Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Amazing Spider-Man #7 - Marvel Comics

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN No. 7, December 2014
Colourfully rendered by the team of Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith and Antonio Fabela, the cover illustration to this issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man” would appear demonstrative of the two minds writer Dan Slott was presumably in when plotting the book’s central storyline. For whereas previously the American author contained the simmerings of the ‘Spider-Verse’ within the main body of the comic, in this particular edition he has quite clearly chosen to separate one from the other; as highlighted not only by the “Edge Of Spider-Verse” sub-headline on the book’s front page but because “Ms. Marvel Team-Up” is actually scripted by Slott’s frequent collaborator Christos Gage.

Just why the former “Ren & Stimpy” author found splitting the book’s contents necessary however is unclear. For although the additional plot of Billy Braddock in “Web Of Fear” is far removed from Spidey’s battle with a Kree impersonating Captain Marvel, it is only eight pages long. So could quite easily have been absorbed and interspersed between the predominant plot’s action of the hospital abduction, appearance of Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel and nightmarish transformation of Minn-Erva.

In fact the need for such a convoluted secondary adventure, set within the matriarchal Otherworld of the Captain Britain Corp is not really readily apparently. Admittedly alternative universes are always popular, and it is interesting from time to time to visit such realms and experience so totally different an incarnation of the Steve Ditko’s super-hero. But this particular publication is about Peter Parker’s version of Web-head, so should surely focus upon his exploits rather than the misgivings of Spider-UK from Earth-833?

Rather than create such a fantastical device as the Watchtower scrying room why instead did Slott not simply bestow such visions upon ‘our’ universe’s wall-crawler? Possibly as vivid precognitive visions resulting from his physical contact with Silk, or even simply his very own Spider-sense? Even a series of (day) dream sequences requiring the insightful interpretations of the Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange could have provided the reader with the pertinent plot points that ‘the hunt was on’ but still have kept all the reader’s attention upon 'our' Spidey. The two narratives could even have retained the services of their respective different colorists, possibly adding to the surreal quality of the ‘Spider-Verse’ segments.

As it is however Slott relies upon the questionable talent of Antonia Fabela for “Ms. Marvel Team-Up” and Edgar Delgado for the shorter secondary story. Albeit the dreadful quality of the artwork on the book’s first few pages, depicting Silk and Anna Maria Marconi, is so poor that it is hard to credit a third individual was not involved in their creation, or to acknowledge that penciller Giuseppe Camuncou actually did draw the entire comic.
The variant cover art of "AMAZING SPIDER-MAN" No. 7 by Gary Choo

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