Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Amazing Spider-Man [2015] #14 - Marvel Comics

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN No. 14, August 2016
Despite featuring some seriously impressive fist-fights between Regent and a plethora of ‘A-List’ superheroes, such as Captain America, Nova, the Vision and Thor, it’s hard not to feel that Dan Slott’s script for Issue Fourteen of “The Amazing Spider-Man” is an absurdly rushed affair, which deprived many of the book’s 65,646 strong audience with an opportunity to showcase just how truly powerful Augustus Roman’s “seemingly-heroic alter ego” can be. Indeed, in many ways the driving force behind the events explored within this twenty-page periodical could easily have been expanded upon for several more publications, if not as a “Marvel Worldwide” multi-title crossover comic book event, such are the lengths to which the “tech mogul from New York” slowly contains all the “superhuman threats” he encounters and incarcerates them deep inside "The Cellar”.

Unfortunately however, rather than slowly unravelling the supposedly well-meaning machinations of Empire Unlimited’s CEO, the Berkeley-born writer’s narrative for “Avengers Assembled” flies through Regent’s battles so quickly that by the magazine’s end, the defeats of titular characters like Daredevil, or notable X-Men such as Iceman and Quicksilver, aren’t even given any actual ‘screen time’ at all and are simply mentioned as already being held captive inside the “maximum security prison for super criminals.” Such frustrating pacing really does increasingly grate upon the senses, especially when the Diamond Gem Award-winner insists on additionally cramming in scenes depicting Tony Stark visiting the parents of Miles Morales, Aunt May disconcertingly coughing up blood at Jay Jameson’s Penthouse, and Harry Osborn’s overly long meeting with Roman to discuss a business proposition.

As a result, the long-anticipated confrontation between Spider-Man and his power-mimicking opponent woefully lasts just three disappointing pages in length, and even then Web-head has to partially share the ‘limelight’ with the (not so) invincible Iron Man. Little wonder that at the comic’s conclusion a victorious Regent boastfully declares that “I am power incarnate! I am the only saviour Humanity needs!” After all, in the space of just a single book he has apparently bested the strongest superheroes the Marvel Universe has to offer…

Happily, not everything to do with Slott’s third instalment of his “Power Play” storyline is quite so rushed as the writing, with Giuseppe Camuncoli’s pencils proving to be both delightfully clean-looking and dynamically-drawn. In fact, the Italian artist’s renderings of Nova, Thor, Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man, along with his ability to increasingly add menace to the figure of an aggressive Augustus, are worth the cover price alone, even if his sketches of a bare-headed Iron Man leave a lot to be desired.
Writers: Dan Slott & Christos Gage, Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Inker: Cam Smith

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