Monday, 6 February 2017

The Amazing Spider-Man [2015] #16 - Marvel Comics

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN No. 16, October 2016
Despite this twenty-page periodical heavily featuring the machinations of Electro, the Lizard and the Jackal as it helped an astonishing 185,342 readers take their “first steps on the road to our big Spider-Event of 2016”, Dan Slott’s script for “Whatever The Cost” interestingly focuses far more upon the consequences of emotional decision-making involving extreme medical procedures than it does having Spidey battling any particular super-villain. Certainly Peter Parker’s involvement with the dubious Doctor Clarkson’s work at New U Technologies doesn’t even hit the radar of his alter-ego’s arch-enemies until Jerry Salteres’ “lungs are fired” in a chemical accident and the technology corporation employee needs “a miracle”; “This wasn’t part of the plan. Do it. Let’s give Mister Parker a taste of how the magic works.”

Fortunately that doesn’t mean that Issue Sixteen of “The Amazing Spider-Man” is simply filled with an endless parade of dialogue-heavy scenes, as the Berkeley-born writer’s narrative interjects his tantalisingly tense moral debates with as much action as an explosion at the Parker Industries plant in Edmond, Oklahoma can muster. Light-hearted and simultaneously nail-biting, these dynamically-charged rescue sequences really put plenty of the Spider-Cycle on show whilst Web-Head desperately tries to alleviate the mood with his usual wisecracks and copious amounts of web-foam.

Just as entertaining is the Eisner Award-winner's nod to Steve Ditko’s famous ‘heavy-lifting’ panel from this title’s February 1966 edition, as circumstances force the super-hero to shift a large metal pylon off of one of his employees. This demonstration of strength, as Peter wills his muscles to work beyond their normal limits, is fuelled by the C.E.O.’s heartfelt belief that the man is “my responsibility!” An incredibly emotional response which only then later fuels the lead protagonist’s rash decision to fly Doctor Clarkson’s “whole team whatever the cost” and pay for his worker’s experimental care.

Penciller Giuseppe Camuncoli also appears to be in great form drawing this comic book, with his renderings of Spidey’s “highly modified high-tech motorcycle” proving an absolute delight to the eyes. Indeed, despite this publication’s rather word-laden needs, the Italian illustrator’s artwork manages to still contain plenty of movement and life in its figures, and does a particularly good job of augmenting its characters’ sentiments on their faces.
The variant cover art of "THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN" No. 16 by Chris Samnee & Matt Wilson

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