AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #586
Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Penciler: Barry Kitson
Inker: Karl Kesel
Story Title: “Daddy’s Little Girl: Character Assassination Interlude”
The origin of Menace is revealed.
Before I get into this review I wanted to discuss something I found rather…I don’t know…amusing? Would that be the right word? That doesn’t sound right. Interesting. Yeah. That’s the word. I found something rather interesting about the cover to this installment of Amazing Spider-Man.
I picked this issue up from the comic store last week and looked at it a few moments before handing it to the guy behind the register and paying for it. All the way home something was nagging me about the image on the cover. There was nothing wrong with it. If you are going to have an issue that reveals the true origin of a character than filling the cover with their face is the right way to go. Still and all I was unsettled. It hit me when I got home.
I had seen this cover before.
I didn’t know where at first and I wasn’t about to start digging through my collection because that takes a few days prep work, a couple of union guys and a forklift. I went about my night doing this or that when it occurred to me where I had seen that cover before.
Look at the cover to this issue of Amazing Spider-Man, which should still be visible depending on how big your monitor is.
Now I am not accusing anyone of swiping because that’s just silly. John Romita Jr. is a fantastic artist and would not have to swipe the composition of another artist’s cover, in this case Jeff Purves, for ideas.
Still, I find the whole thing rather interesting, as that is the word we settled on to use.
And now…the review.
I have mixed feelings about this issue. I really do. I enjoyed it to a large extent (which apparently is something of a crime on par with larceny or grand theft auto around here) and thought that it had a compelling explanation for how Lily became Menace, but the fact that it took up an entire issue was unnecessary. I can see where they might want to separate this from the story arc because there was a change of artist, in this case the very talented, liked his work since he drew Adventures of Superman Barry Kitson. Maybe they want to keep the mystique that JRJR drew the whole darn thing. I don’t know. I am not privy to that information.
No matter the explanation it bugs me that they took an entire issue to give us information that could have been revealed in half that time. At the end of the last issue Menace stood revealed as Lily, the Spider Tracer killer(s) stood revealed as well and Peter was taken into custody. All three of these are extremely important plot points and had my attention. I read this week’s issue and all I get is Lily with a few shots of Spider-Man being dragged into the precinct with his mask on because I know if I was the arresting officer the first thing I would be concerned about is the privacy of a wanted criminal accused of all sorts of bad things.
Maybe that’s just me.
Instead of furthering all of the plot threads we focus on Lily and find out why she became Menace. It was a fairly standard villain origin especially in this day and age; Daddy didn’t love me enough so when I get super powers I become a villain. It was told in an entertaining way and I felt something for the character and they even explained “the kiss” but at the end of the day the story felt padded. It’s like they were stalling for time. Guggenheim wrote an effective issue and I kind of dug how bat s#$% insane Lily is but I can’t really get behind this issue after taking in the product as a whole.
The Final Analysis
I have to wonder how the trade of this is going to look now. If the point of calling this issue an Interlude is to not mess up JRJR’s run on the story then where do you put it in the hardcover which will be followed by the softcover which will be followed by Marvel packaging the first three parts in one comic and selling it for five bucks? Do you put it at the end or do you have it as an interlude. Time will tell on that one. For now I’m left a conflicted reader. I loved the art and I liked the story I just don’t like the idea of an Interlude in the middle of a pretty big story line. I was entertained but annoyed. I’ll have a better handle on the whole thing when Character Assassination is over and I can read it all in one sitting. For now though I am not the happiest of readers.
3 out of 5 webheads.