I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Amazing Spider-Man: Amazing Grace by Jose Molina, Simone Bianchi, and Andrea Broccardo

The book opens up with the funeral of Julio Rodriguez who was murdered by a junkie and leaves behind a wife and two kids and a community in Harlem that mourns a good man, until the next day when he arises from his grave, an apparent miracle comes alive.  But Peter Parker doesn't believe in miracles and doesn't think much of God since his Uncle Ben's cruel death.  He sets out to try to talk to the family but they are beset by the paparazzi so he waits until the two kids sneak out to go and get something to eat and he talks to the daughter who is not afraid of him, especially since he rescued them from a mean photographer.  She tells him about how her father was dying from cancer and how the church raised funds for his treatment but it wasn't enough and he had to stop, so he turned to a witch doctor, Don Anselmo, even though her mother was against it.

When Spider-Man goes to see Don Anselmo he runs into the Santerians.*Both Anselmo and the Santerians practice Santeria a belief system that believes "that nature binds all things together--people, animals, heaven, earth--it also connects all those things to our minds...and our souls."  It's what gives the Santerians their power. They want Spider-Man to go to Cuba and find out what happened to Julio when he went there after Anselmo told him he would find something there because something went wrong. He came back mean, angry and violent.  And they can't go to Cuba because they are wanted fugitives there.  Also, Paker Industries Uncle Ben Foundation turned Julio down for help so his friend Peter Parker owes him they say.

When Peter Parker gets to Remedios, Cuba he finds a woman who remembers Julio and finds out that she recommended that he search out a Babalu, which is a spirit like an angel or saint that you pray to for health or strength or peace.  She saw one when she was a young girl and her brother was sick and the Babalu came and took her brother's illness into his body and cured him.  Only through prayer can you find a Babalu, but she tells him to try Professor Toledo who teaches philosophy and is a bit of a doubter.  The Professor tells him that that night in Rincon they are holding a feast for him at the Church of St. Lazarus so Peter hitchs a ride there and changes into Spider-Man and finds a trap set for him. He sees a vision of Uncle Ben and is caught up in a twisted mind boggle.

Meanwhile back in Harlem, the Santerians arrange a small apartment fire to lure the family out and separate Julio from his family into a car with some of them to talk to him and try to reason with him but get nowhere.  Then Julio goes too far and kills someone in the name of the Lord or what he is calling the Lord.  Hank McCoy and Tony Stark make welcome appearances in this book.  This book explores faith in a unique way with Peter Parker as the non-believer who struggles with what he sees and with the faith he notices in others.  Can Spider-Man and the Santerians save Julio and his soul?

Quoting Shakespeare doesn’t automatically win an argument. Hamlet needed Prozac.
-Jose Molina (The Amazing Spider-Man: Amazing Grace)
Link to more info on the Santerians: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santerians

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Spider-Man-Grace-2015-ebook/dp/B01JJKF1A0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489763438&sr=8-1&keywords=the+amazing+spiderman+amazing+grace

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