Amazing Spider-Man #2
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Ryan Ottley
“Right now, I feel like I can’t lose. Like I can do anything. Like life is finally, finally going my way. And to WHAT do I owe this sudden change in attitude and outlook? Pretty simple really….. Nick Spencer & Ryan Ottley are working on Spider-Man.”
Yep. I’m a very happy boy indeed. If you read my review on Chip Zdarksy’s latest issue of Spectacular Spider-Man last week, you probably know I’m a huge and longtime Spidey fan and that recently I am overly delighted to see my boy getting some good well deserved treatment after a long ass time of mediocre to terrible Spider-Man books. Finally, Pete’s main flagship title The Amazing Spider-Man is showing to be more than promising and we’re only two issues in.
Now, to start this off. I may have been a little biased when Marvel announced who was taking over Spidey after Slott’s reign of terror (look there was some decent stuff like Superior Spider-Man, Anti-Venom, etc., but overall Slott drove me away from Spider-Man and I’ll never forgive him for that) and I saw it was one of my favourite writers and artists. Spencer is great, I say as I push the never-ending argument about whether Secret Empire was good or an absolute mess under the rug. Sure the guy can be…frustrating with some of his works i.e. how long they take to come out (for more information be sure to contact our fearless leader Marcus and ask him how he feels about good ol’ Nick), but overall he’s great. Like seriously, this guy right? Wrote one of my favorite series The Superior Foes of Spider-Man (read if you haven’t, it’s fantastic), and I mean come on! IT WAS CLEARLY A PERFECT SIGN THAT THE GUY IS PERFECT FOR SPIDEY’S WORLD! The guy can write comedy really well and here we are.
Now Ottley is just… You know what, instead of telling you just stop reading this review, go read the entire 144 Image series Invincible and then come back and you’ll understand that he’s the icing on the cake. I’m so damn happy he’s drawing Spider-Man, especially seeing as he’s a big fan (check out his website). The art is just perfect for Spider-Man; jumping around, energy, fun poses, just full comic book-y stuff you’d expect to see and more.
Okay now let me stop fanboying over the creative team for a few minutes; let’s talk about the story and characters. So we start off with Spider-Man in the middle of a fight with low-tier villains the Ringer and Man Mountain Marko at a book sale. Now if you don’t know anything about Spencer and Marvel, it’s that he loves his B-and-C-list villains. And once he picks a few favorites you’ll start seeing them pop up everywhere (again, see Superior Foes for more details). Like the last issue we had Boomerang be Pete’s noisy roommate, and once more we get Spencer’s favorite baddy buddy-cop duo Taskmaster and Black Ant popping up to wreak havoc later on in this issue. But it’s not the fun antics with Spider-Man that I’ve enjoyed the most so far from these two issues. It’s been Peter himself, or more specifically, Peter and MJ.
Now I dunno what happened; did some executives in Marvel get kidnapped and murdered? Were our prayers finally answered? Or am I actually in a coma and imagining this happening? Because the best thing I found in this issue was two pages long: Peter & MJ finally happy and together again. Seeing them lying in bed in each other’s arms makes me tear up with joy. As any long-time Spidey fan knows, One More Day was one of the biggest insults to the character and we’ve all suffered for a long time for it. Now this all started to crop up in the last few years, with Marvel releasing the series Renew Your Vows, a nice alternate Earth where Peter & MJ are married with their daughter and it’s proper wholesome fun, but also the series Spider-Man & Deadpool which featured Peter meeting Mephisto in a dream and starting to remember that crapfest of a deal. Maybe Spencer was one of us fanboys and once he got his mitts on the crown jewel started to fix one of the biggest problems with recent Spider-Man books. God bless you St. Nick, and for the love of God, if you’re screwing us around and setting this up for a major downfall, I think you’ll cause a bigger outrage than “Hail Hydra”.
But anyway, back to the good stuff. Peter feels like Peter again. He doesn’t seem like an idiotic manchild that turned into Tony Stark after getting an octopus out of his brain. He’s fun but not overly childish. Plus as a major bonus, I’m really enjoying the setting at the moment. Peter being in a college class is one of the best eras of Spider-Man. Sure, I love him rushing around taking pictures for the Bugle and my all time favorite development was JMS’ making him a science teacher, but sticking him in college being taught by the freaking Lizard? Excellent. Honestly, I have high hopes for the antics he’s going to have with Dr. Connors, something they could even (hopefully) develop for Peter being his assistant? Pretty please?
Also, another moment to just praise Ottley’s artwork. What? I said I was going to stop fanboying for a few minutes, not forever. I’m looking forward to seeing this series handled in this style. It kind of reminds me of another brilliant television show called Spectacular Spider-Man, especially the way Spidey and his villains look. If you have had read Invincible you know Ottley can pull off some amazing (heh) and epic shots of action and scale. I mean just going by issue one with the “alien invasion” we already got a good taste of what’s to hopefully come.
The humor, fun, heart, and soul seems to have come back to Spider-Man and I will certainly be adding this series to my pull list. I’m so damn happy that we’re looking to be on the rise with a GOOD edition of Amazing.
Also, what the hell is happening with that ending?? TUNE IN NEXT TIME, TRUE BELIEVERS.
Amazing Spider-Man #2
Go freaking read this comic, it's showing some good signs that we're finally getting a good series of Spider-Man again.