amazing-spider_man_596AMAZING SPIDER-MAN # 596

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciler: Paulo Siqueira
Inker: Amilton Santos
Story Title: "American Son Part 2"


Father and son in front of the cameras. Two old friends argue. A talk between future family members. Peter hatches his plan. An imposter infiltrates the Avengers.

The Commentary

Do you remember what a glowing review I wrote for the last issue? How I thought it was the best issue of this series Post BND? That it was such a joy to read? How it garnered a lot of good will on my part for this story in general?

Well after this issue I think I am going to have to take a lot of that back.

It isn’t that this was a bad issue overall. There were some solid moments in terms of characterization and to be honest I like the way Peter has decided to go about his crusade against Norman, but there was this one moment…this one really useless moment that nearly ruined all of that. More on that in a second, though. Let’s focus on the good for a moment.

American Son, all things considered, continues at a good clip. The confrontation between Harry and Peter played out well and I dug how Spider-Man swung by the people screaming for help because he was too caught up in his own little world. It was funny. Not laugh out loud, immediately text your BFF because you just had to share funny but amusing. Norah is really coming alive in this arc and while I wasn’t a fan of the art in the beginning of the issue (Harry looked…weird) it definitely improved as the story played out and the shot of her telling the security guard that they were going to be the best of friends was very…cute. She looks like a Terry Moore character. There was a lot of life in those panels. This continued in her later conversation with Peter as she goes from playful to mad. I normally don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the art but this issue went over for me better than the previous one did as far as the visuals go.

BTW, the coffee that she took from Peter…is that a plug for a podcast? Isn’t there one called the Nerdcast? Shouldn’t there be a plug for another podcast? One called…oh I don’t know…the Spider-Man Crawlspace?

Inquiring minds want to know.

The conversation between Jonah Senior and Peter was solid as well. The more I see of the elder Jonah the more I like him and the more I don’t trust him because this is all heading somewhere and I am not sure it is going to be good for Peter or his aunt. Still, the bonding conversation he and Peter had was well written. I liked how he came clean with Peter and gave him the advice he needed to hear. Maybe nothing bad will come of Jonah and he and Peter will have this father/son type of relationship but looking at Pete’s track record I am going to have to say this is unlikely.

I liked Peter playing human decoration though. That was amusing.

Then came the last act of the issue and here is where all of the stuff I liked about this story and arc was just about ruined. Look, I know Joe Kelly is a funny guy. I love his run on Deadpool and most of his Superman work in Action Comics was solid. The man can write. So why does he always have to go for the gross out humor? If it’s not Peter vomiting in his mask because of some fetid homeless woman it’s Bullseye (a.k.a. Hawkeye) killing vermin (not to be confused with Vermin mind you) with his…magic nose goblins. Seriously? Is that what you’re going to do? I know Bullseye needed to be distracted somehow so Peter could take out Gargan and infiltrate the Avengers, but still. There had to be another way. Actually I wasn’t happy with the scene as a whole. Sure these guys are scumbags and even if they are playing hero they are still going to be scumbags but showing him trying to kill a woman in the manner he did with the prostitute just bothered me.

Maybe I’m getting old. This kind of thing bugs me lately. I have no idea why.

Parting Thoughts

So on the whole good issue becomes a bad issue with a few entertaining moments. I am enjoying the Lily sub-plot and Harry continues to be a compelling character. It’s not that I hated this issue and it’s not that American Son is ruined for me. I just think that the whole booger of death thing combined with how over the top Kelly went to show what evil people these supposed Avengers are kind of bummed my high.

And I really liked the last issue too.

Oh well, here’s hoping for the next issue.

2 out of 5 webheads.


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