Written by: Zeb Wells
Art by: Ed McGuinness, Cliff Rathburn
Colors by: Marcio Menyz
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover art by: John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, Marcio Menyz
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: January 11, 2023
Amazing Spider-Man #17 finds Peter Parker and his captured friends living out a twisted facsimile of NYC life in Limbo, courtesy of Chasm. How much pressure can Peter stand before he succumbs to Chasm’s demands?
Is It Good?
This event is a joke. No, it’s literally a joke. That’s not an insult or criticism. If the contents of Amazing Spider-Man #17 are any indication, Dark Web is intended to be a humorous event. How funny (or not) you find Dark Web is another matter altogether.
Before Amazing Spider-Man #17, Madelyne Pryor and Chasm coordinated a deadly attack on NYC, an attack with periodically placed points of wackiness e.g. talking scooters and baby carriages. Now, the plot has devolved into silly humor, ala Robot Chicken or Rick & Morty, without cleverness or wit.
Peter Parker is “forced” to re-enact his daily routine as an employee of the Daily Bugle, complete with JJJ delivering his blustering marching orders, while surrounded by the demons of Limbo. The demons have been commanded to wear human clothes and act as everyday citizens of NYC to keep Peter trapped with his friends. Chasm hopes the demented scenery will eventually coerce Peter to bite the magic apple that will transfer his soul and memories to Ben.
Zeb Wells’ plot is bizarre and nonsensical in that it doesn’t give the impression that Chasm’s plan will work. The witless demons stumble and fumble their way into pretending to be average humans, presumably to make Limbo feel as much like home as possible for Peter. If the goal is to make Peter feel at home, how does that apply pressure? Instead of keeping JJJ in a familiar job where he has to play along, why not torture JJJ?
Much like the attack on NYC, Chasm’s plan doesn’t fit his motivations and goals. It’s as if Wells dreamed up a scenario to put Peter in a silly situation with a mild hint of danger, regardless of whether or not it fits the plot or makes sense on its own merits.
As silly demons are prone to do, they take their orders too literally and turn themselves into a bizarre version of the Sinister Six to complete Peter’s home life picture. One demon goes so far as to become a magical Venom. The whole setup is weirdly amusing, but again, doesn’t make any sense.
The art team (McGuiness, Rathburn, Menyz, and Caramagna) do the Lord’s work with the art in this issue. They capture the cartoonish silliness of the situation, but the art is anything but cartoonish. McGuinness’s pencils are excellent, Rathburn’s inks are super-clean, and Menyz delivers surprisingly nuanced color shading.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Amazing Spider-Man #17 abandons any sense of urgency, drama, or stakes for the Dark Web event by turning Peter Parker’s forced visit to Limbo into a poorly written Rick & Morty episode. The art is great, and the character designs are interesting, but the plot doesn’t make sense.