Dark Web #1: Cloning and Moaning

I gather Dark Web is already very unpopular due to Ben Reilly’s newfound villainy and hey, it’s unpopular with me too! Yes, it’s the first issue in forever to feature Harry’s friends actually mourning him, but… Well, you’ll see.

It’s nice to see the Coffee Bean and it’s nice to see Peter, Liz and Flash grieving Harry in their own ways. I liked that at least. Oh and we now have a confirmed birthday for Harry! December 13. That makes him a Sagittarius, incidentally.

Wait, who’s that saying “it’s so good to see everyone”? Is that…

“Mrs Osborn”? It’s not Liz, she’s sitting with Flash, it’s actually Emily! Harry’s mother! So she is still around after all this time! Wow. Her thoughts on her son’s extremely complicated death and her husband’s newfound “innocence” remain unrecorded, though.

Peter finds out Norman has paid for the drinks.

For one brief shining moment I thought that figure was Harry. (So did comicbook.com, to be fair.)

Peter goes outside to talk to Norman and finally the fact that Harry died for Norman is brought up, but unfortunately, absolutely nothing happens to dilute the awfulness of that plot twist. In fact, it makes it worse if anything!

NO HE DIDN’T! He did categorically NOT love his son! Jeez, Peter. You have seen him abuse his son. You were there when he told Harry he sold him to the devil, even. What is wrong with you.

I think it’s fair to say this run is making me strongly dislike (this particular version of) Peter and I hate that. Being cordial to Norman to prevent his relapse into murder and mayhem is one thing; coddling an abuser and telling him he loved his victim all along is another. What happened to the Peter who had a sense of justice? Who IS this guy?

The long-awaited discussion of whether Clone Harry was “the real” one. I prefer to think he was the (a?) “real” one regardless of what this Not My Peter says, not least because of how much I love DeMatteis’s A Matter of Trust and Peter’s faith that the Harry who’s returned from the dead is the real deal.

All that is down the toilet now I suppose. Not that the core of Peter’s being is awfully stable these days either.

Speaking of things that’re now down the toilet – Peter also knows perfectly well that Harry did not love Norman, no version of him did (misguided, desperate devotion is not the same as love) so… yeah, what?!

I mean, there are some things I like about these couple of scenes. I like Peter acknowledging Harry was always a good person. I like that the oft-forgotten Flash/Harry friendship is finally mentioned. I like that Emily is back to existing again (although SO many unanswered questions still surround her.)

I mean… in character assassination terms at least Harry is doing better than Ben, I suppose. (Sorry Ben fans, I feel so bad for you.) But ever since the goddamn moment Kindred showed his face everything involving the Osborns has suddenly become the story of how a murdering abusing billionaire wasn’t that bad, and how dying to save the man who abused and sold you is a Good Thing, and how character development means nothing because it was all “a different person.” It’s so frustrating. None of this is the Spider-Man I loved for years.

(This isn’t even getting into Peter and MJ being broken up, for no reason, yet again.)

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