where Peter throws his Spider-Man costume into a fire, thereby saying goodbye to his life as Spider-Man. We shall see how long this lasts! Elsewhere in a rubber room, the Green Goblin is still ranting that he killed Spider-Man, and the guards are ready to remove his mask. Out of nowhere, members of the order of the Scriers come into the room and assault or kill the guards, just after they learned of the Goblin's identity. They take the Goblin, and leave the room stating that "Norman Osborn belongs to the Scriers!"

So the re-boot is set-up, but who will be Spider-Man now that Peter Parker has given up the mantle? Just another couple of issues, and all will be answered, but the questions surrounding Norman Osborn and his relationship with the Scriers will have to wait a bit longer. The Revenge Of The Green Goblin #1-3 will reveal a lot behind their relationship, as well as set-up his return as the Green Goblin featured in Amazing Spider-Man V2 #25 (#466) and Spider-Man V2 #25 (#123). The re-boot takes place in two months after this issue with a new Amazing Spider-Man #1 (#442).

Quality Rating: 2
Significance Rating: 3

Overall Rating:

5

 

Spider-Man #97

Also This Month:

Amazing Spider-Man #441
Spectacular Spider-Man
#263

Sensational Spider-Man
#33

Spider-Man Unlimited
#22

Avengers
V3 #10

Thor V2 #5

Spider-Man V2 #1 (#99)