Monday, August 15, 2016

Amazing Spider-Man #16 Review - Marvel Monday

Money Ain't No Thang

Written by: Dan Slott
Art by: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith and Marte Gracia
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 10, 2016
Review by: Branden Murray

I know I don’t stand alone when I say that I still love the “classic” comic book arcs from my childhood, you know, the ones that got me hooked in the first place. One 90’s arc that catches a lot of shit in particular, that I unapologetically adore, is the Spider-Man Clone Saga. I remember going to the comic store as a kid and if I saw an issue with the Scarlet Spider hoody on the cover, they had my money four seconds later. Little Branden would have stomped and crawled through the sewers of Shawshank to get those issues. Now let’s fast forward a bunch of years later (math is hard) as I begin to notice teasers dropping that allude to possibly another type of clone story reemerging in some fashion. All of the Sudden the sun is brighter, the grass is greener, and I might even be a little less bitchy...that last one is debatable. The overall point I’m trying to get to is I couldn’t wait for this issue to come out so let’s swing on in and see what Mr. Slott has in store for us.

Off the bat, we see Peter with Aunt May visiting her husband (Jay Jameson) in the hospital. SPOILER: in case you are unaware, Uncle Ben is dead and Aunt May remarried. Back to business, the doctor tells everyone present that they can try traditional medicine or a new experimental procedure that will yield better results. Jay’s son, the infamous J. Jonah Jameson, thinks this is the doctor just trying to scam them for all their money and storms off. Peter however takes it upon himself to investigate the situation further, with a blessing from Aunt May, to see what this “special treatment” is all about. 

Peter is enamored and begins to discuss with Ana Maria the benefits that New U Technologies is offering. However, while she begins to expresses her objections to the science of it all, they’re interrupted. An explosion has occurred at a Parker Industries building in Oklahoma and Peter rushes off to save the day. As Spider-Man arrives on the scene, he finds six people are trapped inside a burning building. Moving quickly, Spidey is able to rescue five of them no problemo, however, the sixth person suffered some horrible injuries as a result of gases released in the explosion and is rushed to the emergency room.

If you’re a newer reader to the Amazing Spider-Man series, the Jackal has been teased throughout most of this volume by bringing various dead characters, mostly villains and their significant others, back to life. While Peter/Spider-Man was busy taking care of all that’s been occurring around the world, we see the Jackal’s plan has begun to take shape. He has amassed a room full of powerful people working for him and the abilities to keep them in line and do what he asks.

The seemingly two totally separate story paths finally end up merging when Peter/Spider-Man feels guilty over the employee hurt in the Parker Industries explosion. Peter vows to do anything to save the man from imminent death, leading to him placing a call to New U Technologies as he asks them to save his hurt employee, no matter the cost. It’s at this point we find out Jackal is actually the person running N.U.T. (it’s really an unfortunate acronym typed out). Although this is rushing his plan a bit, Jackal decides to send doctors to save the man’s life and give Peter an idea of how all this works. In the end, things seemingly come up Millhouse, however, when Peter shakes the man’s hand to apologize for the accident and his Spider sense tingles and he knows something is off. 

Our cliffhanger gives us an added treat of watching J. Jonah Jameson swallow his pride. Mr. Jameson shows up at New U Tech to hand over his credit card and ask for the help he refused in the beginning of the issue. The doctors weasel into his good graces further stating they have prepared a demonstration for J.J.  As they pull back the curtain and his jaw hits the floor in amazement and shock. I’m going to leave that surprise for those of who you pick the issue up to see who or what exactly can make Jameson speechless because it’s a pretty stunning ending.

Bits and Pieces:

Not that I was on the fence to begin with, because the premise had already sold me, but I’m totally on board for this arc now. This was an excellent issue to setup the coming threat Spider-Man/Peter is going to be facing and I can’t wait to see him mix it up with some of these classic characters. The art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, and Marte Gracia is the perfect complement to any Spider-Man story. The team really puts together some beautifully fluid action sequences and really, I find it hard to look away from, but in a very good way. Dan Slott is on top of his game here and really has me intrigued where he’s going to take this story going forward. This book was, in the words of Stan Lee, Excelsior!

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