Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The Amazing Spider-Man #3 - Marvel Comics

Sporting a cracking cover illustration of the Black Cat rending her way through the actual comic’s paper, thus paying homage to a similar drawing employed on the front page to Issue 119 of “Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man”, this particular issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man” in many ways places Peter Parker in the back seat, whilst the character of Felicia Hardy takes central stage. Indeed Dan Slott’s plot for this particular instalment of his “Lucky To Be Alive” story arc predominantly concentrates upon the cat burglar’s misguided machinations to exact a telling fatal revenge upon her ex-lover and ‘make The Spider pay.”

As a result the C.E.O. of Parker Industries, despite wearing a rather loud Hawaiian shirt, is pretty inncolous for the first half of the book; having apparently adopted a role akin to that of ‘Fred Jones’ from the animated television series “Scooby Doo” and filling his own ‘Mystery Machine’ with employees before embarking upon a perilous excursion to track Electro. Fortunately, with the exception of a single page dedicated to the manical madness and deluded ramblings of J. Jonah Jameson, the rest of the comic is packed full of jeopardy, menace and action as Web-head assists the New York Fire Service in clearing a burning building which has been accidentally torched by an increasingly jittery Max Dillon.

This fire-fighting scene, as Mary Jane’s boyfriend becomes trapped having fallen through a smouldering floor, provides some terrific tension in its own right. But the appearance of the Black Cat, and her vicious assault upon a bewildered Spider-Man really ramps up the excitement another notch.

Utterly bizarrely however Slott then ruins everything by having the super-hero suddenly pretend he is (still) Otto Octavius and seemingly convince Hardy that he intends to kill her by throwing a full-blooded punch into the wall beside her head. Perhaps disorientated by such implausible and nonsensical writing, Marv Wolfman’s creation abruptly departs in order to ‘even up the odds’ by recruiting Electro.

Despite this astonishingly poor and disappointing climax to an otherwise exhilarating confrontation, illustrator Humberto Ramos still manages to produce the goods for much of this comic book. Admittedly the Mexican penciller’s depiction of the former Daily Bugle Editor-In-Chief is overly zany and cartoonish. But his re-designing of the Black Cat and artwork during the blazing inferno is absolutely first-rate; the latter drawings doubtless bolstered by some fantastic colour choices by Edgar Delgado.
The variant cover art of "THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN" No. 3 by Tim Sale

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