Amazing Spider-Man #22 begins to answer the question surrounding what happened in York, PA with a knockdown drag-out fight between your friendly neighborhood Wall Crawler and a Mayan god.
Is It Good?
In issue #21, readers received the news that the source of Peter’s troubles started with a throwaway villain not seen (in real-time) for 14 years. In Amazing Spider-man #22, we find out where Peter and MJ went at the end of the last issue and how it ties to the big crater witnessed in the opening pages of ASM #1. Was it worth the wait? It’s too soon to tell, but signs are not favorable.
When last we left Peter (from the past) and MJ (from the present), they were transported by Ben Rabin, the looney mathematician who tried to become an emissary to the Mayan go Wayep all those years ago, to a Manhattan ravaged by Mayan monsters. Now, we get the details on when/where Peter and MJ are and how their present circumstance connects to an event in York, PA 18 months ago (in comic book time).
[MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD]
Peter and MJ were transported to an alternate Earth already ravaged by Wayep because Rabin marked Peter and MJ for sacrifice to complete his ascendancy ritual. If Wayep can’t kill Peter on our Earth, Wayep can kill Peter on one Wayep can already access, thereby completing the sacrifice ritual and elevating Rabin to Wayep’s all-powerful Emissary.
Got it? Good.
How does all this tie into York, PA? Peter and MJ find tech that can transport them home. During a critical fight, MJ pushes Peter through the portal just before Wayep can kill him. Unfortunately, the portal and the resultant energy blast deposited Peter in York, PA, leaving the future MJ stuck on the alternate Earth with Wayep. In other words, Peter didn’t do anything to York, PA (MJ pushed him through the portal), and then-Peter is left alone in a smoking crater just when it looked like his relationship with MJ had been restored.
Got it? Good.
BTW, some readers may ask how to know which Peter is the present or future Peter and which one is the present or future MJ. In ASM #21 the MJ sent to the alternate Earth is the one with her hair down and wearing a purple top, which is the future MJ. The Peter sent to the alternate Earth is the one fighting Rabin just as Peter and MJ decided to move in together.
Got it? Good.
[END MAJOR SPOILERS]
Are the events of York, PA a trivial development? No, the potential for Wayep’s invasion is world-ending.
Is Peter to blame for any of this? Technically, no. Peter isn’t to blame for any of this, but he gets to bear the blame and the burden (presumably) of responsibility (again) to fix it. If I’m reading the tea leaves, he’ll take drastic steps to retrieve future MJ, leading to the reasons everyone hates him.
And the biggest question of all – was the black box mystery worth the year-long wait? Right now, it’s too soon to tell, but this issue has me less interested than issue #21, which is a bad sign. Keeping track of which Peter and MJ are which is a pain, and there’s nothing in this issue or the last that indicates why the story needed to sit for a year. The big reveals are coming in issues #25 and #26, so anticipation should be rising, not dwindling. We shall see.
Regarding the overall execution, this issue is very good. Romita Jr’s art works well for the creepy Mayan gods and monsters, the pacing is brisk, Wells’s dialog is spot-on, and you feel like big things are happening.
In isolation, this is a good comic, but time will tell if it can overcome the baggage of its boneheaded timing.
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 #22 unveils a major section of the series’s mystery surrounding York, PA, and it’s a sure bet nobody will guess how it happened. The art, action, pacing, dialog, and plot movement are very good, and major pieces of the mystery (MJ’s kids?) have yet to be explained, but at least it’s an answer. Whether the answer was worth the wait is TBD.