Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Jorge Fornes
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 22, 2021
Saladin Ahmed is back for another issue of Amazing Spider-Man, and after using the last issue to set up stuff for his Miles Morales book, I was looking forward to getting a bit more Ben Reilly in this issue. But, unfortunately, that’s not what is going on with this issue. Amazing Spider-Man #82 is an odd feeling, kind of one-shot horror story. Whether it means anything more than filling a slot in the over-crowded Spidey schedule will be seen later, but in the here and now, I was more confused by it than anything else.
Amazing Spider-Man #82 is a Peter / MJ issue, and while that sounds cool enough, the whole thing feels disconnected from the start. Jorge Fornes has an art style that is great for a horror story, but it just didn’t feel like it fit for a Spider-Man one. I know that he has done work at Marvel before, most notably for me on the Daredevil book, but for some reason, his style suits DC Comics better than Marvel. Of course, I understand that I may be the only one who thinks that, so please add a couple of points to my score below if it isn’t an issue for you.
As for the story, Peter is out of his coma and realizes something is wrong. Some of his fellow patients are going missing, and since the only thing he can do is ask questions and maybe shake his fist feebly, he finds himself in some pretty evil hot water himself. Luckily for him, Mary Jane kicks total ass like we all know she does! It’s a nice little self-contained thing that shows that Peter still isn’t ready to put the suit back on (though he did a couple issues ago), but feels a bit out of nowhere. This whole Beyond story feels like it’s stuck in neutral and this doesn’t help that feeling at all. We do get a couple pages at the end with Misty and Colleen, but it felt shoved in as an “oh, by the way… Beyond stuff.” That’s not enough for a book that Marvel is making fans buy every week.
I am a Saladin Ahmed fan, but the two issues we’ve gotten from him feel off. The last issue set up the solo Miles book more than anything, and now we get what feels like an unrelated one-shot this week. Granted, I like some of what we got here as its own thing, but it doesn’t really push the overall Beyond story more than an inch forward. Did someone at Marvel think fans needed a break from all that Beyond and Ben Reilly stiff already? I actually need way more at this point, but maybe I’m a bit wacky. I mentioned the art already, but Jorge Fornes does a great job of matching the tone of the story, it’s just not a style that fits for me personally.
We will be talking more in-depth about Wastelanders: Wolverine #1 on this week’s Marvel Podcast, which comes out every Thursday Night. You can search “Weird Science Marvel Comics” on any podcast player to find us!
Amazing Spider-Man #82 is more of a one-shot horror story than anything else. That might be okay any other time, but not when Marvel is making fans buy double (or more) the usual amount of issues a month. The art fits the story, but I can’t recommend it until I see that this connects to the overall Beyond story.