Writer: Nick Spencer
Art Team: Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn, Laura Martin, Andrew Crossley, VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: January 16, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
The Amazing Spider-Man has been has been a very hit or miss title thus far in the Fresh Start relaunch for me, with interesting subplots boiling up in the background, all while the book tackles head on much less interesting and impactful arcs. For example I’m personally super curious who this Centipede villain is lurking around, but things like the ‘double Spider-Man’ issues, and now this J. Jonah Jameson revisits those he wronged in the past arc, just keep preventing me from getting there. So lets jump into this issue this week, while I for one personally hope I get some more of what I’m craving, and a little less of what I’ve not been digging.
Forgive me at the start here because I’m going to start off on the wrong foot if you enjoy this series … Nick Spencer needs to stop starting out every issue wasting pages recapping the previous issues events. While its not something I always have an issue with, when you do it every single issue, and it becomes common place that four pages of are used up doing this, I feel short changed as a customer. Marvel specifically has the credits page at the start of all books to address this issue. To then go ahead and recap again at the start of this series, every issue, becomes redundant especially in a bi-weekly book.
As we finally progress and move on to new things the BIG reveal is Tall Man is being run by Frederick Roswell Jr, son of J.Jonah’s former employee, and previous Tall Man, here to avenge the death of his father oh so many years later. To achieve his revenge ol’ Freddy hired Arcade to build this murder factory for him to take his revenge on Spider-Man however Jonah rains on his potential murder parade, admitting fault for driving his father to madness. It’s all comes off very cliche, and a lot of the issue is spent recapping that cliche ridden Foswell family history, and how its interconnected with J.J. and Spider-Man.
The real problem with this issue is by the end our story doesn’t do a whole lot of anything to progress this title from where it was when this entire arc began. We understand J. Jonah and Spider-Man are on good terms, that Kingpin isn’t trusted by much of anyone except though means of manufactured good press, and Tall Man is back to just being a throw away Spider-Man villain like he always kind of was. We get a little cliffhanger action at the end of the issue, that might grab some attention, but even those in this series are becoming very stale, just showcasing a classic Spider-Man villain making a re-appearance once again.
Its a shame Ryan Ottley, Rathburn, and Martin have to return to this title when the story feels like it almost has no stakes whatsoever. This is an art team I love, and while I enjoyed the art this issue, there was no Spider-Man swinging through the sky, no great set pieces to work at, just a nothing of an issue that the main creative team was given to put on the page, which feels like a crime.
Overall as a whole this Spider-Man run is becoming very predictable settling into a very common pattern each issue. This was a three issue arc that didn’t move this series forward, did nothing but establish relationships we are already well aware of from other Spider-Man books, and to have the main creative art team return to the title for this feels like a waste for everyone involved. Nick Spencer has had some good issues thus far in his run of Spider-Man this one falls well short of that mark and feels more like filler than anything rewarding to experience.