Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

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Subj: Re: Amazing Spider-Man #594 - Thoughts
Posted: Thu May 21, 2009 at 04:50:32 pm EDT (Viewed 15 times)
Reply Subj: Amazing Spider-Man #594 - Thoughts
Posted: Thu May 21, 2009 at 09:30:08 am EDT (Viewed 297 times)

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Hey gang,

Here are my thoughts on the latest issue of Amazing Spider-Man. Firstly, I have to say that it was another sastifying issue by Mark Waid and artists Mike McKone and Barry Kitson! I absolutely love how there are constantly subplots, both small and large, concurrenly running along the main plot. The writers have been doing a great job with that. I've said it before but it so reminds me of the DeMatteis era on Spectacular Spider-Man. With Amazing Spider-Man #600 only a couple of months away, the stories, including this one, have been very entertaining, as of late. I'm loving it!

Artwise, I am surprised at how well the transition from McKone to Kitson and vice-versa is so flawless. Without spending any time analyzing all the pages thoroughly, I really can't figure out which artist pencilled what page. The transition was seamless, IMHO. When inked properly, these two guys can produce some really nice looking work. Kudos to them.

I think Waid does a very respectable job on this issue. He's moving the main plot along steadily and the subplots are interspersed very well throughout the story. He's probably one of my favorite writers on the Spider-Man titles at the moment. I have to admit that when it was first announced that he would be one of the writers, I had little faith that he was going to do all that great, so I'm very much pleasantly surprised.

In no specific orders, here are some of the revelations this issue:

- The new Vulture has no connection to the old Vulture, Adrian Toomes. Spidey gets confirmation of this when he visits Toomes in prison.
- The new Vulture was transformed into this creature unwillingly, if I understand correctly. He is pretty pissed off at the people who did that to him.
- Spider-Man may have been blinded (temporarily) by the new Vulture's acid that was spewed in his face but he manages to send his opponent away by using his other available senses, mainly his trusty spider-sense.
- The person that's been taking care of the Gonzales-Parker apartment is none other than Vin's sister, whom we first met a little while ago, when she represented him at his trial for the spider-tracer incident. That's whom I guess it would be and I'm looking forward to see how everything plays out, seeing as how Peter and she first ran into each other (he was naked, coming out of the shower).
- Peter handles the Aunt May / JJJ Sr. romance better than I thought he would. He knows how good of a man JJJ Sr. is - based on their encounter in the tunnels when he was Spider-Man - so he gives his blessing. Later JJJ Sr. proposes to Aunt May, after courting her for just about a month, and she accepts.
- People are back to hating Spider-Man when he and the new Vulture end up crashing into a baseball stadium during their battle. There is some kind of baseball thingie going on (sorry, I don't have the book in front of me to get the right terminology and I hate baseball) and Spidey and the new Vulture interrupt this, which is apparently a big NO NO.
- At issue's end, Peter realizes that he's not being Spider-Man 24/7 because of J. Jonah Jameson's new position as NYC mayor; he's doing it because his arch enemy, Norman Osborn, is at the head of the now defunct SHIELD. When he swings away into the night, there is some kind of weird greenish tentacle thingie that shows up where he was last seen...Doc Ock maybe??

Please share your thoughts about the issue.


All right, here are my big gripes with this issue:

1. When Spider-Man gets blinded by the new Vulture, he thinks "What would Daredevil do?" and puts himself in a zen-like state telling himself he must be a "man without fear" so he can use his spider-sense to detect where the new Vulture is. The problem is not that he wouldn't be capable of doing this, but that Spidey acts like he's never done this before. He could have easily told himself he's been in situations where he couldn't rely on his eyes and that all he has to do is use his spider-sense without namedropping Daredevil and acting like he's a rookie. In other words, it's nothing more than false tension.

2. There are two problems with the scene in which "Jay" proposes marriage to Aunt May (and no, it's not that we all saw this coming). First of all, Jay expresses concern that Peter may not like him dating his Aunt, but May reassures him that she's sure Peter doesn't mind, thus setting up possible conflict between Peter and his Aunt dating Jay. But guess what? May is right--Peter doesn't have any problem with Jay dating his aunt. We saw him give her his blessing last issue. To set up a conflict over Peter being wary of his Aunt getting married to Jay now would be counter-productive. Second, before excepting Jay's proposal, May says how they have only known each other for a few weeks and Jay agrees that it's been fast. And oddly enough, this underscores the problem with this whole subplot. There would be nothing wrong with Jay and May getting married if we knew more about the guy doing the proposing. All we really know about him is that he's J. Jonah Jameson's long lost, estranged father and that he's a nice guy. So if we don't know enough about him, why should the story expect us to care about May getting married to this guy?

3. Michelle Gonzales. Let me get this straight: Marvel essentially wrote out Peter's Latino cop roommate with a stick up his ass and replaced him with a Latina lawyer with a stick up her ass. Except for their names, sex, and occupation, Vin and his sister, Michelle, are the exact same character. So if Marvel was just going to replace Vin with a female version of himself, why bother writing him out in the first place? If it's to set up ANOTHER potential love interest, why not establish the ones you already have set up like Carlie, Norah, or even Betty? And since MJ is coming back anyway to reestablish her as a possible love interest once again, why bother? But if it's to set up a Will and Grace type scenario, with Michelle being the "gay one" and Peter being the "straight one, " which would mean they are both attracted to women, how would that be any different than when Vin was there?

4. So, what do we learn about the new Vulture that we didn't already know? Well, we know Adrian Toomes has never met this guy. We know, based on what Toomes overheard, he MIGHT have been created in some anonymous lab someplace. We know that his wings are like razor-blades. And we know that he actually talks. Anything else, like say, why does he goe after criminals left behind and eat them, i.e. his motivation? No. That's only assumed by Toomes based upon rumors he heard that the new Vulture MIGHT want revenge for what the "mob did to him." So, explain to me why we should be interested in this villain, especially a knock-off of a classic member of Spidey's rogue's gallery?

5. So, it's not J. Jonah Jameson Peter was really mad at and why he decided to be Spidey 24/7, it was Norman Osborn. That all of his actions in the past three issues were essentially him trying to ignore the fact that Osborn is essentially running the government and that he needs to do something about it. In other words, Waid is essentially telling us that this entire story was nothing more than setting-up ANOTHER story, and therefore, this story was a distraction and possibly a complete waste of time. Gee, thanks a lot, guys.

I suppose I could say a positive is that this story was essentially another take on the classic Spidey motif of his rivalry with J. Jonah Jameson and the love/hate relationship the citizens of New York have with him. And the art was okay, if a little stiff in places. However, the negatives I've mentioned really diminish the story.

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