Review: Amazing Spider-Man #2
It’s very weird to have the main Spider-Man title back to only once a month. Either way, at least it’s a bright point each month as Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos continue to impress with the latest relaunch of Amazing Spider-Man.
Let’s start off with the one thing holding down the last few issues: Electro. He flat out doesn’t work in this story. I understand the appeal of having the main villain from Amazing Spider-Man 2 in this story, but he feels shoehorned in for the sake of cross promotion. The same thing happened with the Lizard when Amazing Spider-Man was out in theaters. Max Dillion has little to no impact on what is happening to Peter. Slott does work out a nice way to incorporate Electro in by the final page of #2, but the path to get there isn’t interesting. This is precious panel space that could be spent on Peter’s reclamation to the world. The fight with Electro gives Ramos a few pages to pencil a gorgeous looking fight, but it works out the way you expect it would. Electro + Water = Bad.
One other thing that bothered me was the constant editorial notes. Please STOP. We don’t need two notes telling us to check out Fantastic Four. Give us one to explain what’s going on with Johnny Storm and leave it at that. And we certainly do not need one explaining events from the previous issue (Electro destroying the prison and freeing Black Cat). While this issue references Superior Spider-Man Team Up, the abbreviation of SSMMTU is confusing. It looks like there was an extra M added by mistake.
But this all pales to the fun that Slott is having with Peter going through what has changed with his life. Of course this gives Slott ample opportunities to crack wise with Peter. I always liked J. Michael Straczynski’s explanation of Peter’s humor: when he is uncomfortable, he makes more jokes. Peter is uncomfortable all the time now knowing that someone was in his body for months, so him telling endless jokes makes more sense. All of them hit the mark too. I had a grin on my face through the entire issue and was laughing hard consistently. It’s good to see that Anna Maria is sticking around, even if she jumps into the role of ally quite fast. Slott even works in continuity references (not every knows Peter’s secret identity) rather seamlessly. Even though I’ve been reading the main Spider-Man book for five years, a small thing like this is a nice reminder without blatantly rehashing things.
Humberto Ramos’ artwork can turn a lot of people off, but the past few months should bring a lot of the detractors back. His exaggerated style of body/face work is toned down and much easier to enjoy. Peter and Anna Maria’s conversation at the beginning of the issue is filled with great, subtle facial expressions that show the conflicted nature of the two well. It can be a tad difficult to figure out what is going on during the Electro fight, but overall it’s a great looking sequence. Edgar Delgado’s colors are great in #2. The slight glow of Electro and the shadows he casts on everything look realistic, and I never noticed the shadows going in the wrong direction (I see that way too often in comics).
Amazing Spider-Man #2 gets 4/5.
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