Review by Frank Plowright
The opening story of this slim five chapter collection exemplifies the best of writer Dan Slott. It’s a very clever plot in which one of Peter Parker’s Horizon labs colleagues invents a doorway that transports to the future, although only to a single enclosed room. When Parker steps through, he witnesses New York as a wasteland. He has 24 hours to prevent that occurring, his only clues within a newspaper pulled from the future. Slott spins out the tension and desperation over two chapters, and then delivers an obvious solution that only the extraordinarily astute will see coming. Illustrated by Humberto Ramos, it’s altogether very satisfying and among the best stories of this run.
There have been assorted references to the never seen sixth lab member at Horizon, with only boss Max Modell knowing the identity of the researcher. Spider-Man’s curiosity eventually overcomes his caution, and discovers someone he knows all too well. There is a twist or two along the way, but it’s not a story that compares with its predecessor, although well drawn by Matthew Clark inked by Tom Palmer, and it prefaces the collection after next, No Turning Back.
Giuseppe Camuncoli returns to pencil the final tale here. Of all the semi-regular pencillers used during Dan Slott’s run on Spider-Man his is the most appealing work. He supplies imaginative layouts opening into impressive large images without ever sacrificing the storytelling, and his skilled work on character sequences is instinctively humane, supplying credible emotion without exaggeration. Inker Klaus Janson’s suppresses his natural scratchy style to deliver a smooth finish.
The problem at hand is astronaut John Jameson trapped on a failing space station. The reason for the failure is clarified once Spider-Man and the Human Torch arrive, and from that point it’s a nail-biting battle against time, much as the opening story was. Chris Yost collaborates with Slott on all but that opener, with no clear demarcation in the credits, suggesting his contribution is more than providing the dialogue for Slott’s plots. However the work was shared, in the space station section there are few clues and it’s a smooth read. The fun continues in Ends of the Earth.