|THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN No. 5, October 2014|
In many ways this issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man” is reminiscent of the small “Missing In Action” crossover story-arc of 1986, in which the super-hero disappeared for a month and was replaced in all of his books by characters such as Silver Sable and the Black Cat. Admittedly writer Dan Slott doesn’t go to such an extreme as to completely remove Web-head from this edition. But the majority of the comic’s twenty pages do rather focus on the Black Cat’s machinations to muscle in on the New York Maggia and exact a ‘revealing revenge’ upon Spidey in front of J. Jonah Jameson and national television.
This is in no-way a bad thing however as the storyline almost draws both Felicia Hardy and the reader back to 1987 when (second-tier) crime lords such as the Rose, Silvermane, Jack O’Lantern, Hammerhead and Hobgoblin were tearing New York City apart during the explosive five-issue arc “Gang War.” Only this time it is the criminal network belonging to the Eel which suffers as the Black Cat and Electro muscle in upon the territories neighbouring those owned by the syndicates of the Goblin King and Mister Negative.
Eventually however the cat burglar and Max Dillon return to their primary goal of defeating Spider-Man, who has finally recomposed himself following some quite distasteful half-naked rutting scenes with Cindy Moon. Perhaps unsurprisingly however it isn’t the spectacular super-hero who the villains initially face but Silk, having been touted by Marvel Senior Editor Nick Lowe as being destined to be “…a major Spider character over the next couple of years.”
Only once the girl who “got bit by the same spider that Peter Parker did” has paired off with Electro does Web-head finally emerge from the side-lines, and then Spider-Man is so frighteningly ineffective that he is quickly overwhelmed by a stray lightning bolt from Dillon and rendered defenceless by the Black Cat.
Having clearly obtained some considerable practice in drawing and colouring the bright luminescent ‘zig-zagging’ energies of the former electrical engineer in previous issues, artist Humberto Ramos and colorist Edgar Delgado really put on an illustrative ‘tour de force’ for much of this comic. Especially impressive is the Mexican penciller’s depiction of the Black Cat, who is wonderfully sketched as being sensual and demure in one panel and then feline and ferocious in the next as she lashes out at Web-head with the cable from her grappling hook.
|Writer: Dan Slott, Artist: Humberto Ramos, and Inker: Victor Olazaba|