A Spider-Man novel written by Jim Butcher
in 2006. As is Jim Butcher's style, many tropes from the Dresden Files
appear here as well.The novel chronicles the life of Peter Parker/ Spider-Man
as he attempts to defeat a trio of psychotic life-eating monsters who want him dead because he killed their brother by injecting himself with radioactive material
and then beating him down until the monster's assistant
empties a Glock into him. The now-dead monster (named Morlun) has two brothers named Thanis and Malos, and a sister named Mortia. All three of them want to beat Spider-Man and eat his totemic life-force (the power he has from being associated with a spider
). Spider-Man is joined by his old flame The Black Cat
as well as Doctor Strange and The Rhino
(yes, really). Our hero eventually defeats the psychotic family with magic rocks and plays basketball with a Tibetan monk
This book provides examples of:
- Action Girl: The Black Cat and Mary Jane both fall into this catagory.
- The Alleged Car: MJ's rusty Gremlin.
- Big Damn Heroes: Just when things are looking really bad, Mary Jane comes in to save the dahy.
- Chekhov's Gun: Also MJ's rusty Gremlin.
- Continuity Nod: Quite a few to J. Michael Straczynski's run on Spider-Man, notably Morlun and the whole "totemic hero" concept.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: MJ + tire iron + Macbeth = CMOA
- Crowning Moment of Funny: It's Jim Butcher, so of course there are going to be some CMOF.
- "Boot to the head!"
- "Got it. No getting eaten."
- "Their weakness is ham on wheat?"
- "I am the Rhino. My favorite movie is Rocky 4 and my turn-ons include exotic haberdashery and rubble."
- Special mention goes to The Rhino talking about some issues he's had over the years, all the while unintentionally zing-ing Peter and making Mary Jane almost crack a rib holding in her laughter.
- Darkest Hour: It's the title of the book, plus Spidey has three, near-invincible psychopaths trying to eat his power and kill his family. Darkest hour indeed.
- Defiant to the End: Peter to Mortia.
- Dynamic Entry: "Boot to the head!"
- Mary Jane drives a Gremlin through a chain-link fence and beats up an ancient monster with a tire iron, all while quoting Macbeth.
- Enemy Mine: Rhino and Spider-Man become this against The Ancients.
- Good People Have Good Sex: Let's just say that Peter and MJ have a healthy sex-life and leave it at that.
- Oblivious Mockery: The Rhino has a hidden pocket on his suit that he uses to carry his cellphone. He had it made because "what kind of idiot designs suit with no pockets?". Peter means to add pockets to his suit eventually...
- Rhino also mentions that he considered becoming a professional wrestler early on in his career, but stopped because he realized how "stupid" it would be to become a wrestling star just because he'd gained super strength. Peter joins the Rhino in laughing over what a silly idea that would be.
- The Rhino also happens to complain about his first suit, which was bonded to his skin for some time before he got it off. He asks himself, "what kind of moron gets himself stuck into a costume he cannot even remove?". Peter happens to notice his wife is vibrating from holding in her laughter.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: It is suggested that Rhino is a lot smarter than he lets on.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: When Spider-Man demands that the Black Cat explain why she's trying to stop him from taking on the Rhino, "in five words or less," she answers, "It. Is. A. Trap...Dummy." Possible Shout Out to a similar line from an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer; "Out. For. A. Walk...Bitch."