Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Amazing Spider-Man [2015] #19 - Marvel Comics

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN No. 19, December 2016
Described by Editor Nick Lowe as “a pretty heavy issue”, this fourth instalment of Dan Slott’s “Before Dead No More” story-arc arguably focuses far more upon Peter Parker’s hapless failings as a ‘family’ man than many of the title’s 73,215 readers probably would have liked. Indeed, except for the web-slinger becoming momentarily involved in a "publicly shamed" petty cash robbery and then later, an incredibly contrived construction works accident, the majority of this twenty-two-page periodical rather arduously dwells upon the hospital bed of terminally ill Jay Jameson and his declination to utilise the experimental medical treatment offered by “new pharmaceutical company called New U” in favour of "the conventional procedure"; “I agree with Peter. And it’s my decision, so that’s final. Now if the Doctors are finished…”

Such a sedentary plot would however, still have proved something of an enthrallingly tense experience, as Aunt May’s husband battles for his life whilst her nephew and son-in-law passionately argue over the oldster's future care, if it weren’t for the fact that the super-hero’s objections to Doctor Clarkson's proposed remedy aren't so utterly unconvincing. True, Spider-Man’s famous “spider-sense goes to eleven” whenever he goes near the surgeon's most recent patient, Mister Salteres. But that doesn’t really explain why he becomes so vehemently opposed to the “miracle cure” that he actually lies to both Jonah and the television host’s dying father by telling them that he’s had “Parker Industries’ top minds look into this” and “they have… concerns.” As J.J.Jameson himself bluntly points out, it’s rather doubtful the noticeably whiskered Chief Executive Officer would make the same decision if it was his father or Uncle Ben’s life that was in jeopardy.

Sadly, so dialogue-laden a publication also means that a great many of Giuseppe Camuncoli’s panels predominantly feature numerous headshots rather than his wonderfully dynamic action-fests of Spidey swinging through high-rises or ‘punching out’ criminal masterminds. In fact, one of the most disappointing elements to Issue Nineteen of “The Amazing Spider-Man” is the the Italian comic book penciller’s inability to depict its cast’s increasingly-strained emotional states without resorting to some disconcertingly rectangular-looking facial features.
The variant cover art of "THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN" No. 19 by Aaron Kuder

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