Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Colors: Matthew Wilson, Dee Cunniffe, & Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release date November 20 2019
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
Oh, Nick Spencer. I can never be on the same page with this guy. Sometimes I read this book and I’m all in for the next issue. I have read some issues where I enjoyed my time with them. Then when I feel pretty high on the guy, we get some issues that derail me. As the current writer of the prestige flagship Spider-Man book, I know this guy isn’t treating this book with kid gloves over here. Spencer seems to be the type of writer who likes to plant several seeds into his book, intending to bring everything together in one fell swoop. I just don’t know if I like his approach.
Spencer continues to tie his Chameleon storyline into the Spider-Man 2099 storyline, which is also central to a present day Doctor Doom storyline where a assassination is attempted on Doom, one where the Chameleon had a role in. All this, and I didn’t even mention that now Peter and his college peers are also playing with the idea of multiversal study, which feels like another story/plot seed that will tie into all of this. And we still have Wilson Fisk, Boomerang, and Kindred with their unresolved, still in-development plotlines.
Look, I’m not an impatient fellow. But I feel like its just too much. We keep getting away from one story angle to move onto the next, while also piling on newer ones, and it becomes difficult to keep a focus.
As for the issue itself, its very heavy-loaded with dialogue. The artwork looks wonderful, especially when you get to the pages that are stacked with action-heavy panels near the later middle of the issue. The story brings Spider-Man 2099 and our Spider-Man together briefly, and only long enough for Miguel to warn Peter that their timelines are in danger, and that danger starts in Peter’s timeline. He also confirms to Peter that, unlike in previous stories where its suggested the 2099 timeline is an alternate future timeline of our known 616, that this Miguel is indeed from the legit direct future of Peter’s. Okay, that seems like its going to tie towards Peter’s college studies on the multiverse, but where is this going, I ask? Because of course Miguel makes this insane trip back to our present, gets abducted by Roxxon (another story angle to remember), escapes, and manages to find Peter while Peter/Spidey is in the middle of dealing with the Doctor Doom assassination plot, just to tell Spidey that something bad is about to/has happened to the timestream without telling us anything. Ultimately, Miguel is forcefully sent back to the future and Peter/Spider-Man is teleported to another part of the city, where the real Doom declares his attack on the city. Again, when does this end? Its just more seeds being planted on top of more seeds on top of more seeds, and we just have to trust that things will come together in the end.
I don’t like ragging on this book. I always feel so relieved when I do get to read one of Spencer’s issues of ASM that I can be positive on. I like Nick Spencer. I love Spider-Man. I’m just tired of investing in so much from this one title. I feel like my interest in this title is prolapsing.
Nick Spencer’s juggling act of storylines may promise to bring things together, eventually, but I’m starting to lose both patience and interest. If comic books could have ADD, this would be textbook.