By Dan Slott, Mark Waid (writers), John Romita Jr., Patrick Olliffe (pencils), Klaus Janson, Serge LaPointe (inks), Dean White, Rain Beredo (colors)

The Story: Anti-Venom and Spidey have their showdown with Green Goblin and the Thunderbolts. When the fight kicks into high gear (within the confides of Oscorp no less), the layers begin to peel back and the connection between the Chinese immigrants (last seen in part 1 of this story arc) and the Osborn family is revealed. You get all this and a surprise back-up story by Mark Waid featuring Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report for $3.99.

What’s Good? Aunt May getting owned by Mr. Negative is ridiculously funny for all the wrong reasons. Besides, she should be dead anyway.

John Romita shows off his dazzling ability to show ferocity with battles taking place on two fronts. We get lots of big panels, lots of action lines, and tons of dynamic action. This is par for Romita, who excels at this kind of stuff, and it’s this effortless storytelling that makes this comic so good. Having Pat Olliffe return to draw a Spider-Man story is a nice touch, too.

Dan Slott writes fun and hammy dialogue and does his best to tie up loose ends while adding to the intrigue of Harry’s disappearance and his “other life”. The Thunderbolts may be wolves in sheeps’ clothing, but there’s a nice honorable moment here that shows that some of these guys aren’t beyond redemption.

What’s Not So Good? Dan Slott’s dialogue is a bit “too hammy” at times. Spidey saying, “You-you-you suck,” is straying into Ultimates 3 territory. There also seems to be more questions created from this arc than answers. It’s frustrating. Spider-Man completely owns the Green Goblin so easily is feels out of place. The guy barely put up a fight! Lily’s sudden feelings for Peter is way too forced.

I love Stephen Colbert, but the back up story isn’t as funny as it should be. It’s not that the story is bad – it’s silly and cheesy, that’s for sure – but completely unnecessary. I’d rather pay $2.99 and not have the back up story than pay a dollar extra for this. This story would be better served in an Amazing Spider-Man Annual than in a regular issue.

Conclusion: At $3.99, this issue stings. The final chapter does a good job of delivering the goods, but the newer plot points introduced is making Brand New Day feel a bit too convoluted. We need answers before more plot is introduced.

Grade: B

– J. Montes