AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #656-REVIEWS


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN # 656

 

  • Writer: Dan Slott
  • Penciler: Marcos Martin
  • Inker: Marcos Martin
  • Story Title: No One Dies Part Two: Resolve

 

Sorry this one is a little on the late side, folks. In any case, this time out Spider-Man has to go into action without one of his iconic super powers. How does he compensate? By going all ‘90s and putting on some wicked cool armor…that’s how.

Plot

No spider-sense. Massacre kills again. Shot in the line of duty. Massacre’s origin. Spider-armor. Another rooftop oath.

 

The Commentary

This issue was a mixed bag for me.

On one hand it had some great action, moved at a good pace and was rather clever in places. Slott packed a lot into this issue and I will admit that I was surprised that we got the origin of Massacre so quickly. I was expecting this story to last a few issues but it didn’t work out that way and I think the story benefited from that. Slott once again played up how smart Peter is as well. Peter is presented with a problem and has to use his intellect to solve it. There were even some legitimate surprises like Spider-Man getting shot. That made me think that, relatively speaking, anything could happen in this issue. I even liked Massacre’s origin even though he seemed a little more like a Batman villain than a member of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery but he served the story well.

On the other hand this story felt…forced is the best word I can think to use. It has all of the trappings of a good story but it feels one dimensional with how Peter got to this point. Slott killed off Marla for a shock ending and is using that to have Peter do something he would have done anyway. Before Marla’s death Peter would have stopped Massacre and kept the police from killing him. Peter is just a little more high strung about the whole endeavor.

This detracted from my overall enjoyment because it weakens the emotional foundation of the story. Spider-Man feels bad about the death of someone he knows so he goes out and saves lives. He’s been doing this for nearly fifty years. Slott adds a qualifier at the end that he’s not just doing it because of Uncle Ben or Gwen but for everyone but again he’s been doing that for nearly fifty years as well. If Peter didn’t care about humanity in general he would never have continued being Spider-Man. Why help out someone being mugged or stop a bank robbery or save the city from some threat if you didn’t care about the people that could be hurt or killed? This whole, “No one dies,” thing just doesn’t work for me.

One aspect of the story that I am on the fence about is the loss of his spider-sense. Slott played with this concept well and obviously put some thought into what it would mean to Spider-Man if he lost that power. I liked that but I hope that it doesn’t go on for too long. This is a sub-plot that doesn’t have a long life span at least to my thinking. Still, I enjoyed what Slott did with the idea in this issue and look forward to the resolution.

I wasn’t all that hot on the armor either but it at least served the story and looked better than the armor from Web of Spider-Man #100 but then again just about anything would look better than the armor from Web of Spider-Man #100.

Don’t get me wrong…I like that armor but only because I “came of age” as a comic book reader during the nineties.

 

Parting Thoughts

This wasn’t a bad issue by any stretch of the imagination. I liked it even with the problems I had with Spider-Man’s overall motivation. It was a solid read and I continue to enjoy Marcos Martin’s art and look forward to him returning to the title.

3 out of 5 webheads. 

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