Spider-Man – Amazing, Spectacular and Superior Reviews

WebShooters- Spider-Man

Amazing Spider-Man Creators: Writers– Zeb Wells, Marv Wolfman, Nikesh Shukla, Lee Gatlin, Joe Kelly, Artists- Ed McGuiness, Terry Dodson, Chriscross, Lee Gatlin, Todd Nauck, Inks– Mark Farmer, Rachel Dodson, Juan Ferreyra, Colors– Terry Dodson, Andrew Dalhouse, Rachel Rosenberg, Letters– Joe Caramagna


Glenn: Has it been 50 issues already? It feels like 5000. Still better than the last run, but damn if it’s not trying. Anywho, given this was a big special issue (with a big special price), there’s a few stories in here so lets go over them.

The main story has Norman return as the Goblin and I am SHOCKED. SHOCKED. There’s a fight between him and Spider-Man as we get more nonsense the evil Goblin spirit or whatever. Also the living Brain is now mobile and seems to be on the move.

We then get a cliffhanger with Norman using a trigger phrase to turn Peter into a Goblin because it turns out he’s been in the Tinkerer machine a time or two. I mean they could have tied it to when Norman brainwashed Peter into being the Goblin before but that would require research beyond a comic published between 1963 and 1970/2005 and now.

Its essentially a big fight so the art has to carry a lot, so I’ll talk about that before. Story wise it just seems Wells is enjoying Chip Z’s Batman run.

Steve: First story- geez, more sins, Norman’s personality being shared all over, an empty sin spear. And get this, Norman is bad again. As my friend Glenn said, “Shocked!” The best thing I can say about the issue is that it moves very quickly and would seem to be moving toward a conclusion, finally. There is nothing abjectly wrong about the issue. I struggle with the mumbo jumbo still being used following the Spencer run and his silly sin erasing. Sharing pieces of a person, see Superior for bodies, and personalities here is being used a little too heavily in the Spidey books. Time to move on.

Glenn: Second story was a Black Cat one written by her co-creator and comic legend, Marv Wolfman. It’s a pretty standard Black Cat story where she is stealing things, Spider-Man wonders why and all is not what it seems.

I was just puzzled why if Felicia is stealing things her father attempted to, but couldn’t why all the items are ultimately worthless? I felt I missed something in there or it wasn’t conveyed very well. Otherwise a very standard/inoffensive Spider-Man/Black Cat energy I probably enjoyed more than it warranted because I like Felicia.

Steve: This is an all for naught story. The supposed payoff is trumped by Felicia’s own words, “temporarily borrowed.” So, in her dad’s honor, she steals things he failed to steal only to give them back. I think this was supposed to be clever, but fell flat for me.

Glenn: A nice story for our third in which Spidey gets a doughnut and helps an old lady. In recent years with Spider-Verse’s and other such things, its hard to remember the Neighbourhood part in Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man so this is a nice reminder of that. Nothing extraordinary, but just wholesome which isn’t bad especially for the companies flagship character.

Steve: I really enjoyed this one. As Glenn said, it put the Neighborhood back in the title. At heart, this fits Peter Parker perfectly. I love his interaction with a sweet ol lady over a sandwich and making bread. I make bread so maybe I’m partial to this story. Regardless, it had charm and I like it a lot. Reminds me of Tom Taylor’s run a few years ago.

Glenn: Sort of a Sunday funnies type effort from Lee Gatlin is our fourth. A fun story that mostly seems to be about the Thing. Best story in this issue.

Steve: The story is fine. I just couldn’t stop feeling like Spider-Man was a relative of Cheese from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. So similar that I wanted chocolate milk! This one was quirky and fun, great dialog.

Glenn: Then there’s a brief Spider-Man is cursed so goes to visit Doctor Strange at a bad time. Another simple character piece that seems to be building towards something else? No clue what, the art lifts this significantly again.

Steve: Not much to this story. Just a simple moment between Spidey and Doctor Strange. There is more here than meets the eye. The addiction line, “only as sick as our secrets” is used here to let us know that Strange is dealing with something big that he won’t share with Peter. It’s quaint, but I hope we follow up to find out what happened to Strange.

Then there’s an epilogue with more Living Brain, the new hero of this comic now that Norman’s turned evil.


Glenn: Ed McGuiness draws the main tale which again is mostly a fight and he does a brilliant job because he’s Ed McGuiness. I love how he draws the Green Goblin in particular. He does great work making this little inevitable turn of events actually worth reading visually if nothing else.

Steve: The art here is still strong, especially his Goblin work, but something seemed off. Not sure if it’s the inks or colors, but this doesn’t look like standard McGuiness art. There is a thickness and darkness that does not feel like him. I’m no Ed expert, but it’s not instantly recognizable. Panel construction and movement is still brilliant, so this is certainly fun to look at.

Glenn: On the Black Cat story we have Terry Dodson and his wife who have drawn Felicia almost more than anyone else. They draw both characters extremely well. The Dodson’s always deliver and I’m glad that Felicia here is still sexy but without having her breasts half on display. Again the art team lifts up a pretty rudimentary story significantly.

Steve: Agree Glenn. They do an amazing job on this one. I love the Dodsons’ use of cool color pallette and the softness they apply to the color application. Perfect choice for this villainous female lead. I really hope the Dodson’s land on Daredevil for a long run. (I’m selfish)

Glenn: ChrisCross is a working man’s artist who has drawn every major franchise here and there for about 20-30 years. He’s one of those people you call that never hit it ‘big’ but delivers on time and does a good to great job. The art is good, it’s a quieter story and it’s delivered well with the necessary beats in the art to sell that while still making it engaging.

Steve: I’m not a fan of ChrisCross on this issue. I really don’t like the Spider-Man mask here- too blocky around the eyes. There is also a lot of deep shadow on Spider-Man making him feel heavy. This should be a breezy, light issue and the art does not portray that.

Glenn: The art from Gatlin on the story that they also write is very fun. It matches the tone of the story perfectly. It’s certainly not a style you see in big two comics often and is more akin to a comedy strip in a newspaper or a webcomic. It’s a nice change and I wouldn’t find seeing their work now and then more regularly. Perhaps something like Mini Marvel’s from the early 2000’s which I always found funny.

Steve: The art here is so quirky and delightful. Lots of nice touches to support the silly dialog. I particularly love the page where Spidey makes a swing for himself while interrogating the Thing and Rhino. I think an anthology with all Marvel heroes would be nice, as Glenn says. Or, a back up in Amazing since they already charge too much for drivel:)

Glenn: Web shooter fave Juan Ferreyra is here for some Doctor Strange and he does it like he was born to do it. His art adds so much atmosphere to this very short story and it makes me wonder WHY HAS FERREYRA NOT BEEN DRAWING DOCTOR STRANGE FOR LIKE 20 BILLION YEARS. I love especially the subtle moment of Strange wiping away the tear, just brilliant stuff. GET THIS GUY DRAWING A STRANGE BOOK, ITS A LICENCE TO PRINT MONEY.

Steve: No surprise from me here, Ferreyra fan boy. This is just so good. Juan handles the silliness of Niffelheim Imps and the gravity of a distraught Doctor Strange on subsequent pages. I love the art and would love to see a follow up with the story. We have seen Ferreyra on a mini and a few issues here and there. We need a series full of goodness for this relatively new artist to the big properties.

Glenn: The little epilogue is drawn by Todd Nauck who as we’ve said before is always welcome. I actually thought it was still McGuiness so it was impressive to see much consistency. I hope Marvel gets him on something worthy of his underrated talent soon.

Steve: I have loved Nauck for years. He is very consistent and does a beautiful job with all aspects of the panel.

Steve: I don’t usually comment on the covers, but I’m a sucker for these negative space covers. This one by John Tyler Christopher is beautiful with black costume on stark white.


Glenn: Its an okay issue. The stories have one really strong one that is mostly a throwaway gag strip. Everything else ranged from okay to very good and the artists REALLY escalate the issue across the board. Once again, Amazing’s so-so weird storytelling is lifted up by the art, an appropriate theme to hit on for this book’s 50th issue. 3 Webshooters

Steve: This is really hit and miss. Sadly, the main story is miss. The other minis can’t save it from that $10 price tag. 2 Webshooters

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