PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2018) #2 from Marvel Comics. Available July 25th, 2018, the creative team for this series features writing from Nick Spencer, art from Ryan Ottley, inks by Cliff Rathburn, colors by Laura Martin, and lettering from VC’s Joe Caramagna.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s review of…
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2018) #2
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2
Nick Spencer’s second issue of Amazing Spider-Man dropped today. Issue #2, ‘Back to Basics’ part 2 really does show us a return to basics. If we recap from last issue, Peter has been sent back to college, sees his relationship with Mary Jane becoming a bit more serious, and he’s been knocked back into the average life having lost his fortune. Spencer continues to roll back the time of Dan Slott’s ten-year reign on Amazing Spider-Man and this might not be a bad idea.
Nick Spencer’s writing is spot-on in Amazing Spider-Man. While I wasn’t a fan of his Captain America, I did love how he addressed the whole origin of Hydra Cap in the second issue of Captain America; he got right on that and didn’t allow the question linger as to how it happened. He obviously can tell a good story, even if his own plots can be a bit lackluster. His Peter Parker dialog is spot-on. He brings that humor and wit that was the Spider-Man we all grew up with, especially if you’re over 30.
Another seemingly rolled back event from Slott’s time is the Peter Parker/Mary Jane Watson relationship. As we all know, a little over ten years ago the marriage of Peter and Mary Jane was wiped from existence. Events from Amazing Spider-Man Annual 21 were altered so the two did not end up at the altar together to be married. However in the previous issue [of Amazing Spider-Man (2018)] and this issue, Mary Jane and Peter spend a lot of time discussing their feelings as well becoming closer and more intimate. Now, rumor has it the Marvel Editorial Staff is the reason this marriage situation hasn’t been undone and had the two reunited in wedded bliss. Perhaps, with the new editorial staff at Marvel in the form of C.B. Cebulski, we may see this change or maybe Spencer is setting Peter up for a very big fall? Time will only tell on that one.
I have really come to appreciate Spencer’s use of either old or odd Spider-Man villains. Mountain Marko and the Ringer are a nice mix of old, classic villain meets modern day villain. Even though the Ringer is a lesser-known legacy villain, his third and current incarnation is a modern day example of a Spider-Man villain. His spin on the Lizard is extremely interesting. Doctor Connors now has an inhibitor chip that allows him to shift at will from human form to lizard form and keep Connors intellect. Since when last we saw the Lizard at the end of the Clone Conspiracy, this is a real 180 from where Slott had left the character lingering in a sort of limbo. Also, the two main villains of the issue are Taskmaster and Black Ant, again mixing classic villains with modern day renditions of lesser known characters.
Since both Taskmaster and Black Ant attack Peter’s class, he has to spring into action as the Lizard’s inhibitor chip prevents him from attacking other humans, regardless if in self defense or not. As Peter causes a smoke screen, Spider-Man swings into action and defeats the two.
This leads us to the cliffhanger as Spider-Man looks on and mentions, “Hey I know you…” and he shakes Peter Parker’s hand. How is this possible??? Well, that’s why it’s called a cliffhanger, son.
Hells yeah, Ryan Ottley is sure cutting his teeth at Marvel on this book! If he stays with this book for a while and doesn’t drop off in the early days, he could certainly be the one to watch over at Marvel in the near future. Of course, the fanboy in me says Steve Ditko and the Romitas are true Spider-Man legend artists, and when I was a kid it was Todd McFarlane. Then it was Mark Bagley who turned drawing Amazing Spider-Man for almost an entire career through nearly the entire 90s, but lately Ottley has been making me forget these other guys from the past and now wonder about the future.
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
So far I’m loving Amazing Spider-Man, like last issue it truly is a breath of fresh air. It’s not to say Dan Slott was a bad writer, just when you’re at the helm of a book which focuses on one character for ten years, things can become a bit stagnant. This is why I feel Superior Spider-Man was so good; while it was Peter’s body, it was also Doctor Octopus inside Peter’s body, hence a new character and a whole new way of portraying Spider-Man which was different from the norm of the book.
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Simply because the humor really does make the book work. Spencer has this knack for balancing action and drama. He even makes flashbacks, which is how we started this issue off, flow really well with the current events of the story. Not only is the issue worth it but the series should be on your pull list!
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2 can be purchased on ComiXology and available
at your local comic shop and online retailers on Wednesday, July 25th!
Be sure to follow the creative team!
Writer – Nick Spencer
Letterer – Joe Caramagna
Publisher – Marvel Comics