Monday, February 27, 2017

The Amazing Spider-Man #24 Review


The Amazing Spider-Man #24

Writer: Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Art Team: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, Jason Keith
Marvel Comics
Release Date: February 24, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

The Many Faces of Scarlet Spider

I was not someone that enjoyed the very non-ending to the Clone Conspiracy event just one week ago.  When I pick up an issue marked number five of five I kind of expect a story to be resolved and not left hanging for future tie-in issues to take care of.  However that is the exact boat were left stranded in after latest let down of a conclusion, so with the Amazing Spider-Man title still carrying a tie-in tag, let’s see if it helps pick up the pieces of my broken comic book loving heart.  Swing on inside.



The issue picks up by retreading and expanding on the fight that we saw towards the end of Clone Conspiracy #5 between Jackal/Ben Reilly and Doc Ock.  Despite the fact we’re retreading old territory in the beginning stages of this story we do learn some key new details. First, and most important to the event as a whole, is that these two ‘villains’ were fighting over a proto-clone body. In laymen’s terms, for those who don’t get comic book speak; this is a perfect clone specimen without the degeneration issues the cloning process, used in Spider-Man stories, is famously known for. The twist here is however, Doc Ock is ultimately the one who is able to transfer possession of his mind into this only experimental body, leaving Ben to degenerate, and on deaths door once again.

While all the clones everywhere in the facility continue to degenerate, the real Miles Warren is eventually revealed among his various ‘Dupes’. The shocked former villain, feeling refreshed with a new lease on life, steals his old costume, proceeding to run off amongst the chaos, vowing to get revenge on Ben for posing as him, tricking him, and making him basically a New U company slave for so long.  Stay with me people I know you thought you came here for Spider-Man but he’s very much a back ground player in his own title this issue.

Ben eventually struggles to his feet, noticing Doc Ock left some well-placed clues, to make everyone think he died in the fray. Ben is the only one who really knows that the ol’ Doctor has escaped in a new proto-clone body, surely with a new look to come in the near future, and gives his old enemy kudos for a hand well played.  The failed New U boss then escapes the facility himself, after taking a fist full of medication to slow his degeneration process for a bit, and quickly stumbles upon a Web-Ware device sending out the ‘cure signal’, put out via Anna Maria and Spider-Man. This finally repairs his body once and for all, at least for the time being.  

Ben sets off to his safe house, which is ironically Peter’s boyhood home, with the current mindset to regroup and come after Parker, as Jackal, again later. Upon Ben’s arrival home however, he discover the real Jackal, Miles Warren, in full costume waiting for him in the middle of the living room.  Miles lights fire to Ben’s stash and supply of passports, cash, and clone medication causing a fire in the house and fight between the two enemies. Ben quickly gains the upper hand in the brawl and also an understanding of what Miles truly wants. After years of creating and recreating clones of Peter, and his ‘sick obsession’ with Gwen, Ben realizes the Jackal is now after him. Miles confirms Ben thinking, stating Ben’s just “A bad copy! A mistake I (Jackal) have to undo” which throws Ben into a fit, as he knocks down a support beam for the house bringing it down on Miles head, who’s left screaming in the house ablaze as Ben runs out to safety.

Things continue as Ben starts running off again, this time from Investigators questioning him about screams from the burning house, and how the fire was started.  The issue concludes as we receive some important inner monologue to set Ben up for his own series as he runs through some thoughts about “who am I going to be now”.

Overall for me, a huge Spider-Man/Scarlet Spider fan, the ending to this event comes off as a mixed bag.  Scarlet Spider/Ben Reilly's personality really is all over the place and you have no idea what he may say or do from one minute to the next. The character really is a mess for someone getting a solo adventure very soon, I wish the writers did a better job of letting you get a feel for who he really is to entice readers more. The art, paneling, and character designs are more in line with what we’ve seen in the Spider-Man book lately which is always brightly colored and very high quality.  

I don’t hate the reveals and twists we discover in this issue however I do hate how they are coming out in the story now. I really feel the last couple issues of Amazing Spider-Man, with a little reworking, should have been included into the page count of the Clone Conspiracy event itself. Marvel editors really needs to examine the content put into their tie-ins, compared to the event books, because when I’m not provided the main answers to the stories questions in the event titled book, what is the purpose of that book to begin with?  

Other than those general event driven complaints I enjoyed the setup and story beats provided more than I hated them I dont want to sound overly negative here. I will at least give the series Scarlet Spider the first arc to hook me further in the hopes I continue to see Ben grow as his own person and not Peter Parker Jr.   

Bits and Pieces

The story beats provided throughout the issue are interesting enough to hold anybody’s attention following the Clone Conspiracy event. However if you came to the book for a little bit of classic Spidey action you’ll be mildly disappointed the title hero isn’t featured in his own series this month.

I wont rush to revisit this event again soon but I did like seeing the journey and will be back for the Omega issue next week ... why not? 

7.0/10       
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2 comments:

  1. I think I liked this issue more than the entirety of Clone Conspiracy. It just felt less bogged down.

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  2. I liked the beginning of Clone Conspiracy quite a bit but it nosedived very hard at the end. Was glad to see SCarlet SPider at least setup here and not just left hanging until his own book starts though.

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