Written by: Zeb Wells
Art by: Michael Dowling, Kyle Hotz, Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, Ryan Stegman, Tim Townsend, J.P. Mayer
Colors by: Richard Isanove, Dan Brown, Terry Dodson, Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover art by: John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, Marcio Menyz
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: November 23, 2022
Amazing Spider-Man #14 recounts a multi-season story about Ben Reilly’s plan to get his memories back from Peter Parker, even if it means an invasion of NYC with an army of Limbo demons to do it.
Is It Good?
Amazing Spider-Man #14 is, to be blunt, a bit boring. In fairness, it gets the job done to set up the Dark Web event by spending a year with Ben Reilly, Janine, and Madelyne Pryor as they set up their plans for a mass attack on NYC. But that’s what you’ll get – a year in the life of Ben Reilly and his allies as they set a plan in motion.
This issue is a lot of talking, a teeny bit of action, a mix of scientific and supernatural experiments to test things out, and that’s about it. It’s a bit strange to have a comic titled “The Amazing Spider-Man” when neither Peter Parker nor Spider-Man shows up in a single panel.
Is the plan year-in-the-life interesting? Somewhat. Janine comes to terms with the fact that the world will never accept her. Ben goes all in on establishing an allyship with Madelyne Pryor. Time spent in Limbo, with all its demons, castles, and weird forests, is visually interesting. And we get a final resolution to Peter Parker’s pseudo-stalking bill collector, Gus.
How’s the art? Well, as you can see from the credits, a small army of creators worked on the issue. The comic is broken up into four “chapters” – Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter – so the segmentation was either a novel storytelling experiment or a clever way to bring on multiple artists to address a time crunch. Either way, the shifts in art styles are noticeable but not jarring. The art quality is consistently good for the respective styles. And the fantastical elements (e.g. Ben’s visit to Limbo) are visually engaging. The story may stop just short of tedious, but the art is at least engaging.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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Amazing Spider-Man #14 sets up the Dark Web event with a Spider-Man-free issue that focuses entirely on Ben Reilly. The plan Ben devises with Janine, and Madelyne is audacious, but this issue is just planning. Did this need to be an Amazing Spider-Man comic? No, it should have been a one-shot or zero-issue, but at least you get a taste of what’s in store for the Dark Web event.