Monday, July 11, 2016
Amazing Spider-Man #15 Review - Marvel Mondays
Art by: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, & Marte Gracia
Cover Price: $3,99
Release Date: July 6, 2016
Review by: Branden Murray
I have an unabashed love for Spider-Man. Spider-Man and Batman basically duel it out in my heart each morning for the right to be called my favorite superhero. They were the two catalysts mainly responsible for getting me back into comic books on a weekly basis. Flash forward three years later and I’m still here anxiously tuning in to see what Spidey is up to. Catching a glimpse of Mary Jane every now and then doesn’t hurt matters either, might I add. So, it’s with these rose colored lenses I bring to you the conclusion to the most recent arc of the Amazing Spider-Man before we jump neck deep into some more cloning shenanigans. Side note, please bring back Scarlet Spider, please bring back Scarlet Spider, please bring back Scarlet Spider … and I mean the one in the Blue Hoody damnit (If you say things three time they come true right?).
If you remember from the world famous Marvel Minute segment a few weeks ago on the Weird Science DC Comics podcast, I reviewed issue fourteen of this very series. To recap for those with horrible memories like mine, Regent, this arcs villain, was capturing the various Avengers and transferring their powers into his Tech-suit. You know because these are comics and powers can just be swapped all willy-nilly, if you have the right clothing on apparently. So with the Avengers powers at his disposal, Regent was able to dispatch of Iron Man and Spider-Man … and now looks to have total control of New York. Who could possibly be left to save the day?
Well, thank god for Mary Jane. For those unaware, I’m alluding to the pack rat ex-girlfriend of Spider-Man. This is not a weed reference...get your mind out of the gutter, that’s our job on this end of things. Back to the cute red head in the comic, we see her rifling through some boxes that have been stored away and we discover she is on the hunt for the Iron Spider suit and not a hoarder after all. MJ having had some experience with both spider powers (Spider-Island) and an Iron Man suit (The Other) in previous canon eases the worries of Jarvis and swings off to save our heroes from their terrible fate.
Speaking of heroes, we check in our featured tag team of Iron-Man and Spider-Man as they are being transported by Regent to his superhuman prison. Meanwhile, at the super prison we see Regent's plans begin to show some cracks. Harry Osborne, caught last issue after confronting Regent about his identity, is able to sneak out of his cell via his Web Ware and cause a little chaos while alerting Spidey.
I guess pat downs are apparently optional in this prison, but I’ve never been there so what do I know, so I go with it. This distracts our villain just long enough for Mary Jane, now dressed as Iron Spider, to catch up and get the drop on Regent, freeing our heroes in the process with an assist from Harry.
With odds now in their favor, Iron Spider and Iron Man agree to take on Regent while Spidey takes off to answer the distress call on Harry’s end of things at the prison. We are provided with a great moment between Spidey and Mary Jane before he swings away which is now the second time in two issues this has happened.
I really hope this will be ground gained to reversing the course of Brand New Day, where Peter and MJ go Splits-ville. I mean, I’d love to see my childhood come full circle and for these two kids to get back together, but I’m just not one hundred percent sure that’s where these moments are actually headed. So I don’t want to get my hopes up too high just yet.
Back to the main event, Spidey arrives at prison and is able to free Miles Morales, the other Avengers, and Harry while shutting the place down for good. However, this will come at the expense of freeing the villains Regent secured prior to putting his focus on the heroes suspicious of him. Despite all this, the team takes off to aid Mary Jane and Tony in defeating Regent. Left with nobody’s power to siphon off, he is finally overwhelmed by the group and taken to prison.
Things wrap up as Peter and MJ reflect on the good in their lives and it looks like they may meet on a hot date! However, each is treated to a separate cliffhanger and I’m left shouting at the pages of my comic book because mom and dad, err I mean Peter and MJ, feel like they will never get back together. (DADDY COME BACK TO ME!)
For the most part, this arc felt like a retread of the Secret Wars Amazing Spider-Man mini-series to me. It even goes as far to mention this in the text of our heroes and villains as they have an almost Deja-vu like moment during the big battle. Despite covering many of the same beats and involving the same group of characters, I was still strangely okay with what Slott did here.
Although not wholly original work, I still enjoyed seeing Regent as a villain, was pleased with the side characters actions and interactions throughout the arc, and look forward to seeing if Slott keeps Mary Jane involved in Peter’s life at all. There is obviously tension in the air between these two with a lot left unsaid and unresolved since a literal deal with the Devil. This seems to be unraveling in a way between this series and Spiderman/Deadpool so I’m interested in how this all plays a part going forward.
Amazing Spider-Man #15, while covering ground we’ve tread over before, is still able to still come off as an intriguing concept with emotional weight to it. I was especially fond of Dan Slott’s inclusion and use of Harry Osborne and Mary Jane who were given some nice moments and growth with this story. Kudos to Slott who made sure they were not just used as a plot device for Spider-Man to save, which happens too often in paint-by-numbers superhero affairs.
The art team (Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, & Marte Gracia) is fantastic as the figures and colors jump off every page. Mary Jane looks amazing in the Iron Spider suit in this issue, but especially on the front cover done by Alex Ross.
Bits and Pieces:
Overall I would say this was a strong arc, which may have benefitted from a little more meat and cheese, but was far from a disappointment.