After my lovely day yesterday--a day that featured a brisk afternoon chase of screaming fury after the guy who had just made off with my bike in broad daylight in a public thoroughfare as the teeming masses stood around and stared*--I am in no mood to tolerate comic-strip stupidity. I'm afraid today's Spider-Man is about to be crucified...pun most definitely intended.
This strip is incredibly stupid. A lot of writing for superhero comics is, very unfortunately, incredibly stupid..."very unfortunately" because as certain writers have proven over the years, it really doesn't have to be. The Golden and Silver Age stuff is especially prone to the following sort of dialogue: "Great Scott! The Dominator has just climbed into his supersonic Punishomobile and is escaping through the time tunnel! I must activate my mind powers and stop him!" For the most part, comic-book dialogue is not quite like this any more. It is sometimes stupid in different ways, but it does not do as much explaining of what you can see right in front of you.
Stan Lee, or whoever is now writing this strip under Stan Lee's name, is still stuck back in the Silver Age. He does not seem to understand that visuals can actually stand in for dialogue. He is also addicted to incredibly moronic plot machinations that have nothing to do with how real people behave. To wit: if you were a cop, and you for some reason decided to enter an antique clock exhibit in the middle of the night, and while you were there, you found that all the clocks were gone and someone had put a man in high-tech handcuffs and left him lying unconscious in the middle of the floor, would you blame the unconscious, handcuffed man for the theft? You would in Stan Lee's world. Why? Who the hell knows?
Only returning to the Antichrist narrative we discussed earlier in relation to Spidey is going to help us here. The cops are clearly under the influence of the Beast; they may think they are simply hauling in a perp, but in truth, they are believing the terrible lies of the False Spidey, the henchman of Satan, and thus rejecting the True Spidey, the human incarnation of God. Never mind that the timelines have been folded back upon themselves to allow Spidey and the Antispidey to exist simultaneously; it's all an allegory anyway. Next up, we will undoubtedly have some sort of crucifixion scene during which Mr. Lee will come up with all sorts of excuses for no one to think of reaching down and removing Spider-Man's mask.**
It's possible, of course, that Spider-Man is merely an incredibly idiotic comic that is taking up precious newspaper space and should be put out of its misery before it starts foaming at the mouth and biting other strips, but I prefer to look at it as medieval allegory. That way, I spend a slightly shorter time each day weeping copiously into my pillow.
*Did I catch him? No. What would I have done if I had caught him? I'm not sure. He was a big burly guy, and I have arms like strands of overcooked spaghetti. However, I did have quite a lot of adrenaline on my side. There could very well have been some semi-successful flailing involved. At any rate, I might have had a bike at this point instead of suddenly and unexpectedly being utterly without transportation. I really love Toronto sometimes.
**The last excuse in this vein belonged to Big Time / Satan, who apparently simply didn't have enough time to pull off the mask while he was stealing an entire clock exhibit and framing his nemesis for it.