With all that being said, what ACTUALLY APPEARED on the printed pages of Amazing Spider-Man #605 this week?
The following two pages are pages 30 and 31 of the story in this issue (not counting the five pages of ads before these two pages).
In the pages leading up to these two pages, Peter Parker and Harry Osborn are attending a fashion show hosted by Mary Jane Watson, with two of Peter's cousins in tow, when Peter receives a phone message saying, "Peter Parker, your girlfriend Michelle wants you to call her immediately."
This state of affairs has been going on long enough that, before he even answers his phone, one of Peter's cousins asks him if it's "that girl Michelle, who keeps texting you and calling you and emailing you and IM'ing you all the time?"
Peter tells his cousin, "Michelle is just the pitbull who sleeps down the hall from me," and follows it up by saying, "She is not -- nor will she ever be -- my girlfriend."
A few pages later, when Peter returns from the fashion show to the apartment that he shares with Michelle, this is the scene that ensues:
And THAT'S IT, folks. That was the BEGINNING and the END of ANY further on-panel discussion of THAT topic.
Michelle said that she had "swapped spit" with the Chameleon back in Amazing Spider-Man #603, and Peter said that she had been "making out" with the Chameleon in that same issue. By the same token, Michelle said that what she and Peter did in Amazing Spider-Man #601 was "hook up," even though Marvel assistant editor Tom Brennan said of Peter and Michelle's liaison in that issue that "what you think happened is pretty much what happened."
Considering that the scene between Peter and Michelle, which Marvel DOES want us to see as proof that those two characters had sex, and the scene between the Chameleon and Michelle, which Marvel DOESN'T want us to see as proof that those two characters had sex, were BOTH described in EQUALLY G-rated terms in the SAME SCENE, on the SAME PAGE even, I say that THIS "PROVES" NOTHING.
I predicted that any references to the scene between the Chameleon and Michelle would NOT rule out the possibility that they'd had sex, but would instead simply offer PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY, and guess what? I WAS RIGHT.
But, hey, maybe I'm being too harsh ... after all, whether or not we accept that sex (and therefore RAPE) even took place, Van Lente STILL said that the Chameleon did "a horrible, evil, reprehensible thing" to Michelle, so let's take Marvel at its word, and judge the appropriateness of this scene by THAT standard, by seeing how much it matches up to the other predictions that I made:
Did Peter NOT tell Michelle the truth right away? YES!
Did Peter NOT tell Michelle the truth out of any vestige of concern or respect for her? YES!
Did Peter ONLY tell Michelle the truth out of a selfish, frustrated desire to get her off of his back as his "girlfriend?" YES!
In spite of Van Lente saying that the Chameleon did "a horrible, evil, reprehensible thing" to Michelle, did Peter show any signs of feeling angry or guilty or otherwise upset over the fact that one of his arch-enemies had sexually manipulated a woman that Peter himself is close to? NO!
Did this issue portray Michelle's VIOLATION (which Van Lente should certainly agree that this STILL qualifies as, if he's going to go so far as to deem it "a horrible, evil, reprehensible thing") in anything OTHER than an intentionally humorous light? NO!
Was I wrong about ANY of my predictions for this issue? YES, actually:
Peter being tempted to commit incest with his female cousins was admittedly a long-shot, but then again, a) they've already acknowledged his attraction to them in previous issues, and b) this is the same company that publishes the one-handed fanfic of Mark Millar and Jeph Loeb, so I don't think ANYTHING can be declared off the table at this point.
On the other hand, I thought there was a reasonably good chance that they would go with the easy out of making Peter and Harry roommates again, and emphasizing how YOUNG they both are, by putting them under the same roof as their surrogate parents, plus a trio of hot babes.
What REALLY surprised me, though, was that, even after his behavior drove Michelle into violent rages TWICE in this same story arc, in both instances because she felt like Peter had grievously disrespected her after shared moments of sexual intimacy, SHE'S STILL LETTING HIM STAY AT HER PLACE (because, let's not forget, it is HER place, since SHE'S the one who pays the rent). I mean, WHY??? Between this and her post-Chameleon clingy control-freak behavior, it actually makes Michelle's character look WORSE, because she comes across as either bipolar or else totally lacking in self-respect. But then again, all that she needed to get over her mad the FIRST time was for (the Chameleon disguised as) Peter to KISS her, so once again, the diagnosis goes back to being that THE BITCH JUST NEEDS SOME HOT DICKINGS AMIRITE???