Amazing Reviews: "Election Day" (Amazing Spider-Man 584-588)

Updated on October 24, 2019
Nathan Kiehn profile image

Nathan Kiehn is the author of over 100 blog posts on his family website Keenlinks and "The Gray Guard" ebook fantasy trilogy on Amazon.

Marc Guggenheim wraps up the mysterious "Menace" plotline of Brand New Day, revealing the new villain's shocking identity and its repercussions for Spidey's supporting cast!
Marc Guggenheim wraps up the mysterious "Menace" plotline of Brand New Day, revealing the new villain's shocking identity and its repercussions for Spidey's supporting cast! | Source

Finally. Two subplots that have been teased since the beginning of Brand New Day are finally laid to rest in this volume. Marc Guggenheim, John Romita Jr., and Barry Kitson answer two long-standing questions: Who is the face behind the mask of the newest Goblin to “Menace” Spider-Man? And who is responsible for all those spider tracer killings?

Now, before diving into the story, I want to make a note: Some people did not enjoy the Menace mystery a whole lot. They thought it felt like a rip-off of the Green Goblin and Hobgoblin mysteries from earlier years. Yes, it’s definitely a recycled plot, but it’s one that seems very well thought out, and it wasn’t a mystery that took years and years to solve. It got teased for a while and then answered.

Cast Your Votes

It’s Election Day in New York City, and what better way for Spidey to start it then getting hunted down by New York’s Finest. Believed to be a murderer, the stakes are high for Spidey and this chase ends up with him getting grazed by a bullet and sailing through a glass window. He eventually falls unconscious from his wounds, but he wakes up just fine. During this sequence, before he succumbing to sleep, he breezes past a guy into an elevator, escaping two officers on his tail (one of whom happens to be Vin Gonzales, Peter Parker’s roomie). One officer grills the guy, asking why didn’t he stop Spidey, to which the guy responds that it’s the cops' job to catch bad guys, not his. It’s a hilarious reference to Amazing Fantasy #15, where Spidey lets a crook go who ultimately kills his Uncle Ben. Good moment, great job by Guggenheim.

Events happen quickly. Harry Osborn proposes to his girlfriend Lilly Hollister, daughter of popular mayoral candidate Bill Hollister. Carlie Cooper—a forensic specialist who has popped up here and there since the beginning of Brand New Day—is focusing her efforts on the spider tracer murders. Then things start getting really weird. With the help of a friend, Carlie rigs a device that lets her track the tracers, specifically to their point of origin. At the same time, Lilly has to leave Harry suddenly. Carlie tracks the tracers down…

…to Peter Parker’s apartment.

"I had NOTHING to do with thi...well, okay, maybe just a little."
"I had NOTHING to do with thi...well, okay, maybe just a little." | Source

Wait, what? She’s confronted by Vin and his officer partner, who mention an attack by Menace going on at a Hollister rally. Peter, who’s dressing his gash at the time, goes off to fight this new goblin. Now, because Romita Jr. loves his bloodletting, the battle between the two is fierce, and Menace reaches the point where he could kill Spider-Man but chooses not to. Instead, he leaves a bloody and battered Spider-Man for the police and flies away to another apartment. The Hollister apartment. Just in time for Harry Osborn to walk in and discover Menace contorting his features and discovering “he” isn’t a “he” but a “she.” Menace is Lily Hollister.

How’s that for a twist?

I'm astonished there's not a "DUH-DUH-DUH!" right about now.
I'm astonished there's not a "DUH-DUH-DUH!" right about now. | Source


Okay, lots, lots going on. So much so that the next issue—this one drawn by Barry Kitson—is dedicated to Menace’s origin, which is fairly similar to many Goblin-esque origins: Lilly gets doused with a type of formula and goes crazy as a result, except she doesn’t need a costume because she becomes a goblin creature that she can turn into at will. That’s different. While she began attacking other candidates like Palfrey (who died a number of issues ago), she decided to switch tactics and target her father’s campaign, to drum up sympathy.

I like this twist, particularly because it was woven so well throughout the previous issues. You get the idea this is what the writers wanted from the beginning and so gave proper clues as to what’s going on—previous issues with both Lily and Menace will never show them together, Lily kisses Peter at one point to keep him from touching a secret lever to a secret Goblin lab, it explains her “disappearance” during the Secret Invasion story—to keep the story fresh. And some fans may say it feels like a Green Goblin/Hobgoblin rip-off, but if this is the “Goblin mystery” story for my generation, then I’m cool with it. I also knew that Lily was the Goblin before reading these issues and earlier Brand New Day material, so I got to examine how the writers crafted the story, which I enjoyed.

When John Romita Jr. returns for the next issue, he’s got a lot to handle. Spidey’s in jail, and Vin joins him after being turned on by his partner. Now, the cops haven’t killed anyone. They’ve only planted Spider-tracers on dead bodies to make it look like Spider-Man killed these people (who actually killed these people is never addressed), to sabotage the hero’s reputation since cops hate that Spidey does their job for him. Spidey, fortunately, does not harbor similar feelings. Given some legal and extralegal help from his blind lawyer Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, Spidey secures a web-shooter and helps bust Vin out of prison, largely since he’s not sure why the guy’s there. He kicks the snot out a whole cell block to get out, cause these guys apparently forgot what happened to the Kingpin all those months ago.

Girls, Guys, Goblins, and Guggenheim

And then things start to collide. Cops try to arrest Carlie in order to keep their tracer scheme a cover-up; Lily’s present when this happens and so dons her Menace gear and weaponry to stop them; Spidey hears about this and ditches Vin, who confronts his police captain, who’s also part of the tracer scheme. Harry Osborn, meanwhile, is in complete shock at what’s happened. These writers really like piling it on poor Harry. His father was the OG Green Goblin who killed his best friend’s girlfriend and then got killed himself; Harry got hooked on drugs and became a Green Goblin himself before “dying” and undergoing rehab in Europe; Norman returned and started Green Goblining again before shooting an alien queen and basically becoming second to the president in terms of power. Wow. And, as much as I hate to say it, it only gets worse for him as the series continues.

Even in the midst of a fight, there's always time for a thought bubble.
Even in the midst of a fight, there's always time for a thought bubble. | Source

Harry dons a Green Goblin costume and goes after Lily, saving Spidey from another brutal beat down courtesy of Romita Jr. The fallout here is huge. The battle ends with Lily’s identity being revealed on live television and her father Bill—the favorite to win the election—pulling out of the race in shame. A mayor will be elected at a later date. Harry’s dealing with the pain as best as possible, but he’s hurt, and Spidey’s worried that his best friend donned a costume to save him. Is Harry going crazy again? Vin makes a deal to squeal on fellow cops involved in the tracer killings, and we’re introduced to his sister, Michelle, who’s also his attorney. She will be appearing more often down the line, I assure you. Finally, Lily is approached by Norman Osborn, and fans are left with the sickening feeling that he’s about to twist her to fit his own diabolical ends.

Overall, this is a really fun volume. After reading a number of issues, we’re starting to see some progress in story other than in terms of world building. The realm of Brand New Day has been constructed, and the payoff is beginning. The mystery of Menace is solved, the spider tracer killings are exposed, and the mayoral race has reached a definite turning point. If fans were left disheartened by One More Day, hopefully this new era was encouraging to them. There are still a lot of story threads to follow, and these creators will continue weaving them as best they can to give us a vibrant world to explore.

Amazing Spider-Man: Election Day

4 stars for Amazing Spider-Man: Election Day

Which "Goblin" Enemy has Been Spider-Man's Greatest?

See results

© 2017 Nathan Kiehn


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)