Saturday, 14 February 2015

The Amazing Spider-Man #8 - Marvel Comics

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN No. 8, December 2014
This particular edition of “The Amazing Spider-Man” truly is a collection of two entirely different stories. Something which is clearly emphasised by the Giuseppe Camuncoli cover unevenly split between the rather dramatic illustration of a bruised and battered Spider-Girl (from the Spider-Verse) and a significantly smaller, rather uninspiring bottom corner picture of the title’s lead character alongside Ms. Marvel.

To begin with “Ms. Adventures In Babysitting” is in many ways reminiscent of the Web-head stories from Roy Thomas’ time on the early Seventies series “Marvel Team-Up”. Such imitation is clearly intentional albeit Spidey is now a far more mature and experienced crime-fighter and as a result swiftly adopts the role of a mentor for Kamala Khan. Despite the action and danger as the super-heroes flee an over-powered monstrous Minn-Erva there’s something of a ‘good fun’ feel to the proceedings, and Christos Gage’s script provides a genuinely enjoyable read.

Indeed, if anything the story is brought to a rather abrupt and dissatisfying conclusion by Spider-Man bluffing the genetically improved Doctor Minerva into believing he’s reporting her unauthorised transgression on the Earth to Kree Space via Avengers Tower. Quite why the alien militaristic empire being informed of such a misdemeanour petrifies the blue-skinned bio-geneticist so completely that she immediately flees into the sky empty handed is not explained. But one can only assume the Supreme Intelligence’s chastisement for her actions will be severe.

Unfortunately Camuncoli’s artwork is inconsistent at best with the Italian cartoonist’s lack-lustre drawings of the dialogue-heavy scenes within The Fact Channel Studios and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital significantly contrasting with his splendid depictions of Web-head and Ms. Marvel combating Minn-Erva and her green-clad gang of henchmen.

In complete contrast there’s nothing even remotely humorous about Dan Slott’s “My Brother’s Keeper”, nor much wrong with the superb illustrations of Humberto Ramos throughout the tale's six engrossing pages. Focusing upon the exploits of Spider-Girl from Earth-982 this ‘Spider-Verse’ tale starts grim, rapidly becomes even darker and then all too suddenly concludes with a morbid certainty that things are only going to get even worse for any surviving multi-universe ‘spider-totems’.

This genuinely is scarily good stuff from the American comic book writer, touchingly so as a middle-aged Peter Parker and loyal faithful wife Mary Jane sacrifice themselves for the sake of the couple's children. Their presumably gruesome deaths at the hands of Daemos, son of Solus, is made all the more impactive because it immediately follows on from the ‘happy ending’ of the magazine’s earlier tale.
The variant cover art of "AMAZING SPIDER-MAN" No. 8 by Ryan Ottley


  1. I really like your reviews Bk, but my main interest is zombie comics, you may have gathered by now that I'm a bit of a zombie nut. Have you heard of a comic called '68? I'm going to start getting it the next few weeks. Just wondered if you had come across it, and if so what you thought of it.

    1. Many thanks Bob. Do you mean "68 Jungle Jim" by "Image Comics" the 2013 mini-series, as I have some issues of that somewhere but have never read it? Happy to dig them out and let you know. I have noticed how much more popular the zed book reviews are, and that people actually comment about them too. Which is great :-)

      This month's theme though is "Amazing Spider-Man" so its hard to get many horror books in. But next month I have a load of "Walking Dead", "Zombies Vs. Robots" and "Wolf Moon" planned as I plan to post a Marvel-free March :-)

    2. Yeah, that's the one. Actually '68: Jungle Jim is the third mini-series of the story arc. The sixth mini-series of the story arc is due out this March. I'd love to hear your opinion of them. Sorry dude, didn't mean to mess up your Spider-Man theme.

    3. Bob. Ah... well if you'd let me know when "68" is out then I'll be happy to review it, and I'll try and get some of my other "68" issues covered beforehand. No worries about the Spider-Man theme, I just hope to post a Spidey issue every two days for this month to get through a backlog :-) Plenty of 'every other days' for zed-action. Let me know if there's anything else you would like to see. My collection is rather eclectic, just like my models, so I may well have an issue or two to chat about :-)