Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Iban Coello & Francesco Mobili
Colors: Brian Weber & Erick Arciniega
Letterer: VC;s Joe Caramagna
Release date February 12 2020
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
J. Jonah Jameson has a new job at a clickbait website as a podcaster, and he’s only been on the job one day. One Day. Already, he’s exposed a S.H.I.E.L.D. story that has all of the world turning heads, he’s made his employers into a seemingly legit news source, and now he’s promising, on his first episode, an interview with the Amazing Spider-Man himself!
Last issue’s highlight for me was the J. Jonah focused parts of the story. Nick Spencer does a good job writing this character, and I’m especially happy to see that Marvel hasn’t put this particular genie back in its bottle. Ever since Chip Zdarsky wrote Spider-Man revealing his identity to Jameson, I had been waiting for Marvel to undo this moment. So far, its sticking, and I think Jonah’s been better for it. He’s a far more interesting (and more fun) character now that’s he’s in the know, and he’s been actively voicing his support for the web-slinger. This isn’t exactly rubbing Spidey the right way, though, and its funny to see that even though his biggest detractor is now trying to be his biggest ally, Spidey isn’t seeing it as a positive. I am so glad this status quo is available for writers to play with, as Spencer gives us an issue that, on paper, might not sound like it should work, but the chemistry between Spidey and JJ carries this story and this reviewer can tell you I found this issue to be quite the page turner.
This issue could be looked at as a spiritual sequel to Zdarsky’s Peter Parker; The Spectacular Spider-Man #6 (which just so happens to be my absolute favorite issue from that run). In this, we have Spider-Man and Jonah sitting down, face-to-face (or mask-to-face) to record a podcast interview. That’s the majority of the story here. And what starts off as a civil conversation devolves into a hostile series of arguments where a lot of old wounds are reopened between the two. What’s crazy is that both sides make some powerful points. There were more than one moment where I thought “I never really looked at it like that” when I considered how both Jonah viewed Spider-Man in the past, during his “He’s a menace” days as a journalist, and also how Spider-Man would react to Jonah personally when he’s had opportunities in the past to try and set the record straight. And while all this is going on, we have our B-plot taking place; the secret flying super-villains-only casino from last issue, where the Foreigner has egged Chance into taking a wild bet to pursue Spider-Man. Like in the previous issue, I found all the bits with J. Jonah and Spider-Man to be fantastically more involving than this villains/casino plot.
The bonus story at the end of the book features the villain Overdrive working as a getaway driver for the Inner Demons. It honestly felt inconsequential following the main plot, though it hints to be related to the Kindred story Spencer’s been teasing for the longest.
It’s amazing how much I liked reading an issue of just two characters stirring each other up inside a recording booth. I tend to expect an issue of Amazing Spider-Man to showcase Spider-Man doing amazing things. Here, Spencer and Iban Coello script and draw these former nemeses doing a podcast together, and I loved it!
Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson’s new dynamic has been a big asset to both characters, especially for JJ, whenever its worked into a story, something I’d argue doesn’t happen enough. Here, its been the crux of this arc so far and its proven to be the best parts of the story. This was quite an fun issue of ASM!