Review: Amazing Spider-Man – Renew Your Vows #2

asmryv002One of the common themes across the entire Secret Wars crossover has been that of a broken future.  It has shown up in a variety of titles, including several this week alone such Inferno, Civil War and Age of Apocalypse.  It should not come as any surprise then that Renew Your Vows, one of the several Spider-Man tie-ins to Secret Wars, is also included in using this as a theme.  The one difference with this though is that it is not really based on any particular crossover or story from before, rather it is a new story which uses similar themes, with perhaps only minor inspiration from elsewhere (like the MC2 Spider-Girl).

As was seen in the first issue, this freedom from any story in the past actually allows for a very different approach to storytelling.  Gone are the big flashy events and they are instead replaced with strong storytelling focused on characterization over concept.  Generally speaking this is going to put a comic ahead as comics all too often relegate characters to being two dimensional in the interest of some otherworldly threat, and as expected the approach has worked.  Instead of focusing on a superhero team, the focus is on a family, of which two have powers, and are hunted for it in this future where powers are outlawed.  There are some clever uses of plot devices here as well.  When the villains converge on the school to abduct young May, the outcome is as expected, that is until it isn’t as there is a bit of a surprise through this part.  So too is the art used intelligently here as a dream sequence is shown completely differently from them remainder in order to highlight its craziness.

So many of the Secret Wars settings seem something like experiments, a little bit of an excuse for the creators to let loose in world with few rules as to continuity.  The problem with this is that it seems very temporary.  While this is also the case here, it is unfortunate, for this is a reality that would be well explored over several dozen issues as opposed to four or five.  As it stands, this is one of the best tie-ins to the Secret Wars crossover, and it does so with barely any reference to the bigger series.  That is because this is a great story which is executed well and deserves praise for being a little bit better than the rest.

Story: Dan Slott Art: Adam Kubert 
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5  Overall: 9.5  Recommendation: Buy