Written by: Zeb Wells
Art by: Ed McGuiness, Mark Morales, Wade von Grawbadger, Cliff Rathburn
Colors by: Marcio Menyz, Dijjo Lima, Erick Arciniega
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover art by: John Romita Jr.
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: July 27, 2022
Amazing Spider-Man #6 celebrates Peter Parker’s 900th issue in the most bizarre way possible – with a surprise birthday party that goes terribly wrong and an attack by the latest incarnation of the Living Brain.
Is It Good?
Whether you love or hate Amazing Spider-Man #6 is going to be a matter of what you do or do not find funny. Zeb Wells comes from the Robot Chicken writer’s room, so presumably, he has a grasp on comedic writing. True to Wells’s background, this triple-sized issue marking the 900th issue of ASM reads like a 72-page Robot Chicken sketch. If you like the Robot Chicken brand of self-aware jokes and pithy dialog, this might just be your pick of the week.
Credit is due to Wells for writing an anniversary issue that flies with excellent pacing, plenty of action, and more cameos than you can count on one hand. Peter Parker is called into the office where his friends and family plan to spring a surprise birthday party for him. The surprise is ruined because Peter shows up on time for once, and things go from bad to worse when JJJ shows up wearing Dr. Octopus’s arm harness. We later learn Dr. Octopus and the other members of the OG Sinister Six are held captive by the latest evolution of the Living Brain as it seeks to answer one question – Who is Spider-Man?
The question is replayed over and over as a meta-plot device where the Living Brain doesn’t simply want Spider-man’s identity. It wants to know what Spider-man represents to the world. In other words, Wells uses a wacky, almost-comedic adventure to get to a thought-provoking question about the importance of Spider-Man in the comics zeitgeist.
Does it work? Not really. There’s too much silly humor and slapstick shenanigans, to let the thought-provoking depth of the question breathe with any sincerity. You get the impression Wells is trying to use the Robot Chicken style of humor to bridge the action with the thought, but the corny, eye-rolling jokes can’t get out of their own way to let the value of Spider-Man’s importance shine through.
Again, much of this issue’s positive or negative reception will be a matter of your taste in humor. That said, the biggest structural flaw is the lack of setup and cohesion with the current series. JJJ shows up wearing Doc Ock’s harness without any explanation as to when, why, where, or how that happened. Peter caps off the issue with a little smoochy time with Black Cat, seemingly ignoring his pining for MJ in the previous five issues. Although this issue is a #6, it’s an out-of-continuity one-shot for all practical purposes, and that may be the biggest letdown.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Bits and Pieces
Amazing Spider-Man #6 is a triple-sized one-shot that celebrates Peter Parker’s birthday with a visit from the Living Brain and the OG Sinister Six. The pacing and art are all excellent, but the corny humor overpowers the weighty message behind the Living Brain’s quest, and the lack of continuity with issue #5 makes this a #6 issue in name only.