Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciler: Mike McKone and Adriana Melo
Inker: McKone, Lanning, Justice, Smith and Benes
Story Title: “Long Term Arrangement Part 2”
Another one night stand. A golden battle with Diablo. Insurance fraud. Ana Kravinov recruits another villain.
All right…let’s talk about this cover.
I think it is fair to say that this cover is meant to appeal to a fan base that likes seeing pictures of scantily clad women and I will admit that I like seeing pictures of scantily clad women. I am attracted to women. It’s just how things worked out for me. So I am not suggesting that there is something wrong with being attracted to a particular sex and wanting to see images of that sex where they are wearing little or no clothing. It’s normal. It’s natural. I don’t look down on it as long as you can have a somewhat normal relationship with a real girl.
So on this cover we have the Black Cat wearing what appears to be nothing but the top of the Spider-Man costume and in the interest of full disclosure I am of the opinion that if you put a woman in a male character’s costume there is something inherently sexy about that. To be sure I like to see it in real life but there it is. It’s not a fetish mind you. Just something that is kind of cool to see if I come across it. In any case you would think that because I think there is something kind of sexy about a woman wearing a man’s shirt and apparently nothing else would get me going and in all honesty this cover bothered the living crap out of me.
For one thing this is a variant cover. This should have been the 10 to 1 ratio cover with something involving the villain and Spider-Man and the Black Cat and, you know, the plot acting as the standard cover. I know why they went with this cover. Sex sells. That’s a fact and there is really no getting around that. Another aspect of the cover that bugged the living crap out of me is the fact we have this amazingly over-sexualized cover that still bears the Super-Hero Squad add in the upper left hand corner. I think it is fair to say that the Super-Hero Squad is meant for a much younger audience so having the super sexy Black Cat biting down on a string of pearls (that was subtle) next to the ad for the kids’ show gets to me.
Maybe I’m turning into a prude as I get older. That’s possible. I won’t rule it out. Whatever the case I hated this cover.
The sad thing about this issue is that I think I have more to say about the cover than the story inside.
There wasn’t much of a story here. Peter gets some action from the Black Cat (leading me to think that the whole Parker luck thing is just an out and out lie) which is followed by what boiled down to a large scale insurance fraud scheme. Sure there were some decent character moments and there is something to be said for exploring a relationship that is no good for the protagonist. Peter has been having a rough time of it lately and as I mentioned in my last review I can relate to just giving in to the one thing that is just terrible for you when life is just too much to bear. The thing is that concept is a plot point, not something to fill two issues worth of story. The insurance fraud scheme got to me too. I am not as familiar with Diablo as other Marvel villains but this seems kind of pedestrian for a character as powerful as he seems to be. Again it’s not a bad concept in and of itself but it made for a pretty boring two issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.
The art in this issue was a bit uneven but overall I was happy with it. The splash page of Peter and Felicia’s costumes looking as if they were cuddling was kind of neat. It didn’t make up for how lack luster this issue was and how lackluster this story was as a whole. There was a fair amount of hype around these two issues because it was the return of the Black Cat but much like the return of Mary Jane last month the reality didn’t live up to the hype. Pretty covers and romantic interludes do not a good story make and I was really disappointed in the writing this story. Hopefully the next storyline will turn things around but it seems like we are back to the hot and cold roller coaster ride that has been indicative of Brand New Day.
2.5 out of 5 webheads.