#585 cover by
John Romita Jr.
& Klaus Janson
By Marc Strom
Will the real Menace please stand up?
The identity of Menace, one of the Spider-Man most persistent nemeses since entering his Brand New Day, will finally come to light in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #585 on February 4, written by Marc Guggenheim with stunning art by John Romita, Jr. and Klaus Janson.
Before that, though, catch up on all the suspects and their individual rap sheets as Marvel.com and Guggenheim sift through all the clues that could possibly point to Menace's true identity.
Sure, he may look like an old man, but who knows what type of Goblin-y super serum he could have taken to become the youthful, invigorated Menace? And he seemed a little surprised when Menace crashed the party in SECRET INVASION: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #3, almost as if he thought it impossible for the villain to appear in the same room as him.
"He's not a fan of Spider-Man, for one," Guggenheim points out. "For another, he's the one who christened Menace with his name. Moreover, you'd be hard-pressed to find an instance when Bennett and Menace have been seen in the same place at the same time."
You know what they say: "Once a goblin, always a goblin." Harry's had his share of psychotic breaks in the past, so even if he were
running around town as Menace, he wouldn't necessarily remember it. Plus, he'd have easy access to a whole plethora of Goblin gear, such as the hang-glider which Menace soars around on.
"Harry's a recovering addict—and I don't just mean someone with an addiction to drugs," notes Guggenheim. "He's had another monkey on his back in the form of the Green Goblin identity. Have you noticed that Menace's look is a tad Goblin-esque? There's a reason for that."
Not exactly Spidey's number one booster, would this member of New York's finest cross the line and become a super villain just to torture the Wallcrawler? Hey, Pete's villains have had crazier motivations in the past!
"Vin came into the series with a well-established dislike of Spider-Man, one that only was exacerbated by what he went through in 'Kraven's First Hunt,'" reminds Guggenheim. "In 'Character Assassination,' we'll see just how far Vin [is] willing to go to take Spidey down."
Despite appearances, Menace has said in the past that he's out to help Hollister's campaign—but don't rule Bill out just because we've seen them on panel together! After all, who's to say there's only one
person taking Manhattan by storm as Menace?
"It was Parfrey's death—caused by Menace—in issue #551 that opened the door for Hollister to run for Mayor," Guggenheim recollects. "Hollister is a former prosecutor and a real 'law and order' man. Is it a coincidence that Menace was first seen taking out criminals in Issue #549?"
Harry Osborn's current girlfriend could have gained access to the same treasure troves of Goblin goodness as Harry, and as Echo proved while she masqueraded as Ronin in NEW AVENGERS, the fact that Menace appears to be a man doesn't mean a thing.
"If Menace helps Bill Hollister's campaign, you've got to figure Lily has the same motivations," Guggenheim suspiciously remarks. "The most damning evidence against Lily, however, is that she's named after my daughter who, I can tell you, is a menace."
A forensics expert, Carlie has always shown a strange interest in the more exotic crime scenes. With a little maneuvering, she could have stolen everything necessary to make Menace's costume and equipment, keeping her well in the running as a suspect.
"We've seen that Bill Hollister is like a second father to Carlie," relates Guggenheim. "Who knows how far she'd go to advance his political aspirations?"
Spider-Man charged the Bookie with tracking down the Spider-Tracer Killer, but his inability to find the murderer could be a delay tactic to cause the Wallcrawler even more grief to distract him from discovering he moonlights as Menace.
"Given his ties to the criminal underworld, he'd have plenty of access to second-hand Goblin tech," adds Guggenheim. "And it would be totally consistent with his character if he tried rigging the odds by getting on the field himself.
J. Jonah Jameson
J.J.J. hates Spider-Man more than anyone, and we mean anyone
. He's resorted to some crazy methods to destroy Spidey in the past—heck, he met his current wife when he hired her to create a Spider-Slayer. Dressing up as a grey goblin and soaring through Manhattan on a hang-glider could represent Jameson reaching his final straw.
"Ever since his heart attack and losing the Bugle, J.J.J.'s had a lot of time on his hands. He's got to do something with it..." Guggenheim trails off.
Learn the secret of Menace on February 4 in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #585! And for more Spidey, head over to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!
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