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: April 5, 2023
Amazing Spider-Man #23 finds Peter Parker wrestling with the aftermath of his explosive arrival in York, PA. When Peter learns Time is not on his side, his panic leads to very poor choices that put him at odds with several Marvel heroes.
Is It Good?
Amazing Spider-Man #23 is just okay. There aren’t any startling revelations or canon-breaking developments to get readers all in a tizzy. What you get is a frantic Peter Parker running around New York to find help, and that’s about it.
When last we left Peter, we got the big reveal surrounding what happened in York, PA (see our review of ASM #22). Peter landed in York after getting shoved through a portal, followed by a big ball of Wyep energy, leaving MJ trapped in an alternate Earth with Wyep and Rabin.
Now, Peter uns from the explosion site, stealing clothes along the way, and eventually figures out he’s been gone only a few hours in Earth-616 time. What does that mean? It means every hour Peter spends on Earth-616 could be days or weeks for MJ trapped with Wyep, Rabin, and… Paul. The rest of the issue follows Peter as he seeks out help from an assortment of Marvel characters (FF, Dr. Strange, Captain America, etc.), but they all need Peter to slow down, explain himself, and explain what happened in York to set off what the authorities believe is a massive bomb. Short on time and patience, Peter runs from one source of help to the next until he seeks out the one man he least expected to seek out for help.
In terms of big reveals and the long-gestating plot, this issue doesn’t accomplish much. Amazing Spider-Man #23 is essentially just Peter running from one hero to the next for help while evading entanglements from the authorities that would slow him down. If you’re looking for big wow moments to justify a story year that took over a year to plan, you’ll be sorely disappointed with this issue.
The pacing is a sprint, which matches the tone of the issue, so that’s a positive. Wells’s dialog accentuates and escalates Petere’s feeling of rushed panic, and that’s also a positive.
Now, we come to an open question which, depending on the answer, might be a massive mistake on the part of the creative team, or it could be adequately addressed in the following issues.
In ASM #21, we see present-day MJ is the one that gets sent to the alternate dimension with Wyep, not the MJ that was interrupted by Rabin the first time. At the time past-Peter was sent to the alternate Earth, past-MJ was left in New York. Will past-Peter, now back from the alternate Earth, seek out past-MJ so the two can work together to save her future self?
The suspicion here is that the MJ that was sent to the alternate Earth was really the past-MJ, and the art team screwed up the character art and progression. If that’s the case, Editorial should rightly be made to explain how a story arc, over a year in planning, was screwed up so badly by inconsistent art. We shall see, but the signs don’t look encouraging.
How’s the art? It’s fine. There’s not much to see other than Peter running around NYC in street clothes while trying to conceal a bruised face. If you’re a fan of Romita Jr’s art, you’ll get more of what you like. If you’re not a fan, this issue is relatively free of Romita Jr excentricities ala bobble-headed children and excessive cross-hatching.
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 #23 spends an entire issue with Peter running around NYC looking for help. The overall plot doesn’t progress much, and there aren’t any big reveals or wow moments. If you don’t mind a transition issue in an arc that took over a year to prepare, this is as good as it gets.