|THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN No. 10, January 2015|
Apparently selling approximately 35,000 less copies than the title’s preceding issue, this edition of “The Amazing Spider-Man” offers its readers a head-spinning combination of both pulse-pounding action and frankly more alternative Web-heads than anyone, besides writer Dan Slott, could possibly have envisaged. This seriously is twenty pages packed full of ‘open mouth’ moments, as many of Peter Parker’s most committed oaths are broken by his multi-verse brethren and a plethora of pertinent plot points are unceremoniously whisked off to be concluded within other ‘Spider-Verse’ comic books.
Arguably the most shocking feature of the magazine however, bearing in mind a forewarning of the sudden return of Doc Ock’s Superior Spiderman is emblazoned across the issue’s front cover, is that so many of the wall-crawlers featured in “Superior Force” kill… and actually seem willing to do so with alarming regularity. Assassin Spider-Man of Earth-8351, Spider-Punk of Earth-138 and “the self-ascribed Superior Spider-Man of Earth-616” all quite savagely dispatch Verna’s ‘hounds’ within the final panels of the first page alone. Whilst more than a fair share of lethal force is later used upon Daemos; something which results in a predictably fatal ending for the Inheritor. At least until a cloned copy returns for a rematch alongside family members Brix and Bora.
Less disturbing but possibly more perturbing than such a lack of murderous inhibitions however is Slott’s creation of an abundantly high head count of Spider-Men (and women… and animals?) with which to combat the Great Hunters of Earth-001. In one panel alone there are more than twenty-two predominantly red and blue-garbed costumed crime-fighters, and that doesn’t take into consideration the others residing within the Safe Zone on Earth-13. This assembly is quite simply overwhelming, and whilst eminently recognisable favourites such as Spider-Ham, Spider-Man 2099, Silk, Spider-Woman and Superior Spider-Man momentarily remain the key supporting cast for the dialogue, the sheer number of other secondary characters starts to make the ownership of some speech bubbles somewhat confusing; as even Spider-Monkey of Earth-8101 has a voice – as Peter Porker states “You’re kiddin’ right?"
Regardless of any difficulties a reader may have concerning the over-sized comic book troupe, the highlight for this issue must be penciller Olivier Coipel’s astoundingly good artwork. Whilst admittedly somewhat indistinct when depicting motionless inanimate figures, the Frenchman’s ability to draw dynamically charged panels full of energy, action and frankly violence, are faultless. Especially when so wonderfully inked by Wade Von Grawbadger and coloured by Justin Ponsor.
As aforementioned it is sometimes quite difficult to ascertain which Spidey is which amidst all the frantic action, especially once Brix and Bora join the fray. But even so the sense of flying bodies, deadly daggers, lashing whips and bone-breaking punches is palpable.
Disappointingly though, all too soon the action dissipates as the various multi-verse Web-heads teleport out to their numerous ‘event tie-in’ titles leaving the reader facing a rather troubling cliff-hanger that the Superior Spider-Man is “in charge!”
|Writer: Dan Slott, Penciler: Olivier Coipel, and Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger|