Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Ryan Ottley & Cliff Rathburn
Colors: Nathan Fairbarn & Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release date May 27 2020
Review by D.Brown (wolfcypher)
Spider-Man and Boomerang’s National Treasure hunt peaks with a fight against mega-obscure “villain” Gog, resulting in a chaotic scramble in the middle of New York City. The chemistry between Spidey and Boomer is never-lacking, as the two characters play well off each other. In fact, Nick Spencer may be better suited for another Boomerang-centric book than he is a Spider-Man book. Might I propose a Superior Foes sequel title? This issue has its share of fun instances, and I actually enjoyed this one if I’m being honest. This would make for a highly positive review if I just ended it here…onto my gripes.
There are just too many instances where I finish one of these arcs and wonder if this recent story is really going to have any gravity towards whats been being built up so far. Stop me if I’ve said this before (I kid, DON’T stop me, and yes I HAVE said this before), but when are we going to put a definitive conclusion on some of these unresolved stories that have been brewing in this title? When this arc first started, it gave me reason to believe that the Wilson Fisk storyline Spencer began would gain some momentum. Fisk wants this Lifeline Tablet, sure. Boomerang has crossed Fisk over this tablet, alright. True to Spencer’s choice of storytelling, we abandoned that thread for a while and jumped all over the place. We come back the Fisk/Boomerang/Tablet stuff, and it really doesn’t take us anywhere at all. And this has stopped being funny a while ago.
This reviewer needs Spencer to focus up. Look, I love me some fun and silly stories, but you have so much out there that needs to be resolved and I don’t think a three-part filler is what we need. I cannot blame Marvel for the delays these comics have suffered, but they aren’t making this situation better. I’m starting to forget important details that probably may pay off in huge ways mostly because we keep straying away from the substantial threads of this book’s ongoing web of stories. This could have been a story that moved some pieces on the board forward, but it really ended up just being a distraction. So…is the Fisk stuff done? Is it safe to say that this tablet business is over? I honestly don’t know! Nothing really feels resolved! On to the next thread!
Getting back to the positives, Ryan Ottley’s art is so visually entertaining in this issue! There is a lot of fun to be had just looking at the action going on in this book, and I would be in the wrong if I didn’t also give this book’s colorist Nathan Fairbarn his dues. The panels look fantastic, and I have to say this is definitely some of Ottley’s finest work on this title. My favorite panel is halfway into the book, where (no spoilers ahead) we have a large panel that features a close-up of Spider-Man, waist-up, gripping weblines in each hand. I couldn’t tell you why, but Ottley’s Spidey here just looked amazing. And hey, if the entirety of your issue is Spider-Man and Boomerang fighting a rampaging monster on the streets of New York, it helps a ton when the art and colors look this good!
I’ve completely neglected to talk about the “”back-up story”” (spoiler…its two pages showing a door…/end spoiler). It doesn’t give me much to talk about. Moving on…
I’m grading this one as it stands on its own, discounting everything else that has happened around Peter/Spidey in this book. It really feels like I’m “grading on a curve”, but I kind of have to…there was fun to be had in this issue. I genuinely liked it. I liked the ending. Yes, I assumed this arc, when it began, was going to revisit an unresolved plot from earlier, and it didn’t do that at all. I’ve addressed my problem with this in the review itself, but my score simply favors the enjoyment I had with what turned out to be a filler story.
There’s fun to be had in this one, but don’t expect anything that really helps move this volume of ASM along. It still feels like absolutely nothing in Nick Spencer’s grand scheme of heavier, weightier stories have moved forward at all. Still, enjoyable filler with amazing art.