Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Amazing Spider-Man #12 - Marvel Comics

There’s a disconcerting vibe of something akin to desperation with Issue Twelve of “The Amazing Spider-Man”. Almost as if writer Dan Slott, despairingly short of ideas as to where to take the cross-title story-arc next, decides that the best thing to do is to simply have the comic’s twenty pages crammed full of some of the most ludicrous and farcical multi-verse wall-crawlers a former writer for “Mighty Mouse” could muster.

Whether such a fraught move originated because the “Spider-Verse” event had by now ‘snowballed’ out of control across other “Marvel Worldwide” magazines, or that the presumably punishing twice monthly publishing schedule had started to catch up with the American author’s writing is decidedly unclear. Whatever the reason apart from Web-head being sent some scrolls from the Inheritor’s household by an undercover Spider-Woman, and teleporting his Spider-army to the post-apocalypse Earth-3145 for one of the most over-used cliff-hanger’s in Peter Parker’s history (i.e. Uncle Ben is alive), very little plot is actually progressed in “Anywhere But Here”.

Instead Slott pads out the page-count with a seemingly endless parade of rather silly, arguably childish and extremely unlikely spider-variants. Spider-Knight, complete with “Zounds!” as Solus punches through his chest, black & white Japanese Spider-boy(?), the Lone Spider-Ranger, and even Spider-Buggy all make cringe-worthy appearances at a time when the tension is supposedly high following the death of Cosmic Spider-Man and the Inheritor’s abduction of the Scion. “Oh put-put-please…” as the talking Spidey-Mobile says. 

Possibly the worst incarnation however has to be Takuya Yamashiro and his giant robot Leopardon from the 1978 live-action Tokyo Channel 12 television series. Admittedly the Defender of Justice’s vehicle is meant to be the “mightiest instant killing giant robot in the history of Tokusatsu programming”. But precisely how Slott thought this “Toei Company” character is meant to compete against a being who has literally just killed the Spidey who can conjure up and control the Enigma Force is baffling. Unsurprisingly the Head of the Inheritors simply pulls one of its arm off before pulverising it.

Unfortunately there isn’t even the comfort of looking at regular “Spider-Verse” artist Olivier Coipel’s excellent pencilling with this issue. As despite producing a moodily atmospheric, though rather misleading cover illustration of the full Loomworld family posing in front of numerous wall-mounted spider-heads, the Frenchman is not responsible for the interior artwork… Giuseppe Camuncoli is; someone who disappointingly seems incapable of delivering a consistently competent drawing style throughout the comic book.
The variant cover art of "THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN" No. 12 by Gabriele Dell'Otto

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