Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Amazing Spider-Man [2015] #13 - Marvel Comics

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN No. 13, August 2016
Undoubtedly tapping into Dan Slott’s pre-publication promise that the American author was penning a “massive, seismic shift in Spidey’s world”, the plot for Issue Thirteen of “The Amazing Spider-Man” still takes an incredibly long time to ‘warm up’ and arguably doesn’t actually start ‘delivering the goods’ until Regent challenges Miles Morales, “the all-new and equally amazing Spider-Man”, two-thirds of the way through the comic. In fact, for the best part of this twenty-page periodical, the Berkeley-born writer’s narrative undoubtedly had its 65,519 strong audience experiencing déjà vu of the worst kind, by simply regurgitating the tediously juvenile ‘Wall-crawler verses Golden Avenger' quips and antics of the previous edition; “…I’m just saying, when Parker Industries crashes, I’m here for you Web-head. Yeah. You could work for me.” Little wonder perhaps that the title plummeted from tenth position to thirty-ninth in the “Diamond Comic Distributors” comic book sales chart for June 2016…

Fortunately however, the tone to the Eisner Award-winners’ storyline matures beyond recognition once “the enigmatic Regent” finally takes centre stage and launches a ‘sneak attack’ upon Peter Parker’s “very own protégée” at a “secluded spot.” Billed by Slott as “it’s Spider-Man verses Darkseid, it’s Spider-Man verses Thanos”, Augustus Roman’s formidable power is actually firmly established straight from this magazine’s opening, when the so-called self-proclaimed “saviour of Humanity” effortlessly ‘takes out’ the gigantic Homo Mermanus, Orka, an Atlantean soldier who has previously faced the Avengers, within the space of a single page.

Such an impressive display of the “unusual” villain’s indomitable strength definitely helps achieve Dan’s goal of depicting a foe well outside of Spider-Man’s “weight class”, and it is hard not to believe that the majority of this title’s readers didn’t feel that Morales’ confrontation with the super-powered CEO of Empire Unlimited was disconcertingly reminiscent of David and Goliath. It’s certainly not surprising that such a “mismatch” results in Regent dispatching the spider–powered “child” even faster than he did Prince Namor’s long-time nemesis.

All of this “Civil War Re-enactment” action, be it Parker and Iron Man’s verbal/physical sparring, Betty Brant’s realisation that Roman is “totally Regent”, or Augustus’ bone-crunching blows, is crisply illustrated by Giuseppe Camuncoli. Indeed, the Italian artist’s depiction of the comic’s oversized antagonist is so impressive that it is hard not to hear the impacts of the character’s thunderous punches or feel the actual vibration of his heavy ponderous footfalls.
Writer: Dan Slott, Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Inker: Cam Smith

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