Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Amazing Spider-Man #15 - Marvel Comics

Despite partially making good on the promise that Issue Fifteen of “The Amazing Spider-Man” would wrap up all the loose ends created during the multi-issue ‘Spider-Verse’ event, “Epilogue” still proves to be a rather unsatisfactory and somewhat confusing comic book. For starters the tone of the narrative is a rather sickly sweet one, with the numerous spider-people seemingly spending panel after panel saying warm heartfelt goodbyes to one another before returning to their place within the multi-verse.

Considering the wanton death and destruction which has preceded their ‘victory’ over the Inheritors such humorously scripted departures simply come across as being ‘too good to be true’ and insincere considering the loss of life. Certainly May Parker’s return to Earth-982 and discovery that both her boyfriend and mother, Mary Jane, are still alive is utterly unbelievable. As Spider-Girl says “It’s like a miracle! Like magic.” Either that or an incredibly poor decision by writer Dan Slott to erase much of the pain and adversity which a once interesting character continually fought against. Fortunately the American author stops just short of May’s father also surviving the onslaught of Daemos. But he does create a ‘surrogate’ (grand) father for the heroine’s family in the form of Uncle Ben from Earth-3145. 

The highly anticipated rematch between Peter Parker and Otto Octavius is also as disappointing as its inclusion is unsurprising. Rather bewilderingly the Superior Spider-Man seems to think that destroying the Fabric of Reality and subsequently ‘blinking out of existence’ is a preferable fate to resuming his career as a crime-fighter on Earth-616; albeit a relatively short-lived one. How does destroying “whole worlds” make the rehabilitated former ‘mad scientist’ believe he is the better Web-head? That is the thinking of the evil-hearted super-villain Doctor Octopus not the hero he has supposedly become. Not even an arrogant one.

Perhaps more crucially however is just why, when arguably the ‘spider-army’ are facing an even greater threat than the Inheritors, as the great Web of Life is being destroyed, do they decide to reduce their few numbers even further by allowing Spider-Man 2099 and Spider-Gwen to teleport home? If every second allows Octavius time to cut another strand and terminate another entire universe, wouldn’t the super-heroes launch an immediate all-out attack upon him? Why would they squander precious time debating who can leave and who can stay… and have the comic waste a page depicting Miguel O’Hara explaining to Gwen Stacy that he knows in the end ‘the good guys win’?

Fortunately, despite the rather uninspiring events depicted within this issue’s twenty pages, artist Giuseppe Camuncoli provides some competently strong pencilling throughout, especially when drawing the confrontation between Superior Spider-Man and the Earth-616 wall-crawlers up upon the Great Web.
The variant cover art of "THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN" No. 15 by Simone Bianchi

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