Amazing Spider-Man #22 Review

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Written by Nick Spencer
Pencils by Humberto Ramos
Inks by Victor Olazaba and Humberto Ramos
Colors by Edgar Delgado and Erick Arciniega
Letters by Joe Caramanga
Editor: Nick Lowe
Assistant Editor: Kathleen Wisneski

Technically this is the sixth installment of the Hunted storyline within Amazing Spider-man, but there have obviously been supplementary installments in the form of the “HU” side issues. If truth be told, although some people have expressed the view that the additional issues have drawn this storyline out a little bit, on a personal level I have enjoyed the tale. It has nice nods back to the Kraven’s Last Hunt storyline that I remember as a kid, and we get a great selection of characters within the book and some nice character insight.

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This issue gives us a preliminary or first conclusion to the story arc (Epilogue to follow next issue) and broadly concludes the dynamic between Peter and Kraven as well as the bulk of the storyline between Curt Connors and his son Billy. In relation to the first thread Spencer gives us some nuanced dialogue between Peter and Kraven regarding the roles of the Spider and the Hunter, and the perception of those roles. Both characters challenge the other’s interpretation of their role, and Kraven’s arguments aren’t without merit. It is clear that while he is a monster he isn’t as much of a monster as either the cyber  hunters who are participating in his game or indeed his son. Meanwhile the related plotline in relation to Curt Connors is handled well in this issue as a learning point. There is a third thread that has run throughout this story to date, that of the Vulture’s role, and to me this aspect of the storyline hasn’t worked too well and has unnecessarily complicated what is otherwise a strong morality tale.

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As always Ramos’ art is a great fit for this book and the action is depicted in a dynamic style with a lot of personality shining through on the character work. There is a stylistic slight of hand within the art that serves as a plot point in this issue towards the end which I’m not sure is pulled off quite as well as it could have been, but aside from that Ramos continues to be a quality alternate to Ottley on this title and the last page of this issue is really played to good effect.

Yes this book is a little meandering, but I find it enjoyable. A couple of the subplot aspects could probably have been dispensed with, and conversely some of the plot points of this issue might have done better with a little bit more time to breathe. The situation with Mary Jane seems to be handled too briefly and I think the plotline probably didn’t need to have the Vulture angle which seems to have overly complicated the story arc. That said, there is enjoyment to be had from this and Spencer, to my eyes has maintained a good standard since taking over this title. This issue does nothing to damage that position.

7.6/10

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