|THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN No. 4, February 2016|
Whilst it is very clear within the narrative for “High Priority” that “Peter Parker has [undeniably] stepped up” and taken his “gumption… to new heights” on account of Dan Slott suddenly transforming the former Daily Bugle photographer into “a globe-spanning entrepreneur”. Similar, rather disconcerting, changes could also be said to have come into being for the Berkeley-born writer’s “All-New All-Different” incarnation of Aunt May as well.
Indeed the frail, elderly “adoptive mother” originally conceived by Stan Lee and subsequently published in August 1962, has been almost unrecognisably replaced in this comic book by a ‘fighting fit’ Nadua charity worker, who seems perfectly at home coordinating the installation of “water pumps and purification systems”, as well as ensuring a deprived African village has the “power to run schools and hospitals.” So much for a supporting cast member whose nephew once feared would actually die of shock “if she ever learned about his dual identity as Spider-Man.” This humanitarian version of the ‘infirm’ pensioner is actually quite capable of outrunning a pumpkin-bombing glider-riding mercenary when the occasion calls for it: “We’re here to help! Oh, My! I Swear!”
Fortunately any of this title’s 82,066 readers perturbed by so noticeable an alteration to May Reilly Parker Jameson’s physical capabilities shouldn’t have dwelt on such a discrepancy for too long though, thanks to this twenty-one page periodical’s incredible action sequences. Admittedly having Spidey (Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.) ‘gunning down’ a host of Green Goblin wannabes with his state-of-the-art web-jet smacks more like something you’d see within an issue of “Moon Knight” than one based upon the exploits of your friendly neighbourhood Web-Slinger. But the Diamond Gem Award-winner soon has the costumed crime-fighter back on foot athletically dodging explosions and automatic weapons fire (despite there being “no buildings to swing from and no cover”) once the super-hero's hi-tech ride is brought crashing down to earth.Equally as pulse-pounding as Slott’s plot is Giuseppe Camuncoli’s excellent artwork. The Italian’s incredible attention to detail during the terrorist attack upon Okiro’s remote settlement, as well S.H.I.E.L.D.’s “co-ordinated strike on enemy bases around the globe”, imbues his panels with some delightful dynamism. Whilst the former "Superior Spider-Man" penciller's well-animated facial expressions for Nick Fury when he learns of the Wall-crawler's sudden departure and that the Zodiac’s Chilean Base is “just sets and props” genuinely seems to breathe life into the frustrated one-eyed Public Director.