Amazing Spider-Man #14 Review

Written by: Nick Spencer
Art by: Chris Bachalo, Ai Vey, Wayne Faucher, John Livesay, Tim Townsend, and VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 30, 2019

I enjoyed the just finished mini-arc with Spider-Man hanging out with J. Jonah, but I am really looking forward to Nick Spencer getting this book a bit more in focus going forward. Sure, jumping around between different stories keeps things from getting boring, but it also keeps me from really getting invested in the book. I am at the point where I actually mutter to myself, “Alright, what the hell are we dealing with in this issue” as I open it up. I’m usually surprised, but oftentimes it hasn’t been pleasantly. So, what the hell are we dealing with in this issue? Let’s find out…

First off, there is a little tiny editors note on the credits page that says this issue happens after the upcoming Miles Morales #3. While I usually would hate that, it doesn’t matter that much, and only seems to be included because Rhino is in the house!

Before that, however, we get another Kraven sighting (with goofy as hell, Arcade), see Pete and MJ suffer through an awkward situation eating dinner with Professor Conners and his scaly family and Aunt May being a bad-ass!

Nick Spencer gives us a load of recap at the beginning and while some were very welcome, some of it felt like a little too much. The whole issue still moves at a brisk pace as we see the pieces of a disaster puzzle start fitting into place.

When the Rhino does eventually show, followed by Taskmaster and Black Ant, it didn’t feel weird because of the Miles book, but just felt overly forced to get to the big cliffhanger. It is pretty big…if you happen to believe that major characters can get killed in such a throwaway way. If you do, I may have some Florida swampland to sell you.

This issue was a very quick read and is setting up the new story arc, but after not getting much of a story for months in this book, it’s getting frustrating. The stop and start nature of Nick Spencer’s narrative is making it hard for me to fully get behind this book and this is no exception to that rule. I am still hopefull all the loose threads come together to make a kickass sweater, but until then, I feel like I am just looking at a pile of tangled up yarn.

Chris Bachalo’s art is a style thing…it is okay but doesn’t fit the style I am used to in this book. Of course, it’s hard to top when that style belongs to Ryan Ottley, but I likes what I likes. I’m sure I could get used to it over time, but it was a bit of a jarring transition into it this issue.

Final Thoughts:

This book has an identity problem and the back and forth nature of Nick Spencer’s narrative is starting to get to me. I do like that it is rarely boring, but it’s also rarely must-read material either. The art might take regular readers a bit to get used to as well and in the end, this is just another okay issue in an overall okay run.

6.0/10

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