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AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #560

PETER PARKER THE PAPARAZZI - PART TWO - FLAT OUT CRAZY

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WRITER: DAN SLOTT
PENCILS: MARCOS MARTIN
INKS: MARCOS MARTIN
COLORS: JAVIER RODRIGUEZ
LETTERS: VC'S CORY PETIT
COVER: MARCOS MARTIN AND JAVIER RODRIGUEZ
ASSISTANT EDITOR: TOM BRENNAN
EDITOR: STEPHEN WACKER
EXECUTIVE EDITOR: TOM BREVOORT
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: JOE QUESADA
PUBLISHER: DAN BUCKLEY

PREVIOUSLY: Fresh off losing photos of the publicity preoccupied purse-snatcher Screwball, Peter Parker is given the celebrity gossip beat at the DB. Now a super-powered paparazzo, Spider-Man is rolling in cash – but his friends and family don't trust his newfound career. Harry Osborn, a victim of the press for most his life is disgusted by his pal; Joe Robertson fears he’s losing Peter to the media's dark side. Aunt May finds the job dishonourable – and Hollywood heartthrob Bobby Carr is out for Peter's blood. Meanwhile, his mysterious and dangerous admirer is out for blood of her own.

REVIEW: The story opens with an interview of the waitress that was assaulted by Bobby Carr at the Deep End Club (see Amazing Spider-Man #559 for additional details). She is apparently suing Carr for two million dollars as a result of emotional distress she's suffered since the incident.

As the interview concludes, the reporter tells the waitress to enjoy her fifteen minutes of fame, while it lasts. The waitress ignores the reporter's remark and heads to the bathroom, while on the phone with her mother, giving her an update about the lawsuit against Carr. Unbeknownst to the waitress, Paper Doll - introduced in ASM #559 - follows her inside the bathroom and effectively kills her for suing Bobby Carr (as pointed out in last issue, Paper Doll is fanatically infatuated with Carr). What's left of the waitress' body is difficult to explain; it's as if she was deflated, her entire insides taken out of her. She has essentially become somewhat of a paper doll herself.

When Bobby Carr exits the Soho Grand Hotel, he's hounded by a paparazzo who is trying to figure out the identity of Carr's mystery girl. When the paparazzo jokingly suggests that the mystery girl is actually a man, a livid Carr loses it and smashes the paparazzo's camera into his face, breaking his nose in the process. As this happens, Carr's bodyguards spot paparazzi photographer Peter Parker, taking pictures of the incident from across the street, seemingly hanging from the side of the building. The bodyguards run across the street to try and grab Peter's camera but by the time they get there, he is long gone. They figure he must have had a rope tied up to the roof and was hanging from it – if they only knew! Sean Rockwell, Carr's manager, tells Bobby to go back in and turns his attention to Frankie Collins, the paparazzo who was assaulted by Carr. Rockwell hands his card to Frankie Collins and mentions that they'll talk again soon. Upon leaving the scene, Rockwell grabs his cell phone and calls none other than Dexter Bennett. It is revealed that Bennett cleverly passed Rockwell's tip to two paparazzi, Parker and Collins, anticipating that something might happen with Carr. Bennett tells Rockwell that he'll double his fee, as it was essentially two tips, and goes on asking Rockwell if one of the two got a shot. Rockwell responds that Parker did and asks Bennett if Parker and Collins knew they were both acting on the same tip. Bennett answers that no one at the DB knows half of what he's doing, as they just follow orders.

At the Coffee Bean, an infuriated J. Jonah Jameson is trying to get a cup of coffee, but the barista is refusing to serve him some. Jameson yells for the manager, Harry Osborn, demanding to see him. Harry shows up and tells Jameson that the Coffee Bean reserves the right to refuse service. Either Jameson changes his order or he's going to have to leave. Jameson is furious and cannot believe what Harry is saying. Harry tells Jameson that he promised his wife, Marla, who came by the week before, not to serve him anything with caffeine in it; Harry believes Marla hit every coffee shop for twenty blocks. Harry offers Jonah a cup of Chai tea on the house, just as Peter arrives. Harry is not very happy to see him and refuses to let him in the Coffee Bean. Peter can feel Harry giving him the cold shoulder but speaks nonetheless and tells Harry that he's made enough money with his new job to pay him back for the money he borrowed from him. Harry doesn't care about the money; he's mad at Peter for having become the one kind of person he despises more: a paparazzo. Harry has had paparazzi chasing him his entire life, forcing him to leave the country and fall off the face of the Earth because of them. It makes him wonder how much money it'll take for Peter to turn on him and start aiming his camera at him. Peter replies that he's only going after jerks like Bobby Carr; he’s not making them do anything. He's just taking pictures of them and doesn’t feel that he’s hurting anybody by doing so.

Back at the Deep End Club, the body of the dead waitress is discovered in the bathroom. DB reporter Betty Brant is on the scene, trying to get a scoop for her newspaper. Forensic specialist Carlie Cooper is also on the scene, accompanying the lead forensic pathologist. Officer Vin Gonzales, who has a crush on Cooper, asks if she'd like to come over to his place later that night and hang out. Carlie replies that she had been wondering when they would be inviting her over, assuming that Peter Parker has already moved in with Vin. Vin replies that Peter hasn't moved in yet and explains that it'll just be she and him. Before they can discuss it any further, the lead forensic pathologist tells Carlie that he's allowing her to work the case with him, providing she’s willing to work overtime. Ecstatic at the thought of working on a paranormal case, Carlie accepts the offer. A few minutes later, the body of the waitress is taken out of the club. Upon seeing a very flatten body bad, Betty Brant asks why they haven't removed the body. Officer Alan O'Neil tells Betty that the body is in the bag, though it appears somebody has flattened the waitress. A stunned Betty realizes she must get back to the DB immediately to relate this news to her bosses.

A short time later at the Daily Bugle, Dexter Bennett is overjoyed with Peter's pictures of Bobby Carr's attack on Frankie Collins. For his efforts, Peter gets a bonus check and a basket of exotic cheeses. Bennett tells Peter that his offer of two million dollars for a picture of Carr's mystery girl is still on the table. Peter leaves Bennett and goes to see Betty Brant and Joe Robertson, who are talking about the murdered waitress (named Edith Harper by the way). Upon seeing her photograph on the desk, Peter immediately recognizes her as the waitress from his photo and asks what happened to her. Betty explains that she was killed in a very bizarre way. Stunned, Peter rhetorically asks who would do something like that. Joe explains that the DB made her a celebrity the moment they printed his (Peter's) paparazzi pictures. By shining the crazy spotlight on her, they partly are responsible for what happened to her, though Dexter Bennett's lawyers would never let them say it. Upon hearing this, Peter realizes the negative side of being a paparazzi.

Later that night, Peter, as Spider-Man, is keeping an eye on Frankie Collins, fellow DB paparazzi, whose life may be in jeopardy as a result of his mixing up with Bobby Carr. Suddenly, his spider-sense kicks in, warning him of danger. Just then, at the street level down below, Paper Doll materializes out of a nearby advertisement sign and prepares to attack Frankie. Fortunately, Spidey swings down and engages Paper Doll into battle, causing them to come crashing through the front window of a pop-art museum. As the visitors scurry out of the building, Spidey gets back on his feet, only to discover that Paper Doll is nowhere to be found and that Frankie Collins has decided to take pictures of the whole thing rather than getting to safety. Suddenly, Paper Doll emerges from a nearby Andy Warhol-type painting of Captain America, right behind Frankie. Acting quickly, Spidey grabs hold of Paper Doll and tosses her across the room into a giant metal banana statue. When he goes to punch her, however, she remains unharmed, as she's basically paper-thin. She then takes off after Frankie, who finally came to his senses and decided to run away. Just as Frankie reaches a crowd of mannequins, Paper Doll appears to come down on him and at that exact moment, Spidey fires a web-line, snagging the back of Frankie's jacket, and pulls on it with all his strength. The next panel shows Paper Doll seemingly covering Frankie's body and using her powers to "steam-roll" him. As she stands up, she realizes that it wasn't Frankie at all, but one of the plastic mannequins. Frankie is actually safe and sound with Spidey in the adjacent room. Spidey webs up the access between the rooms but Paper Doll starts slicing through his webbing, making use of her super paper-cut powers. Clueless as to how to defeat her, Spidey tells Frankie to figure out how to make her stop since he essentially made her come after him in the first place when he got punched by Bobby Carr and decided to sue him. Terrified, Frankie mentions that he'll drop the restraining order against Carr and call off the lawsuit. As well, he'll never bother him again. Frankie’s "surrender" surprisingly works as, seconds later, Paper Doll has disappeared.

A short time later, outside the pop-art museum, Frankie Collins announces to a TV reporter that he's dropping all legal action against Bobby Carr, as he realized, when he was stuck inside between Paper Doll and the Spider-Tracer Killer (i.e. Spider-Man), that life is too short. Watching from across the street, Spidey cannot believe Frankie's audacity. Having heard enough, he swings away, thinking of ways to stop Paper Doll from killing again. He thinks he knows someone who can help him as Peter Parker

Minutes later, Peter shows up at the NYPD Forensic Lab where Carlie Cooper is performing an autopsy on Edith Harper, the first victim of Paper Doll. Carlie reveals that Edith's skin did not rupture and that her organs are still intact. In fact, she believes, for lack of a better term, that Edith was compressed. But that wasn't what led to her death; the cause is actually suffocation. Somehow, her mass has remained the same, but her lung capacity was so greatly diminished that Carlie doesn't know how she could have taken in enough oxygen to survive. Carlie asks Peter why he wants to know. Peter replies that it's for the DB and thanks Carlie for the information; he then heads out.

Sean Rockwell, Bobby Carr's agent, calls Dexter Bennett to give him another tip about Carr, to pass along to paparazzo Peter Parker. This is done with the understanding that Bennett won't publish any photos, should Parker get any, before Carr's next movie "One Last Kiss" goes into wide release. Rockwell then tells Bennett that Carr is on his way to his estate in the Hamptons to see his mystery girlfriend. Rockwell has arranged for the two of them to be sent up there until the Paper Doll nonsense blows over. Having met his end of the bargain, Rockwell tells Bennett that he'll expect to see his payment in his account shortly. He then hangs up the phone. From the wall emerges Paper Doll who is furious at Rockwell for betraying Carr’s trust. She wraps herself around him and literally squeezes the air out of him, effectively taking his life. He doesn't even have a change to fight back.

Bobby Carr arrives at his estate in the Hamptons. The building is surrounded by heavily armed bodyguards, surveying the grounds of the property. All other staff has been sent home before "she" (Carr's mystery girl) arrived. Carr makes his way through the mansion and finally meets up with his mystery girl, who is none other than Mary Jane Watson!!.

To be continued.

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