Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Amazing Spider-Man [2015] #25 - Marvel Comics

Publicised by “Marvel Worldwide” as a “huge blowout issue”, and shifting an impressive 113,934 copies in March 2017, this “massively oversized” magazine “with a cover price to match" hits the ground running by pitching Spider-man, Mockingbird, Tarantula and Devil Spider head-first straight into the underground lair of the Las Colinas Rojas villain, El Facoquero, and simply doesn’t stop their action-packed rampage through the arms supplier’s subterranean base until it’s been utterly destroyed. But whilst such scintillating shenanigans and ferocious fisticuffs could easily have allowed Dan Slott to allow the title’s incoming artist, Stuart Immnonen, to carry the workload, “Bug Hunt” instead sees the Berkeley-born writer pack the punch-out full of dramatic dialogue and engaging exposition.

For starters, there’s a real divide between the titular character and Delvadia’s best operatives, despite the different super-heroes supposedly working together for the greater good. Indeed, the sheer arrogance Jacinda Rodriguez displays by requesting that she “take command of the mission” just as soon as they enter the Warthog’s headquarters, shows a real disrespect for the titular character’s breath-taking experience, and is arguably only surpassed by the woman later insolently screaming that Web-head is an “idiot” simply because “that impressive spider-sense of his” didn’t “warn us of any danger!”

Likewise, the Eisner Award-winner’s decision to stop this forty-page narrative’s Spider-man from being funny or cracking any witty jokes, genuinely adds some extra gravitas to proceedings, and provides Peter Parker’s hatred of Norman Osborn a real steely edge; “There’s nothing to laugh about down here.” This serious tone, amplified by a frustrated web-slinger’s destruction of a S.H.I.E.L.D. interrogation table later in the story, permeates throughout “the most expensive comic book ever to top the monthly sales charts” and arguably allows its readers to feel the crime-fighter’s earnest, obsessional desire to finally capture his arch-enemy, the Green Goblin, and bring him to justice.

One final highlight of Issue Twenty Five of “Amazing Spider-Man” is “The Superior Octopus”. This secondary Slott short, pretty poorly pencilled by Giuseppe Camuuncoli, depicts Otto Gunther Octavius re-capturing his West Coast Base from Hydra using the proto-clone body he perfected, then subsequently stole, from the Jackal. Unashamedly a promotional piece, the tale simply tells how Arnim Zola and “the vast resources at Hydra’s disposal” have helped shape an “unparalleled” new Doctor Octopus, during the Wall-crawler’s aforementioned adventure, but as such, sets things up for a mouth-watering future re-match between Stan Lee’s co-creation and the CEO of Parker Industries.
Writer: Dan Slott, Pencils: Stuart Immnonen, and Inks: Wade von Grawbadger

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