Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Writer: Cary Burkett
Penciler: Larry Lieber

Another one from the heart, as Cary Burkett has Peter Parker befriending a girl on the bus, only to see her disembark and get knocked-down by a drunk hit-and-run driver.

Using what fragments he can recall of their conversation, he heads across the city to track down her twin brother – the only person who can donate a life-saving kidney.

Alas, said twin is battling with depression, and about to jump off the roof, unaware that that act will effectively kill his sister too.

Apart from Parker and occasional foe Killer Shrike, this is a small cast of unknown characters, yet Burkett made me care about each one of them. Even the doctor at the hospital has depth, assuming that Parker's quick exit is because he doesn't want to get involved, when in fact the exact opposite is true.

The narration is heart-wrenching stuff too:

"Donnie Gardner has been hearing voices... small, bitter whispers that claw at the edge of his consciousness... They tell him that life is nothing... that it is meaningless... And he listens to them... listens as they tell him that there is no point going on... That only death – sweet oblivion – will end the aching emptiness inside... And maybe the others will be sorry then... maybe they will see how they hurt him... And maybe his death will hurt them back..."

Parker's closing internal monologue may sound trite on the surface, but I think it's also quite profound:

"Even when things are at the worst, and we think nobody cares about us – that our lives are worthless... we can still reach out to others... care for them... and, in the process, discover just how important our lives really are!"


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