As Stan Lee might say, “Welcome, true believers!” to this latest issue of Amazing Spider-Man, which is also an Original Sin Tie-In issue. For those not in-the-know, Original Sin is an 8 part, Marvel Universe spanning event that is currently happening within its own comic line and subsequent other titles. Check out Comic Book Herald’s own Big Phil and his review of issue number 6!
For readers of Amazing however, this issue picks up some story threads that have been developing since the return of Peter Parker’s brain to his body in issue #1. Lost? Real quick backstory: During the end of volume 2 of Amazing Spider-Man, long time spidey villain and rival nerd Otto Octavius, or Doctor Octopus, was dying. He devised a crazy, super-villainy plan to switch his brain with Peter’s, thus saving himself and allowing Peter to die inside his body. This all happened in the penultimate issue #700, and paved the way for a few years of Superior Spider-Man, featuring Doc Ock reeking havoc on Peter’s life and super-hero relationships. But, as luck would have it, you can’t keep Peter or his consciousness down that easy, and he clawed his way back, ushering in this new volume of Amazing Spider-Man. Whew!
In the last three issues, we have seen Peter with a new lease on his life, and also trying to make sense of the changes that Doc Ock made to it. He now owns Parker Industries, and also had a relationship with Anna Marconi, who works with him. This issue begins at the lab, with Peter enjoying his new role as scientist. But he is immediately called away by a priority Avengers call, and is thrust in the events of Original Sin. The Watcher has been killed, and his eyes are prized possessions, because they have seen everything. Secrets that have been hidden from everyone and anyone. When one of his eyes is unleashed upon the Avengers, everyone in the vicinity sees something they most likely did not know beforehand. For Peter, this is a big revelation: that he wasn’t the only one who got bit by that radioactive spider!
This issue is written by Dan Slott and drawn by Humberto Ramos, with help by Victor Olazaba (inks) and Edgar Delgado (colors). This team has been at the helm since issue one, and did a lot of work together throughout Superior Spider-Man as well. They work exactly like you would expect them too; like a well-oiled machine. Slott himself has been the sole writer on Amazing since back in 2010, and this entire story of the death and rebirth of Peter has been his brainchild. His words ring true on the page, and his mastery over the complex character that is Peter Parker and Spider-Man is all but perfection. This issue is no different, as it pits Peter against weird circumstances and startling revelations. Ramos draws the characters with a sense of constant motion, and Delgado uses the bright blues and reds to bring each image to life. Delgado also excels in mood, creating hues of green and golds to accent specific scenes, which blend nicely with the script. Ramos and Delgado also draw the cover, which alludes to the revelation with a throwback to earlier times.
The “Best There Is”:
Definitely the storyline, and the big reveal. To add another layer to the spider mythology, and introduce a new character with spider powers is pretty big. The creative team on this book all do a great job handling the gravity of the situation while still crafting an enjoyable Spider-Man story to read and take in. Also, a small line indicating that Spidey is an only child could be seen as a throwaway, but it could be much more. A recent, beautiful stand-alone graphic novel, Amazing Spider-Man: Family Business by Mark Waid, James Robinson and Gabriele Dell’Otto shed some light on the idea that maybe, just maybe, Peter is not so alone after all. (Note: I, and the rest of the readers of Amazing, are still not sure if Family Business is canon or not, but it will be interesting to see if those events pan out in the main line of Amazing.)
The ‘Isn’t Very Nice’:
This is not an issue to jump into the Amazing Spider-Man line with. If you haven’t read any of the three previous books in this volume, or read any of the Original Sin line, or read or aware of the events the Peter/Doc Ock brain swap, this issue can be really confusing (Ed: Not to mention early 2000’s AMS from J. Michael Straczynski & John Romita Jr ~ Deep Dive Dave). This isn’t necessarily a knock against the events in this comic, but it is a viable concern to readers that might want to jump into this book. Amazing Spider-Man, in my opinion, has been really good ever since Peter came back, (and most of Superior was good too), so I would recommend finding issues 1-3 before delving into this one.
CBH Score: 4 out of 5 Stars