Monday, November 21, 2016

Amazing Spider-Man #21 Review and **SPOILERS** – Marvel Monday




The Amazing Tie-In


Writing Team: Dan Slott & Christos Gage

Art Team: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, Roberto Poggi, & Jason Keith

Cover Price: $3.99

On Sale Date: November 16, 2016

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Review by: Branden Murray 

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

The Amazing Spider-Man has been relegated like a bad soccer team, while the Clone Conspiracy event moves forward to tie-in status.  So far it seems the purpose of the title has shifted from telling us Spider-Man stories to filling us in on background information for characters we haven’t seen in the pages of any Spidey title lately.  For example, last issue was a feature on Doctor Octavius getting back into a body, while this issue centers on Kaine, a.k.a. the Scarlet Spider, a former clone of Jackal who has sprung back to life recently. Since my brain was left spinning from this character’s sudden re-introduction, in issue two of Clone Conspiracy, I was eager to see what’s brewing here.

Explain It!


Our latest issue of Amazing kicks off by showing Kaine and his “last” known moments, which are spent dying heroically during the previous Spider-Man publishing event, Spider-Verse.  In that, Kaine took the form of a giant spider called the Other, and although the creature was killed, its corpse served as a cocoon protecting Kaine within. Kaine emerged shortly after Spider-Verse ended (from what I understand) and since then has traveled through various dimensions, guided by Karn the Master Weaver, to fight the bleak future we’re warned about at the end of Clone Conspiracy issue two.




The thing Kaine is mainly concerned about is what he keeps referring to as Carrions. Carrions are basically a fancy word for clones that are degenerating, therefore they begin acting like zombies and infecting people.  Since Kaine’s reemergence from the Other he too is degenerating, and this provides an added incentive to solve this multiversal problem that is only in the begging stages of hitting his own home world. 

Looking to secure a cure, or at least continue to buy some precious time, Kaine runs into Spider-Gwen, and he recruits her to his crusade as they aim to put an end to the clone zombies.  For the remainder of the issue, Kaine and Spider-Gwen gather leads, clues, and even Kaine’s body from a different dimension to help their cause as “our Kaine” continues to get worse.  It’s at this point that the Amazing Spider-Man title catches up with the panels seen in Clone Conspiracy and we discover how Kaine and Spider-Gwen are able to swap the Gwen Stacey clone out of New U facilities.




The issue ends with Kaine, back on Loomworld with Karn, resigning himself to the fact that there is no cure for him in the entire multiverse and death is soon arriving at his front door.   The hero decides he needs to do one last thing before he passes asking the Master Weaver to keep his secret for now.


This issue to helped fill in the blanks for readers, especially regarding Kaine, his resurrection, and the actions he has taken in the time since discovering he is degenerating.  I am not a reader that traditionally flocks towards multiverse-spanning stories or time-traveling tales, so I’m mildly disappointed to get the sense that it’s where this Spidey event is headed again, especially so soon after Spider-Verse treaded similar territory.  Despite my reservations about the story’s content, the writing and art are both very strong, yet I still feel a step below where the Amazing Spider-Man title usually falls.


Bits and Pieces:


Overall, unless you’re severely invested in what Kaine has been up to and why he’s back in the pages of Spider-Man again this really feels like a book you can skip in regards to this event. The dialogue and art are fine, but the story would have been better served as back-up material in an issue of Clone Conspiracy. 
 


6.5/10
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