|THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN No. 15, September 2016|
Indeed, having repeatedly demonstrated the daunting, apparently unbeatable, might of Regent during his “Power Play” story-arc, the Berkeley-born writer’s decision to have Augustus Roman’s energy-siphoning alter ego bested by someone who “wore an early version of the Iron Man armour once” really must have tested his audience’s patience; especially when her opponent has previously conquered such formidable super-heroes as Thor, Captain America, Hyperion, Iron Man and Daredevil. It certainly seems safe to assume that many readers probably sided with an aghast Jarvis when he exclaims “Madam, with respect, it seems Regent has defeated all the Avengers. This strikes me as suicidal!”
Equally as frustrating as the script’s questionable lucidity however, is the Eisner Award-winner’s decision to relegate this comic’s titular character to simply infiltrating Regent’s state-of-the-art prison, whilst M.J. and Iron Man tackle the main ‘villain of the piece’ in an incredibly well-drawn fast-paced fist-fight. Surely it would have made far more sense to have had the amateur adventuress rescuing Harry Osborn and Miles Morales from the Cellar rather than the book’s main antagonist, who subsequently doesn’t even get to wallop the brains behind Roman’s brawn, Doctor Stillwell; “Guess they don’t like it as much when they get sucker punched.”
Fortunately, what this twenty-page periodical is good at doing is providing a treat for the eyes, courtesy of some terrific artwork by Giuseppe Camuncoli. Capable of pencilling ‘Spider-Woman’ sending Augustus reeling with a surprise sock to the jaw one moment, and then able to heavily populate a panel with less dynamic, yet still engaging, sedentary figures the next, the Italian illustrator arguably imbues even the comic’s less interesting scenes with plenty of life.
|The regular cover art of "THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN" No. 15 by Alex Ross|