- Written by: Joe Kelly
- Art by: Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson
- Colors by: Terry Dodson
- Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
- Cover art by: John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, Marcio Menyz
- Cover price: $3.99
- Release date: February 8, 2023
Amazing Spider-Man #19 switches gears after the conclusion of the Dark Web “event” to find Peter and Felicia taking a much-deserved weekend getaway in upstate NY. Get ready for the worst date imaginable.
Is It Good?
Look, I take no pleasure in picking on Marvel, but ASM is trending in the wrong direction in terms of quality and getting readers onboard with Ol’ Web Head. Amazing Spider-Man #19 isn’t the worst comic in the world, but after the abysmal Dark Web “event,” Marvel needed to come out of the gate swinging. Instead, readers get a silly side adventure more contrived than setting up an auto insurer convention in an empty lot next to a Ford dealership.
If you check the credits above, and if you’ve been keeping up with the series, you’ll notice there’s a completely new creative team on this issue (and the next to come). Per the preface page, Zeb Wells and the crew are “taking a break” to catch up on the next arc, where all the unanswered questions from issue #1 are due to be addressed.
Speculation is unnecessary, but I’m going to do it anyway. If Wells and the crew needed to take a break to catch up on answering the big questions, that doesn’t bode well for how well those big questions were planned out. We shall see, but this changeup in the creative team and the reasons provided for the changeup are, at least, a yellow flag. So, is the guest creative team delivering the goods? Not really.
The story centers on Peter and Felicia taking an impromptu weekend trip in upstate NY for some spicy alone time. Almost immediately, they discover MJ and her husband are also there (coincidence), and they find a group of Sinister Six knockoffs in a battle with White Rabbit. Why? White Rabbit came up with a dodgy business venture to allow tech bros and corporate executives to “cosplay” as villains with semi-realistic tech suits. In short, wealthy people get to LARP as supervillains for a hefty fee.
That might be an amusing story if not for some of the obvious and not-so-obvious shortcomings.
The Whedon-esque dialog is irritating in spots and downright painful in others. The plot is filled with, again, more contrivances to get everyone together than somebody opening an aspirin factory next to a clinic. And the not-so-obvious shortcoming is the silly jokey tone of the characters, particularly White Rabbit, when that tone was one of the major failings of the Dark Web “event.”
Yes, you could make the argument that it’s okay to just sit back and have fun, but that’s tough to do when Dark Web left such a sour taste.
Regarding the art, it’s surprisingly inconsistent. We’ve seen much better work from the Dodsons, but this entire issue screams “rush job.” Close-up panels look good, but medium to wide panels look hastily sketched and lack detail. Worse, the coloring palette is bland and sloppily executed in spots.
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 #19 is a jokey, contrived, silly adventure from a guest creative team. If the unbelievable series of coincidences don’t trip you up, the snappy Whedon-esque dialog will. Combined with surprisingly inconsistent art and sub-par coloring, this is yet another “skip” in an already troubled run.