From Marvel Comics, Brian Reed, Lee Garbett, John Lucas.
The problem with Annuals is figuring out where they fit within the character’s history. Where would this story, an extra sized story at that, fit in with the current stories going on in Amazing Spider-Man, Avenging Spider-Man, Avengers, AVX and more?
Well, luckily none of that matters because the story takes place in about 5 minutes of 616 time.
The story is Peter Parker’s version of “Its a Wonderful Life”. The world is a very different place without Spider-Man and Peter debates – is that for the better?
Here come the spoilers.
Seriously, turn back now!
Its a nice story with a crap resolution. EVERYONE’s life is better. MJ, JJJ, Osborn and hell Uncle Ben is still alive as well. The world hasn’t been torn asunder. The Avengers are still around. As far as what we are shown (I mean, Gwen Stacy could still be dead but we don’t know) the world is alright.
So what worth does Spider-Man have? Does the world need him.
Yes. Peter Parker is needed because he needs to leave so the earth/time quakes he is causing can stop.
Let me try to explain this again, but it will make just as little sense. In this alternate world Peter Parker, and thus Spider-Man, doesn’t exist. Now that Peter is in this world, chronal anomalies are taking place. The destruction from these anomalies are so violent that it is endangering all of New York City. (And then… the world!) Petey agrees to leave this world, to stop the time quakes. And thus the world needed him. To stop the quakes. That are only happening because he exists. So, if he never existed in this alternate reality then the quakes wouldn’t be taking place and thus there would be nothing for him to stop. Thus, he wouldn’t be needed.
So the whole point of Spider-Man existing in this reality is to stop this danger that is only caused by his presence!
It falls apart and makes less sense the more you think about it.
All of that said, its a nice quick read. Its always good to see these alternate stories in which Peter can tell Uncle Ben the words he was never able to. Not every issue, but once every few years its a touching road to head down.
However, $4 for an annual that doesn’t actually make any sense is not worth it.