Amazing 43 and Superior 4 Spider-Man Reviews

WebShooters- Spider-Man

Amazing Spider-Man Creators: Zeb Wells- Writer, John Romita-Pencils, Scott Hanna- Inker, Marcio Menyz- Colorist, VC’s Joe Caramagna- Letters, John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, and Marcio Menyz- Cover


Glenn: So the big battle is finally here and this issue isn’t much more than that. You get the odd standoff and exchange with Tombstone getting most of the best moments. We finish off an indication of where this story is going and….that’s it.

Apart from the good open that gives us some emotional weight, the issue is over in the blink of an eye. Most of the quality is in the fight choreography which I’ll talk about in the art. It seems that pretty much at the end of this, we’re going to largely finish us back where we started. I can practically write the last issue in my head so we’ll see how close I am in that regards.

After a pretty good lead on, the big showdown was kind of just there with the art doing a lot of heavy lifting.

Onto the conclusion.

Steve: This is the penultimate issue of Spider-Man Gang War and things have really come to a head as the armies of Madame Mystique and The Beetle do battle with Spidey’s gang intervening. It is frantic and ends quickly with a very cool twist on the final pages. I rarely say this about events, but I feel like this one is rushing to the end. There are so many layers that I wish they would have been explored here rather than in other ancillary books. I guess that’s why the comics companies tie-in as many as possible because clearly people are buying those, but it hurts the main event book in terms of depth.

So, the good. Lonnie Lincoln shines again. While I haven’t really enjoyed much of Wells’ run, I have definitely enjoyed how he has handled Tombstone. There has been a real depth here in his handling of his daughter and his true love and concern for her. The final page where he rips off her wings and knocks her out so that she doesn’t become him, is wonderful. It’s brutal, as he is, but shows some growth in character. Can’t wait to see where he goes in the final issue. Also, am hoping for a reunion with Robbie and Janice, once she comes to her senses.


Glenn: JRJR fights superhero slugfests well so the art does a lot of heavy lifting like I said above. At this point, we all know what we’re getting with the art and it serves this kind of issue well.

You’ll either greatly appreciate JRJR for what he delivers or be a grouch like Steve and yell scram every so often.

Steve: There is not much more I can say here about JRjr. I still don’t like his art, but at least here it’s not dependent on smaller scenes focusing on facial expressions. His action is his strength so I guess this script is perfect for him. I’m ready for a new artist on Amazing…….please.


Glenn: 3 Webshooters I didn’t say much this issue because there’s not a whole lot to talk about. Its….fine? It just comes and goes. Not bad or great….just there which after all the build is a bit eh but I’ve read worse.

Steve: 3 Webshooters- Hope Wells sticks the landing and provides the opportunity for a fun Tombstone vs Kingpin romp going forward.

Superior Spider-Man Creators: Dan Slott- Writer, Mark Bagley- Pencils, John Dell- Inks, VC’s Joe Caramagna- Letters, Mark Bagley and Edgar Delgado- Cover


Glenn: Nearly 10 years ago, I read Superior Spider-Man 30 which saw Otto give Peter his mind back in the original Superior Spider-Man. It was a brilliantly written issue, but I kind of thought at the time ‘Peter didn’t get his win back’. After beating Peter physically in Amazing 700 and then mentally in Superior 9 (the original one) I wanted one last showdown between Peter and Otto in the mindscape where after a fight which the former would win, we’d get the scene where the villain realises he was wrong and the true Superior Spider-Man is declared.

Now Slott and Bagley give me exactly what I wanted and it was awesome. Battles like this can do things a regular one can’t cause you can have people show up who shouldn’t be there and can’t be there to represent both parties.

I did find it was funny that Ock got the Hulk on his side. Hulk hate big man!

It was an excellent battle that covered various era’s that these two have fought. It honoured their feud and various battles and just at the last minute, Peter overcomes Otto not only with some help from Uncle Ben but from the alternative Peter that Slott had in his first Spider-Man arc with Bagley.

NOW Ock is playing ball and the two will actually try to be a functioning team to save Anna Maria and defeat Supernova.

I thought this issue was brilliant, just packed full of all the things and everything I could have wanted from this issue when I kinda had a wish for it nearly 10 years ago. I only wish the save by Uncle Ben hadn’t been spoiled by the cover but Marvel gotta Marvel.

Usual Dan Slott Spider-Man lore brilliance that no one else today does better.

Steve: I was definitely excited to see a return to the Superior Spider-Man world. The last romp was fun and Slott definitely knows his way around a Spider-Man story. However, after this issue, I’m not sure why this story exists. It’s fun for sure, but I’m not sure it’s really necessary. Unless something changes drastically, it feels more like an epilogue than a fresh new story. I hope I’m proven wrong.

For this issue, most of it takes place in Doc Ock’s mindscape. Ock and Peter battle for control of Peter’s mind with Ock hoping to once again become the Superior Spider-Man so that he can save Anna Maria. The battle goes on through most of the pages with trips back to the beginning of Spider-Man’s story. Both Ock and Peter have moments, until Peter has some help in the form of Uncle Ben and an alternate Peter who was not bitten by a Spider. The two come to Peter’s aid and defeat Doc Ock proving that Peter Parker is indeed the Superior Spider-Man. The bit I really like here is that the Peter Parker who was not bitten is every bit the hero that our Peter is. Deep down, what makes Spider-Man great….and Superior, is Peter, not the powers. Lots of nice nods to the past, but that’s where it ends for me.

Having won, Peter does offer Otto the chance to help rescue Anna as he has all the knowledge of what he has unleashed on the world, Supernova. It looks like the buddy team-up will continue until Doc Ock tries to backstab Peter again. Speaking of which, Supernova has a three page interlude in which she reaffirms her need to kill Spider-Man and loses Anna Maria who has escaped. Supernova is a character we should feel sorry for, but somehow all of that is lost. I hope Slott can somehow make her human again. Who knows.


Glenn: Bagley’s a master. He got to draw a lot of people here and various era’s of these two characters. He draws elements of the different era’s the fight takes place in well while still looking like his own style and delivers another home run.

In terms of an issue like this that pays tribute to this long rivalry between these two foes, you want an artist very familiar with both characters. The only other artist still working today full time that has been both drawing Spidey and Ock longer is JRJR who is drawing the ‘main’ book. So there’s literally no one better to draw an issue like this.

Steve: It’s Mark Bagley, what can you say. Oh yeah, it’s really good. There is a two page spred that would make George Perez very happy, in a stand off of villains and heroes, Bagley draws, to my count, about 75 charactes. That is what we call putting in the work. I especially love the pages with Uncle Ben in action. So fresh and fun to see Ben take matters into his own hands. And the wink when the other Peter shows up- priceless.


Glenn: 5 Webshooters Adore it!

Steve: 3 Webshooters- The art carried this issue. Hopefully Slott can find his footing again.

Keep coming back for more Spidey content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.