Writer: Dan Slott and Christos Gage
Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Klaus Janson
Story Title: The Return of Anti-Venon Part Two: Revelation Day
Anti-Venom tells a webbed up Spider-Man that Martin Li is Mister Negative. At first Spider-Man doesn’t believe him but Anti-Venom doesn’t care and goes after the villain. The Wraith interrogates one of Negative’s men to get info on a smuggling operation unaware that Carlie Cooper is watching. Later Anti-Venom uncovers his own intel on the operation and gets back to Spider-Man just after the Wall Crawler managed to escape his webbing. Anti-Venom, Spider-Man and the Wraith face off against Negative and his men at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in the end the Wraith exposes Negative’s true identity to the public. Afterwards Carlie confronts Captain Watanabe with the fact the she knows Watanabe is the Wraith. Carlie promises to keep her secret. Later Peter and Carlie talk about this and Peter reveals to Carlie that he…creates Spider-Man’s tech
I rather liked this issue. It had some problems to be sure but overall I enjoyed what I read and thought it had a good mix of action, humor and even intrigue. The big revelation was handled as well as it could have and frankly I am glad things went down the way they did.
Let’s start off with the good points and oddly enough Anti-Venom is on that list. This is kind of surprising since I haven’t liked Eddie Brock as a character since 1992. Slott and Gage made Brock an engaging character with this storyline and I liked the fact that he was vindicated at the end. He was also responsible for the big, laugh out loud moment of the story. Spider-Man is trying like hell to escape from Eddie’s webbing, succeeds and is immediately hit with the webbing again. I felt bad for Peter in that scene but not bad enough that I wasn’t laughing.
The take down of Martin Li was cool as well. I honestly think that this sub-plot ran as long as it should have and while Mister Negative was never a big villain in my eyes the creators obviously liked the character so he was one of the heavy hitters from the past three or so years. I think it was a little abrupt with the Wraith transmitting Li’s identity match all over creation but it worked for me.
The art was solid throughout the issue as well. I am a little surprised to see Klaus Janson listed as the inker because his style is historically scratchier than what was presented here. In any case I liked the slick style we got in this issue. The storytelling was very strong and the action scenes had a lot of pop to them.
I also liked the fact that Spider-Man was able to flash his Avengers ID card to the cops and everything was smoothed over. It will be nice to see that for a little while.
There was one element of the issue that I was indifferent about. The Wraith’s true identity didn’t hit me one way or the other. It makes sense that it was Watanabe and I was glad it wasn’t Jean because that would have cheapened one of the best Spider-Man stories ever. I realized after the reveal that I didn’t really care all that much who the Wraith was, which was slightly disappointing because I thought the first mentions of the character a few issues ago had a lot of potential. I was glad that they didn’t stretch the “Who is the Wraith?” thing out further than they did. Sometimes you just need to reveal the mystery sooner rather than later.
Now on to the bad and really it’s not that the parts I am going to discuss are necessarily bad in the sense that it ruined the issue for me. I just didn’t care for them all that much. Anything to do with Jonah in this issue bugged me because he really didn’t need to be there. It was an attempt at comedy relief and it failed. The scene with Robby, Norah and Phil was unnecessary and kind of insulting to professional cameramen. Finally, that last scene with Peter telling Carlie that he creates Spider-Man’s tech was an extreme cop-out. Carlie has proven that she accepts people that take the law into their own hands. Why not tell her at this point outside of creating some unnecessary drama that will do nothing but annoy me?
This was a solid issue and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The pacing was solid, the art was solid and the only other “heroes” in the piece were Spider-Man related characters. To me this is what Amazing Spider-Man should be month after month.
3.5 out of 5 webheads.