|THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN No. 10, June 2016|
Perhaps unsurprisingly registering a circulation drop of approximately 15,000 readers in April 2016 (at least according to “Diamond Comic Distributors”), it is hard not to view Issue Ten of “The Amazing Spider-Man” as a twenty-page periodical which contains many a missed opportunity for Dan Slott to return the global conglomerate owner back to his less “cutting-edge technology” days when all the former Daily Bugle photographer needed to battle his foes was “a good ol’ fashioned, low-tech push!” Indeed the Berkeley-born writer’s narrative even begins by having international terrorist leader Scorpio point out to the titular character that Web-head is in a “pitiful state”; “Out of web-fluid. Armour destroyed. No spider-mobiles or spider-rockets… There’s nothing left to save you now.”
Sadly however, having implied that this comic’s 73,643 strong audience were about to enjoy a throwback to the Nineties when the Wall-crawler relied upon just his “spider-sense, spider-speed [and] spider-strength” to win the day, the Diamond Gem Award-winner not only swiftly veers away from such potential gritty story-telling by depicting Vernon Jacobs best Peter Parker’s seemingly impotent alter-ego with a clout from a nearby parked car. But then caps this disappointment off with a shameless reiteration of a scene from the 2004 “Spider-Man 2” motion picture, and scripts a semi-conscious Spidey, his costume partially disintegrated, being saved from Scorpio’s coup-de-grace by a crowd of well-meaning bystanders; “Back off! This man’s a hero! Want him? You’ll have to go through us!”
Such a poignant moment may well have made perfect sense in a big-budget “Colombia Pictures” screenplay where the titular character has previously saved the New York public on numerous occasions. Yet surely not when the action has only just started in the centre of France’s capital, and certainly not straight after the disorientated crime-fighter has literally caused the local Parisians to flee for their lives after falling amongst them from space...?
Fortunately Slott’s dissatisfying script is saved by some truly excellent pencilling by Giuseppe Camuncoli. The “Italian comic book artist” really seems to know how to give his figures a dramatic sense of momentum, with his panels portraying the rampaging Rhino and Spider-Man helplessly holding onto the roof of a train moving at 186 miles per hour, proving particularly pulse-pounding.
|The 'Civil War' variant cover art of "THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN" No. 10 by Mike Perkins|