Monday, August 13, 2018

Amazing Spider-Man #3 Review - Marvel Monday

Saturday Morning Spidey!

Writer: Nick Spencer
Art Team: Ryan Ottley, Laura Martin, Cliff Rathburn
Letterer: VC's Joe Caramagna
Marvel Comics
Release Date: August 8, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

We're halfway into this first arc, for the relaunch of the Amazing Spider-Man, by Nick Spencer and company and our first storyline is looking to provide us with some answers, and a few surprises.  The question is are these answers and surprises any good? Well dive into this latest Spider-Man review and find out.

The issue begins again with what looks like another tease of Kraven the Hunter, before skipping off to join a bowling 'double date' involving Peter, MJ, his roommate Randy Robertson, and another person from their past, Randy's ex, Norah Winters.  The group is interrupted by a news report the Tri-Sentinel is running amok in the city, where then Peter reveals to MJ his help isn't really needed.

On the scene of the crime however we do see a Spidey in action, and the blanks begin to be filled in, and questions answered, that were raised the last issue, throughout the rest of this issue.  It turns out the entire answer to all the questions raised the is the "Isotope Genome Accelerator". This device that Black Ant and Taskmaster we're after, apparently misfired hitting Peter, separating his Spider-Man persona from his Peter Parker persona.  My issues with the reveal are two-fold, first, it feels like the Amazing Spider-Man comic suddenly has turned into it's Disney XD counterpart, taking the books drama into over the top ridiculous territory, found in Saturday morning cartoon shows. The second problem was issue two did a very very poor job in showing, or even hinting at, the Isotope Accelerator being responsible for anything at all. Other than name dropping what it is and does briefly of course, but it feels misused here as well. 

The issue begins to conclude as Peter finds out the twist to our issues big reveal. Turns out that due to the separation of Peter and Spidey, and side effects thereof, this Spidey has all of the powers and smarts but NONE of Peter's built-in 'responsibility for the situations he's put into.  The issue closes revealing Spidey basically rewiring, then riding, the Tri-Sentinel like a bull, to hammer the point home that he's not quite right. Oh no, how will Peter get out of this one?!

Overall, Nick Spencer's run on Spider-Man started out by convincing me to give it a shot after the first issue.  However, as this first arc has progressed along its veering into a more childish territory, teetering on the edge of becoming a copy of the Disney XD cartoon tailored to children, and I'm not finding much to enjoy within the contents of each issue, besides Peter and MJ being back together.  I get giving Spider-Man a lighter tone after the Red Goblin arc but this story feels aimed at the 8 to 12 age range at this moment in time. I'm a huge Spidey fan, and this is dangerously close to becoming a digital-only title for me, which is one step away from a drop altogether, something I never considered during Dan Slott's long long run.

Ryan Ottley does great work, but I have an issue with how the Accelerator is deemed responsible for all the shenanigans in this issue when, at least to me anyway, it wasn't accurately highlighted as such through the art last issue.  It's almost like the stories explanation this issue had to account for an art misfire last issue, I'm not sure.  what I am sure of is Ottley is under tight deadlines, with this being a bi-weekly book, so I wont dock the score too much, because his work is great otherwise.

Bits and Pieces:

Nick Spencer appears to be writing a Spider-Man 'for the children', as the topics and answers given here, veer close to becoming what's found on the Disney XD channel each week. There was a cool appearance by a classic Spidey villain which is overshadowed by the what feels like a completely childish story other wise and just isnt hitting the notes for me right now.  The art is this books saving grace at this point in time, but some transition issues from last issue, leave a few of our answers this issue feel unearned.


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