Amazing Spider-Man #678: Schrödinger’s Catastrophe

Let us hope that Joe Quesada never decides that Satan needs to take away Peter Parker's job at Horizon Labs

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Amazing Spider-Man #678

We all loved the Daily Bugle dynamic of Peter Parker eking out a living by selling photos of himself and claiming he's got exclusive access to Spider-Man, feeding J. Jonah Jameson's smear campaign against him all the while.  Sometimes we even miss that, as it was so enduring and classic, just as it was for his hopeless bachelorhood before he married Mary Jane Watson.  Joe Quesada decided Satan wanted to eat Peter's marriage, but let's hope the demon never gets a taste for his career, too, because Horizon Labs is one of the best things to ever happen to him, both in-story and metatextually.

It's such a fantastic font of plot possibilities and a wellspring of interesting characters to play around with, not to mention the fact that good, steady, gainful employment makes Peter seem like much less of a flake in his real life (although, oddly enough, that perennially unemployed and downtrodden dynamic that made him seem like a hapless schmuck just a few years ago would probably resonate all too well these days).  This is exemplified with Amazing Spider-Man #678, beginning a two-part story called Schrödinger's Catastrophe.  It's a fun idea that could only have sprung from the crazy science-fu that goes on at Horizon.

Peter is on 'doublecheck duty' for the portly young scientist Grady Scraps, which means he's a set of fresh eyes on the projects he's working on to make sure there's no Dr. Doom-style tragic backfire in the offing.  Turns out Scraps has created a Doorway To The Breakroom Of Tomorrow, which means he's made it Tuesday in the snack house while it's Monday in the rest of the building.  Scraps walks in, grabs the newspaper and proves it works.  Peter walks in to test it, and finds the ENTIRE CITY DESTROYED because he missed a day.  Meaning he has to scramble all over the city to figure out what disaster strikes New York that required him to act – using the good Tuesday's paper as a guide… and time's running out.

Dan Slott, who I constantly worshipped in the Best of 2011 Awards, is giving us a great little taste of some Twilight Zone/Amazing Stories/Quantum Leap stuff here, and Humberto Ramos is back with that energetic and kinetic art of his that really lends a sense of urgency to the proceedings when Spider-Man is in a complete panic about one thing or another.  Also, Slott's still playing around with Julia Carpenter, this time completely ditching the Madame Web togs and showing us how she still maintains her life as a mother with her oracle-future-telling stuff.  Turns out, her daughter thinks she's a little weird sometimes, but who doesn't think their mom's weird?  It's just nice to see one of those creepy metaphysical cryptic soothsayers with a normal family life, too.

Slott continues to be a master of pacing and tension and fun and enjoyment.  Read Amazing Spider-Man.