I'll come clean: I'm not a regular 616 Spider-Man reader, but I heard good things about ASM from my brother and this issue seemed rather self-contained, so I picked it up. What I don't understand is who this book is targeted to? It's rated T+, but it reads like it was written for elementary school kids. I don't know how Dan Slott's other work reads, but he seems to have no confidence in his reader's abilities to intuit any subtext. Most egregious is MJ's thought balloon on the faux end of the principal story. We don't need so much detail, Slott.
Ultimately I gave this book three stars instead of two because of the touching relationship between Peter and Betty that is expressed between the pages. It's really sweet to see the two with such a strong friendship, even despite Peter repeatedly bailing on him. I wonder if ASM has gone into how Flash might feel about their closeness? I mean, he seems rather obtuse, but he also seems like the kind of dude who might be jealous or uncomfortable with their closeness, especially given his disability. Like I said, they might have covered this before, but it really doesn't matter here. I love the Parker/Brant relationship.
I also dug the parallels between Brant's assault and Uncle Ben's murder (complete with a flashback to Parker in very 1950s-looking clothing), but, once again, I feel like it's too clumsily handled. We got that Peter was repeating his vengeance quest once Aunt May pointed it out, but we didn't need to get a full-on recap of the events to have the full brunt of her statement sink in. It just feels over-talky. Missed opportunity to let Peter mature emotionally on his own instead of having Aunt May drag him there.
I dunno, guys. I'm happy to see this side of Peter and I love his relationship with Betty, but it's all so clumsily handled that I really can't recommend this book.