Written by: Zeb Wells
Art by: John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna
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: March 8, 2023
Amazing Spider-Man #21 begins the (too) long-awaited start to the arc that explains what happened to Spider-Man and Mary Jane in Amazing Spider-Man #894. Can Zeb Wells pull off a miracle?
Is It Good?
We shall see. Amazing Spider-Man #21 is off to a promising start by jumping straight into the action and a flashback that sets the stage for whatever happened to Spider-Man and Mary Jane at the end of Nick Spencer’s run. Was it worth the wait? Again, we shall see, but the arc is off to a promising start.
MAJOR Spoilers Ahead!
Is the big bad of this arc Mephisto? No, not even close.
Are some timey wimey, alternate universe shenanigans involved? Sorta yes, but not exactly. It appears Peter and MJ are living in an alternate reality created by the villain as a solution to a conflict. This is an assumption, but it sure looks like that’s what’s going on.
Well, who is the big bad? A little-known villain by the name of Dr. Benjamin Rabin. That’s right. He’s a minor villain who hasn’t been seen since 2008. Guess which writer created and first introduced Rabin. You guessed it – Zeb Wells.
Admittedly, the choice of villains comes off as narcissistic, but that pretty much describes all of modern Marvel, so at least the villain choice is on-brand.
Okay, enough with the commentary. Was it good? Honestly, I’m intrigued by what happens in this issue. Right when Peter and MJ decide to move in together, Rabin, now imbued with power from the Mayan god he worships, bursts into sacrifice or claim MJ as she somehow represents the next stage of the ritual needed to make him the Emissary to his Mayan god.
This arc is a payoff to Rabin’s journey that started fourteen years ago.
The pacing is good, the action and wow moments (which we haven’t seen the least bit of since the Tombstone arc) hit hard, and the mystery could be worthwhile.
Romita Jr’s art is in top form, Menyz’s coloring is outstanding (especially during the displays of magical power), and Hanna’s inks look fantastic.
It’s too soon to tell if Wells has pulled off a miracle for wasting an ungodly amount of time over the past year, but this issue is a good start.
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 #21 begins the long-awaited arc to explain what happened to Peter and MJ when Zeb Wells took over the title. The action, intrigue, pacing, and dialog are all on point. It’s too soon to tell if Wells paid off the wait, but this issue is a good start.