So I just got done reading the SPIDER-MAN: THE FINAL ADVENTURE mini series, and well I couldn't help but think of the other small story arc that was actually in the main Spider-Man titles called, THE FINAL CHATPER! Both are told in 4 parts, drawing the webs slinger to a CONCLUSION of the Saga!! So which is the better FINAL story for our Web-hero? Well, I'm here to compare and contrast our two finals, and both taking place in a very controversial era with very controversial story lines.
First off, SPIDER-MAN: THE FINAL CHAPTER!!! This story arc came AFTER the Final Adventure mini series, but I wanted to address this one first because it was the first "FINAL" I've read. The Story Arc was published in the main Spider-Man titles, Part 1 was in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ISSUE 441, Part 2 in PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN ISSUE 97, part 3 in THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN ISSUE 263, and the last part in PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN ISSUE 98!! Now, the first think I think that HAS to be addressed was that, this story arc was NEVER intended to put an end to spider-man. They even confirmed this in part 1, this was just a way for them to reboot the series and start with a brand new Number One. Even though they teased this story quite a bit, I remember in Part 2 these exact words are printed as a teaser to the final issue, and I quote: "This is It! The Spider-Man Saga as we know it comes to a Sense-Shattering Conclusion! Norman Osborns plan is revealed in full, and the only one man stands in its way." How is that not an Epic Tease of the ages for us Spidey fans?
Anyways, let's look at the plot. Norman Osborn who lost his Green Goblin powers, has decided to conduct a ritual called "The Gathering of the Five", (a whole lot of fans found this out of character, and completely shatted on it) which basically gives one of it's five gifts to each person who posses a piece of this ancient artifact that I can not remember the name of. Death, Madness, Power, Immortality, and Knowledge, and Osborn wants power of course. And does he get POWER after all? Gee, what do you think? Anyways, it also appears he's holding "May" captive, aka, Peter and Mary Jane's thought to be dead daughter (who died at birth in the Clone Saga). Of course, Mary Jane doesn't want to relive the experience of losing her baby, but Peter won't have any of it. He goes out into the night in his Blue and Scarlet costume to put an end to this!!! Sounds legit and Epic Right?
Now, let's go off to the THE FINAL ADVENTURE Mini Series that took place in a very controversial time..... THE CLONE SAGA!! Now, I can't talk about the whole clone saga, point is.. it was a mess, there you go, all you need to know. Basically Peter Parker and Mary Jane moved out of New York to start their life with their baby, YEP , the same baby peter is after in THE FINAL CHAPTER. This is BEFORE Mary Jane had the miscarriage. Peter finds himself working in the science field again, and get this, he works at the same facility that funded the experiment that gave him his Spidey powers! Peter is trying to experiment on himself, in case his daughter ever has... problems in the future. But his research is found and Peter's data is used on an inmate who is dying of a skin disease, there is more to it than that but that's the basic problem with him. Very's, the said patient, turns into a WEB-SPIDER kinda creature and starts killing people left to right. Peter dons the suit again, straining his marriage with Mary Jane to the thin line. Peter finds he can NOT get over his life as Spider-Man, so does he stand to lose his life he worked so hard to get?
So...what sounds better?.....Well... THE FINAL CHAPTER RIGHT? :3 more twists, more GREEN GOBLIN (Spider-Man's TRUE ARCHENEMY) and more to lose!! I mean... It's his baby! In The Final Adventure, the baby wasn't put in danger, not even Mary Jane. So The Final Chapter is better Right? ... Right? Well, wrong. The Final Chapter teases us so that we think that the baby that is alive, but she's not, it's AUNT May. Now, Aunt May died in THE CLONE SAGA, but ironically..... that is the one story line that people LOVED. It was bittersweet to see her go, but it was a beautiful moment, putting her fight with Spider-Man to a true rest, telling Peter she is proud that he is using his powers to help other people around her..... welp. Good thing it WASN'T REALLY AUNT MAY, AS TOLD BY GREEN GOBLIN! It was... AN ACTOR WHO....DIED.... PRETENDING TO BE AUNT MAY, WITH GENETIC MAKEUP TO LOOK LIKE HER...... What?? Even the CLONE SAGA isn't that cryptic, atleast have it be a CLONE... But an ACTOR???
The Final Adventure, which is EVEN more ironic considering it's IN THE CLONE SAGA.... HAS NONE OF THESE OVER THE TOP TWISTS! The only controversial thing is well, peter stops being spider-man. But that is another great execution brought on in THE FINAL ADVENTURE, that wasn't in THE FINAL CHAPTER. The identity of Peter and Spidey, peter is TRYING to live a normal life, but he finds he cannot. He LOVES being Spider-Man, he loves doing good, he loves putting on the suit and risking his life for others... but in the end, he Loses his powers!!... But in that, he finds himself all over again. Responsibility isn't about having power, power is given to you in the act of Existing!! Peter has no Spidey powers, but he's still Spider-Man in every single way, he helps people! He helps children get there cats out of trees, he brings people to homeless shelters, even in the SPIDER-GIRL series he works for the police to still do justice!! THAT is what SPIDER-MAN IS ALL ABOUT!!!... But in The Final Chapter, peter could care less about being Spider-Man. HELL, that's what happens! HE QUITES... AGAIN, HAS HE LEARNED NOTHING??? HE'S DONE THIS SO MANY TIMES!! I mean, I can relate to it the first time around, even the second but... look at this. He does this AGAIN because it was... hard and everybody hates him (has that ever NOT been the case???)? And the other struggles for his IDENTITY, for his life, for his well being!! That is what Spider-Man is about, using whatever power you have to do good, because it's a personal responsibility!!!
You know what I think the real problem is here? The Final Adventure was MEANT to put a cap on the Spider-Man Saga..... The Final Chapter was not. That is why they brought Aunt May back! The Final Chapter was meant to end the series for a bit, then they started the series at a new NUMBER ONE... And of course AUNT MAY had to be there for the new readers!! EVEN PART 1 states it's NOT OVER!! WE'RE STILL MAKING SPIDER-MAN STORIES!! In THE FINAL ADVENTURE, IT WORKS!! HOW? Because we STILL HAVE ONE OTHER SPIDER-MAN WHO TAKES OFF THE MANTLE!! And hell it's a direct descendant of Peters DNA, so IT'S almost like your still reading spider-man afterwords..why? BECAUSE YOU ARE!!!!!!!
Granted, both of these tales don't stand out in the Spideyverse, hell they are old and long forgotten. But if you want an in canon conclusion, stick to the Clone Peter Parker with Mary Jane. It's a better tale, it even has better characters, hell its the SAME CHARACTERS IN THE SAME UNIVERSE!!! Peter and Mary Jane feel like REAL people, I remember reading issue one as a kid and seeing their conversations in real life among the adults! In The Final Chapter... there was hardly any social interaction or any bonds. The Final Chapter came in YEARS Later, OUTSIDE of the Clone Saga, and managed to ruin one GOOD thing from the Clone Saga. Granted, the Clone Saga brought back GREEN GOBLIN in the first place, but at the time. The Final Adventure was really... Spider-Man's Final Adventure.
This four part tale lit a fire in my heart, a fire that shines bright in the heart of the Spider-Man story, and is the best and most loving conclusion to Peter Parker's Story. He even get's his old glasses back, it's like he went in a circle, and yet is moving on. While Peter Parker in THE FINAL CHAPTER ends on a low note (in a nitpick, it has a cliffhanger with goblin escaping anyways so XP), and The Final Adventure Peter Parker ends a truly triumphing note. And with that... read The Final Adventure, it's a 1000 dollar experience with the exception of a 2 dollar cost on amazon per issue. So, enjoy it, if you want an in-canon final to THE SPIDER-MAN SAGA....this is as good as it gets, and as good as it ever is going to get. Why? Because it is the BEST Spider-Man Conclusion the world will ever see in this time. NUFF SAID