AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #659 REVIEW


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN # 659

  • Writer: Dan Slott (story), Fred Van Lente (dialogue)
  • Penciler: Stefano Caselli
  • Inker: Stefano Caselli
  • Story Title: Fantastic Voyage Part 1 of 2

More of Spider-Man with the FF. What happens? Go behind the cut to find out!

 

Plot

The Future Foundation heads to the island where the Fantastic Four first faced off against Dr. Doom. After avoiding a fight with the locals the FF head off towards a mountain with a skull carved into the top of it. Meanwhile Carlie goes out drinking with her friends because she is mad at Peter and decides to get a tattoo. Back on the island the FF fight zombie pirates and discover a mysterious portal. Ben tries to become Blackbeard again but messes that up pretty good and the fight continues. Valeria and the other kids arrive to help just in time to see Sue reveal that the real villains behind everything are…the Sinister Six.

 

The Commentary

This is another issue that falls under the category of, “not the type of story I want to see in Amazing Spider-Man.” I won’t go into all of my feelings on the subject again because I have done that in the past several reviews I have written but the feeling is still there. I’ll leave things at the usual if I wanted to read Spider-Man’s adventures with the Future Foundation I would go read FF and move on with the nuts and bolts of the issue.

I think the biggest problem I had with this issue is that once again a writer, in this case Fred Van Lente, has just about every character in the book either making witty pop culture references or just saying humorous things. It reads like the script to a Kevin Smith movie. The opening scene is a good example of this. Everyone, including Reed, is popping off one-liners. It is distracting and worse doesn’t allow the characters to have their own voice. I can see Ben cracking wise because, well, that’s how Ben rolls but it doesn’t work for Reed and Sue. I also took exception to the little dig Van Lente made at the initial meeting between the FF and Dr. Doom. I don’t think he was being disrespectful or anything like that but at the same time the, “Not a euphemism, by the way…He actually had a freaking tiger,” line felt out of place. I am going to use a phrase I normally dislike seeing in reviews but it is the best way to describe how I feel about the situation…it feels out of character and doesn’t work for me.

I will admit that I liked Spider-Man’s reaction to hearing that there might be pirates. That made me smile.

Then there’s Carlie. Carlie has been a problem for me for some time now. On one hand I have nothing against the character and I really kind of like her. She is an interesting match for Peter and I dig that she brings in the whole CSI angle to this title. There is a lot of potential there for her to be involved in Spider-Man’s world as well as Peter’s. Part of me has trouble with her because of how I felt about the marriage being done away with. I like Peter and MJ together so any other woman is going to irk me. I try to put those feelings on the back burner when writing these reviews because…well, it’s like the whole other heroes being in this book all the time thing; I don’t want these reviews to become repetitive.

Taking all of that and more into consideration I didn’t care for the Carlie scenes in this issue. They just bugged me. Is it realistic for a woman scorned to go out, get drunk with her friends and do something a little crazy because she’s drunk? Yeah. I’ve seen empirical evidence that such a thing does indeed happen. I just didn’t like here. It felt clichéd. The Goblin tattoo thing was a little much too mainly because it was added for audience shock value. That idea seems genetically designed to make the reader go, “Ooohhh, she’s getting a Green Goblin tattoo to get back at Peter and she doesn’t know that the Goblin is Peter’s arch enemy AND the man that killed his first great love.” The whole idea is forced and it would have been nice to see Slott and Van Lente go in a different direction than, “We’re a bunch of girls going out and having a good time because men suck.”

I also felt the shot of Carlie taking off her shirt and giving us a nice look at her bra was unnecessary. I might feel differently if these sorts of shots hadn’t become so prevalent over the last…well couple of decades now.

There was one element of the issue that I was quite happy with. I like that the Sinister Six is back. The Scooby-Doo line delivered by Sue was annoying but the reveal itself was quite cool and led to a solid cliffhanger ending. It didn’t make me like the rest of the issue but it did make me feel slightly better about the story as a whole.

 

Parting Thoughts

I didn’t really care for the Ghost Rider “fueled” back up. I did, however, get a kick out of the two page Infested preview or Stage One or whatever you want to call it. I like it when writers take real world events, like the bed bugs outbreak, and use them as part of the plot of a super-villain. Part of me thinks I shouldn’t like that sort of plot device but I do. I also liked the art over these two pages, but I am a fan of Barry Kitson so this makes sense. While the whole Spider-Island thing strikes me as a bit silly in concept I hope the execution changes my mind.

 

2.5 out of 5 webheads.

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