I haven't seen too much of Mr. Negative in the Amazing Spider-Man trades I'm working my way through, but the whole split of a philanthropist and crime boss in the same guy is a neat idea. Mr. Negative's look is striking too, although I don't totally understand what it has to do with his powers. In this first issue, Fred Van Lente shows us how Negative is refusing to back down from the Hood and his gang of thugs. The Hood dispatches the White Dragon (who I don't recognize) to negotiate Li's surrender, and Dragon is obviously relishing the chance to put down someone of a lower class. It's easy to gloat with Mr. Negative when he uses his powers to override White Dragon's personality and send him back to attack the Hood. The villains take out the mind-controlled Dragon, but now the Hood has to get more involved. In a neat abuse of power, Norman Osborn has HAMMER shut down Chinatown as an "exercise" to free it up for an attack from the Hood. The Hood dispatches White Rabbit, Razorfist, Light Master, The Spot, Scorcher, and more to attack Mr. Negative's mansion, which is defended by Hammerhead and some mask-wearing flunkies. Spidey doesn't really get involved until the end when he heads to Chinatown and is quickly dominated by Mr. Negative. Now the Hood's strike team is going up against a possessed Spidey.
While this issue has some neat ideas and includes some fun villains, I'm not interested enough in Mr. Negative to be thrilled about the next issue.
I really don't care for Gianluca Gugliotta's take on Lightmaster. This isn't what I remember the character looking like, so it actually brought me out of the story seeing this alien looking thing when I remember a glowing 70s looking guy. The other character's look ok, but I'm a little fuzzy on the age of Negative's alter ego of Martin Li. Is he in his 50s or older?