I’ve never been a Spider-Man superfan. While I’ve enjoyed some stories and arcs, it’s a character (and various series) that I dip in and out of. Beyond Slott’s run, I can’t think of any long run I’ve read. He’s a character I enjoy in doses and generally feel things get redone to a point that it just doesn’t quite interest me (swing with cool image, fight bad guy, smart comment, something goes wrong, repeat). But, when a major start of a run begins, I do like to check them out and see what’s going on. Amazing Spider-Man #75 kicks off a new era for the webcrawler and it’s a start that will have me sticking around for a while.
While Amazing Spider-Man #75 is written by Zeb Wells, Spider-Man is currently being handled by the “Beyond Board” of Kelly Thompson, Cody Ziglar, Saladin Ahmed, Patrick Gleason, and Wells. The group, along with artists, will rotate arcs and issues which is needed as the comic is upping how often it’s coming out. What is “Beyond” though? That gets answered in this issue as Ben Reilly is back in the picture and donning a Spider-Man costume. He now has sponsorship by a corporation called Beyond that feels like it can do the superhero thing a bit better than it’s been done. They also have the “rights” to Spider-Man. It’s all a very intriguing twist to the series and a bit brilliant in some ways.
Amazing Spider-Man #75 dips into Spider-Man history. There’s obviously Reilly himself but the issue takes a lot from Slott’s run when Dock Ock was in Peter’s body. It’s a solid use of that arc and makes a lot of sense when presented. It’s a great way to use continuity and add some more to the history. “Additive” is a direction Marvel has been going for a while and it plays out well here. It dips back into Peter having run a company, there’s some ramifications of that which is great as that entire chapter feels like it was dumped rather quickly. There’s also some questions as to what Peter should do. He has had a lot of heavy hits lately and you can see he’s worn out. Should he let Reilly take over? Should he just go on a vacation for a bit? There’s a lot of options here now and it all feels natural. Amazing Spider-Man #75 deals with Peter’s trauma while also setting up an “out” and we the readers have to guess where it’s going to go… or do we?
The issue ends with a punch that’s been teased but what exactly is that punch? Based on some dialogue, this doesn’t feel like the usual beaten hero story we’ve seen so many times and potentially we’re going to get something very new and interesting, and hopefully relevant (if what I think is going to happen is really going to happen).
The art by Patrick Gleason is top notch. With color by Marcio Menyz and lettering by Joe Caramagna, the comic has style and pops on the page. There’s a modern classic feel to it with body bending swinging but doesn’t take that over the top like others. It’s a bit more grounded in some ways but nails the over the top action as well. What the team really delivers on is the weariness of Peter. You can feel his tiredness. This is a person who’s emotionally beat down and it shows. That sort of small detail really stands out and is impressive.
But there’s more!
Kelly Thompson, Travel Foreman, Jim Campbell, and Joe Caramagna give us a back-up story that adds a twist to everything we just read up to that point. Colleen Wing and Misty Knight!? What are they doing in the comic!? The two are kicking ass is the answer but “Love and Monsters” adds a lot to the direction the series is going as it presents a wrinkle in everything we’ve read.
And there’s more!?
“Kafka” by Wells, Ivan Fiorelli, Edgar Delgado, and Caramagna adds even more to the new direction of the series. We learn a bit more about Beyond delivering an even greater ominous feel about it all. It’s solid work that also examines Electro and some of what his powers mean. Like the main story, it’s the details and hints that are great and will suck you in.
This is a hell of a debut that feels like it’s a natural direction building off of the last two major runs and setting Peter and Spider-Man up for a new direction. It’s good, really good. And it has this on-the-fence Spider-Man reader coming back for more… and excited about it.
Story: Zeb Wells, Kelly Thompson Art: Patrick Gleason, Travel Foreman, Ivan Fiorelli
Color: Marcio Menyz, Jim Campbell, Edgar Delgado Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review