Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Iban Coello
Colors: Brian Reber
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release date January 22 2020
Reviewed by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
I will admit, I wasn’t expecting too much from this issue. Nevermind I’ve been feeling really low by this book for the last several issues, but to see a new arc beginning with the reappearance of old, obscure D-lister villain Chance, it was hard to get excited to jump into this issue. But alas, you can’t judge a book by its cover; you gotta read it, then review it, then grade it.
Nick Spencer takes a chan–…okay, how about gamble with revitalizing the villain Chance. In the past, Chance was nothing more but a Rocketeer-looking mercenary who was mercifully forgotten by most writers. Here, Spencer revamps him as the owner of a supervillain casino, an establishment with cloaking, flight, and teleportation, and one where his monitors can view live footage of any superhero activity in the world! Gotta love comic books…Gone is his ridiculous costume (although the crazy helmet remains) as he swaps gimmicky flight suits for a more lapel-suited fashion choice. Despite being the closest thing this issue has to a focal villain, the real action is with Spider-Man, being pursued by Maggia enforcers. See, Spider-Man just robbed a criminal owned bank that was housing stolen S.H.E.I.L.D. tech. The same kind of stolen tech the Chameleon was responsible for pilfering about an arc or so ago. And when J. Jonah Jameson gets wind of Spider-Man robbing a bank and swinging through the city for his life, we get to see ol’ JJ head out to find Spider-Man for answers.
Honestly, Jameson’s bit in this comic was my favorite of all the things that went on in this comic. The comic actually starts with Norah Winters (formerly employed by Jonah) bringing Jameson (former editor of the Daily Bugle…and ex-mayor…and ex-radio personality…) into the 21st century…that is, his new job at TnM, an online clickbait “news” and blog site! There’s little subtly to watching old man Jameson taking a tour of the offices, seeming so out of place around these younger writers with work practices so foreign to his own old-fashion practices.
I found Spencer’s Jonah and Spider-Man bits to be the more entertaining content of the book. Seeing Chance running his casino tied into Spider-Man’s dilemma, but it definitely felt like the lesser of this book’s happenings. Now, my question is, with where this issue leaves us, what exactly is this arc? This is apparently the first part of a new story, but by the end of the issue, and seeing the To Be Continued! caption, come next issue and for the rest of this arc are we going to dive deeper into the secret super-criminal casino, is this all a Jonah story, or are we going to be dealing more with Spider-Man trying to track down the stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. tech? Knowing Spencer, it could be all three (plus more stories to juggle) or none of them… Of course, I could also look ahead and read into the already released solicitations for the next issues. I have grown to appreciate Spencer’s continued use of both Spider-Man and Jameson’s new friendly dynamic (one Spider-Man humorously seems to regret by the end of the book) and the continued use of Teresa Parker as a supporting character, both being elements from the 2017’s Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man title.
Iban Coello is a favorite of mine, so its easy for me to say that the art was great! If I can’t the guy as the regular artist on Venom, I wouldn’t be too displeased to keep him on this book. His take on Spider-Man is a natural fit. Everyone looks good in this book, and its made more pleasant to see thanks to the colors and inks.
While most likely just the beginnings of a whole new arc, this issue felt like it could have been a one-and-done standalone issue, but it was an enjoyable read, complimented with bright, fantastic art.