- Written by: Zeb Wells
- Art by: Ed McGuinness, Cliff Rathburn
- Colors by: Marcio Menyz, Erick Arciniega
- Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
- Cover art by: John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, Marcio Menyz
- Cover price: $3.99
- Release date: January 25, 2023
Amazing Spider-Man #18 enters the next phase of the Dark Web “event” as Madelyne Pryor has the unenviable task of telling Chasm that she’s brokered a truce with the X-Men. Do you think Chasm will take the news well?
Is It Good?
No, Chasm doesn’t take the news well at all. In a sarcastic case of “Who could have seen that coming?” Chasm loses his collective wits over the news, resulting in a cascade of actions that leads to a very dangerous status quo change.
When last we left the crew, Spider-Man was trapped in a bizarre, demon-populated reenactment of NYC created by Chasm. What was Chasm’s goal? It’s not clear, but it seems he intended to annoy Peter so much that Peter would bite the magical soul-transferring apple. Issue #17 was a poorly written joke issue, so go back to our review if you want more details. They’re too grating to recount in full here.
Now, Madelyne Pryor brokers a truce with the X-Men (you have to read the X-Men/Dark Web tie-in to find out how and when that happens), and she’s left with breaking the news to Chasm that she got hers but he won’t get his… as the kids say. Chasm freaks out and storms off while Eve takes matters into her own hands to secure Chasm’s desires.
Where’s Peter while all this is happening? Fighting knuckled-headed demons cosplaying as the Sinister Six to make his stay in Limbo even more annoying.
Therein lies the problem with this issue and the event as a whole. Zeb Wells vacillates between serious moments and poorly written humor, so you wind up with a story that doesn’t know if it wants to be a goofy comedy or an earth-shaking event. The issue tries to do both, fails at both, and winds up achieving nothing but tonal inconsistency, annoyance, and mess.
By the end, there is a big wow moment when Chasm’s new status quo is changed. However, everything that leads up to that moment is so uneven, it doesn’t hit as hard as it should, and frankly, the reveal comes off as an unimaginative ripoff of the far superior King in Black event last year.
I have mixed feelings about Ed McGuiness on this issue. Not because the art lacks quality (it doesn’t), but because what he’s asked to draw is so goofy, you can’t help but feel McGuinness’s talents are wasted.
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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Bits and Pieces
Amazing Spider-Man #18 is somehow worse than issue #17 because it tries to continue #17’s (poorly written) humor while attempting to mix it with hard-hitting, serious moments. Neither the drama nor the humor works, so by trying to do both, you wind up with neither, and the big reveal at the end lands with a mild thud.