Now being that this arc took place over 6 years ago I'm not going to give warning of spoilers so, with out further ado let's review The Amazing Spider-Man: Mr. Parker Goes to Washington (issues #529, #530, #531), written by J. Michael Straczynski with Art by Ron Garney (#529) and Tyler Kirkham.
These issues act as a warm up to Spidey's participation in the Marvel event 'Civil War' and whilst aren't fully needed it gives a great background for readers to fill in blanks when the Civil War tie-in issues begin.
This arc opens with Peter and Mary-Jane being woken up by Tony Stark via an intercom styled as a bird statue (it seems a few issues ago Stark ask Pete and M.J. to come live at the Avengers Tower), he announces that he has something to show Peter, this being a new Spider-Man costume as the original "was just...cloth", Stark goes through the features of the suit mentioning that it has resistance to small arm ballistics, has the ability to glide and of course an onboard computer like everything else Stark builds, at this point I'm surprised Jarvis hasn't been put into an android body yet.
|Stark works on the Iron Spider Suit|
The next two issues take place in Washington where Tony and Peter meet with a board of politicians to try talk them out of approving the Registration Act. There's a nice bit with Tony explaining he's upgraded Pete's suit over night to be able to change the physical appearance of the costume and even go invisible so that he doesn't have to worry about street clothes and it now comes with three mechanical legs that pop out of the back. This issue has some nice characterisation of politics in that the duo are doing terribly at swaying their opening with Pete even learning a thing or two about how politics work (which also teaches the reader somewhat but don't go getting your law degree based off this!). During a recess of the meeting Titanium Man who has been watching the pair since they landed strikes and tries to attack Tony with Pete stepping in as Spidey to trade punches with mechanical menace.
During the fight Titanium Man announces that the death of Stark would lead to the Bill's approval which would then result in all of America turning against it's super heroes (like Russia did apparently). Spidey uses his new extra legs to damage Titanium Man's helmet resulting in him retreating. Back in the hearing room Tony is still debating with the Politicians using footage recorded from Spidey's mask of Titanium Man's scheme to sway the result, the board retort how do you have any proof this is real? When Spidey enters and announces he was there and why the registration act would endanger his and other heroes family, unfortunately because his identity is unknown the board cannot accept his testimony proving that there maybe a need for the registration act.
The arc ends with Tony talking to Pete about how it's good that he stood up for his morals and spoke his mind and that the bill has been delayed. The epilogue shows Iron Man meeting Titanium Man and passing over a briefcase of money for successfully attack Stark and helping in swaying the boards decision to pass the bill there and then but, Titanium Man warns him that America's government may well turn on the heroes sooner than they think and that Stark will find himself collecting briefcases of money in the near future. The last pages focuses on Peter as he falls asleep in front of the TV after a hard day as the speaker announces a terrible tragedy has befallen Stamford, Connecticut and Speedball is to blame.
|Pete learns about Poltics and at the same time, we do!|
Ron Garney's art captures the world of Spider-Man very well too, Spidey looks lean but not too muscular the way he sets up panels is dynamic that it flows well when you read it and there's no confusion to what's happening. Most Importantly the design for the new suit works on many levels too, you can tell it's designed by Stark with the colour design but it's also quite minimalistic compared to the ol' red and blue whilst re-enforcing where Pete's alligence lies. Tyler Kirkham's art does the job but it doesn't quite capture the feel of Spidey's world as well but does capture the awe that the character feels when standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial extremely well.
This arc is very political based and shows a different kind of threat facing super heroes but also reminds us that sometimes we should face our own politicians and in that sense draws great comparison between the story and the reader, the art is dynamic and tells the story well and the characters are portrayed extremely well with a good few humourous bits thrown in. If you've only read Amazing Spider-Man: Civil War go back and check this precursor out as it shows interesting character development like Tony being opposed to the Registration Act but also that he would not fight against his government.
Overall I give this three-issue arc 7/10.
Come back next Time when I'll be reviewing the Civil War Arc (#532-#538)!