Amazing Spider-Man #2 (2014) Review: Stillanerd’s Take


AmazingSpider-Man#2--MaryJaneCover“You’ll get back into the swing of things soon enough.”

It’s the second issue (or rather the seven-hundred and second issue) of The Amazing Spider-Man–and this time it’s regular-sized! Also, Spidey gets to fight one of his more notable villains (who just so happens to be in a movie with him this year) while wearing clothes this time around. Oh, and there’s also that matter with Anna Maria Marconi figuring out Peter’s secret identity and some other awkward moments between them, too.

WRITER: Dan Slott
PENCILER: Humberto Ramos
INKER: Victor Olazaba
COLORS: Edgar Delgado
LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Ellie Pyle
EDITOR: Nick Lowe

THE STORY: In the prelude, we see the woman we’ll know as Silk in the present day, making herself some Chicken Marsala as she gets ready watch a videotape of the second fight between Spider-Man and Electro—and it’s revealed that she knows Spidey is Peter Parker.

Speaking of Peter, he not only confirms for Anna Maria Marconi that he is, in fact, Spider-Man, but also tells her Doctor Octopus took over his body before they ever met. Anna Maria responds to this shocking news…by baking some cookies, saying this is what helps her to think. And after giving Peter a taste of the batter, she goes to take a walk to think things through. Peter also gets a call from the Avengers, and changes into Spidey, save for his pants since, due to Doc Ock having changed his web-fluid formula, they’re sticking to his web-diaper from last issue. This time, Iron Man conducts the brain scan and confirms it’s really Spidey, although Captain America points out how “Spidey” tried to trick them before by saying he’d been possessed by the Venom symbiote. Spidey gets Cap to admit that he knew the symbiote had bonded with Flash Thompson—and then punches him in the face, angry that Cap never told him. Cap, now convinced it’s the real Spidey, tells Spidey that Flash is a soldier, and that, like Spidey, he had a secret identity which Cap also respects. Spidey agrees that, even though it’s annoying, Cap is playing fair, and helps Cap up. Cap welcomes Spidey back, telling Spidey he knows how it feels to try to readjust to changes while being gone, and informs him about the breakout from the prison by Electro.

Electro, meanwhile, has been hiding out with a tattooed girl with multiple piercings named Francine. Electro explains to her that “Spider-Man” tampered with his powers somehow, and Francine tries to comfort him, only to get herself electrocuted when she kisses him, which also causes a blackout. Prior to this, Peter has returned to Parker Industries where Sajani informs him there’s a glitch with the company’s roll-out project, which, since it was really Doc Ock’s invention, Peter has no idea how to fix. Until Anna Maria also arrives and tells Peter that she’s pregnant—only she isn’t, as she just said this to get Sajani to leave—and helps Peter fix the problem. She does, however, tell Peter that because she quit her job at ESU and moved out of her apartment to be with Doc Ock, she has nowhere else to go, so Peter agrees she can still stay. When the blackout happens, Peter changes into Spidey to take on Electro. Among the onlookers watching their fight is the Black Cat in disguise, thus when Spidey tries to stop Electro by dousing him with water from a fire-hydrant, Felicia uses her bad luck powers to make the water douses Spidey instead, allowing Electro to escape. Spidey then gets a call from Johnny Storm, and meets him at the Statue of Liberty. There, Johnny gives Spidey a zip-drive containing all the things Spidey missed while he was away, as he, too, knows what it’s like to “die” and “come back.” As Spidey looks at the ruins of the Spider-Island II, and, after remarking how it was once the Raft, gets an idea. The next day, Peter announces to his employees that Parker Industries is putting the previous roll-out project on hold. Their new roll-out will be a new prison designed to incarcerate, rehabilitate, cure, and de-power super-villains.

AmazingSpider-Man#2(2014)--p.3THOUGHTS: In my last review, I mentioned how apprehensive I was about where Dan Slott could be taking things with regards to Peter and Anna Maria, primarily because my fear was that Peter, out of fear of hurting Anna Maria’s feeling, would not decide to tell her that the person she actually been in a relationship with was Doctor Octopus instead of him. Thank goodness then that Slott did decide to have Peter tell her the truth; even more surprising, though, was how well she reacted to this otherwise bombshell of a revelation. Granted, it’s clear that Anna Maria was attempting to cope via her cooking and was taking the news much harder than she was letting on, but by issue’s end, she’s now fully in the role of being Peter’s new confidant and acts like what has happened to her over the last several months is all water under bridge.

I suppose Slott was attempting to show Anna Maria being a mature adult, that she has a tremendous amount of inner strength and is able to stay calm, rational, and peppy during such a heartbreaking and emotionally devastating situation, yet her adjustment to this still comes across being very, very rushed and unconvincing. Remember, Anna Maria has just found out that she has unknowingly been having sexual relations with a known criminal impersonating someone else—someone, as she tells Peter in this issue, she’s literally dropped everything for just to be with, who also told him back in Superior Spider-Man #31 that she “couldn’t imagine his life without him,” and, as she discovered last issue, was going to propose marriage to her. It seems rather incredulous that this same person would be responding to Peter’s confession the way she is here, much less take it at face value. (Unless, Doc Ock planned to reveal who he really was in his marriage proposal notes, and that Anna Maria is just putting on an act while secretly planning on getting revenge by luring Peter into a false sense of security, but I doubt it.) 

It’s not just the apparent resolution with Anna Maria that feels rushed, either. One sucker punch from Spidey over Flash Thompson being Venom is all Captain America needs to realize that Spidey is the real deal apparently, which means the subplot about the Avengers suspicion of Spidey due to Doc Ock’s actions is abruptly made void. The big roll-out project created by Doc Ock that Peter had no idea how to fix last issue? That, too, gets quickly resolved and replaced by a completely different roll-out project for Parker Industries. And as much as Peter tells Johnny Storm about how “Doc Ock really did a number on [him],” we still, after three issues, never get any sense that Peter’s life, save for some inconveniences, has really been made for the worse at all. If anything, its other people who have suffered more because of SpOck’s actions than Peter himself. Thus once again, Slott, as he’s been wont to do since becoming the main Spider-Man writer, sets up these various story-lines potentially full of long-lasting repercussions, only instead of truly exploring them, he quickly sweeps them aside just so he can move right on to the next set-up.

Not that the groundwork Slott appears to be laying here isn’t intriguing. The idea of Peter and Parker Industries proposing to build a new super-villain prison does offer some possibilities, as does Anna Maria continuing to be his personal assistant and roommate even after knowing the Peter she fell in love with was really someone else. Even so, this new status quo I believe threatens to undermine Peter’s uniqueness as a character, in that having his own company with his own “Pepper Pots” is turning him into a poor-man’s version of Tony Stark.

AmazingSpider-Man#2(2014)--p.14The only consequence from Superior Spider-Man which doesn’t feel cast-aside, however, involves the villains in this issue and their misplaced revenge against Spidey for what SpOck has done, although in Electro’s case, it’s not even something Slott dealt with but a holdover from Chris Yost’s Superior Spider-Man Team-Up. Sure, it makes sense that Electro would want revenge against Spidey over his belief he, and not Doc Ock, experimented on him, but at the same time, it’s not as if Electro needed the added motivation to want to take down Spidey since he already hates him to begin with. Moreover, making Electro culpable in the accidental deaths of the inmates at the prison last issue and the super-villain groupie in this one feels redundant and only adds to the notion the only reason Electro is in the comic is to help promote The Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie. The Black Cat, however, appears to have the opposite problem, in that while her quest for revenge against Spidey does naturally stem from what SpOck did to her, her transformation into some would-be super-villain mastermind operating in the shadows is way too much of a stretch. Plus, for those who still doubted that Black Cat doesn’t have full-control of her probability-altering bad luck powers, we get confirmation of that here with her delaying the water gushing from the fire hydrant.

Then there’s the prologue involving Silk, and the revelation she’s yet another person who knows Peter is Spider-Man. Perhaps I’m jumping the gun a bit, but all I’m getting from this character is that she’s going to be a new female super-villain with the gimmick being that she’s another spider-powered character like him. After all, why else study how Spidey fights unless you’re not preparing for the eventuality of fighting him?

I do find this issue to be a better than the main story from Amazing Spider-Man #1, though. While Johnny Storm’s cameo does come off more or less as means of promoting what’s happening in James Robinson’s run in Fantastic Four, it’s always nice to see Peter and Johnny interact under Slott’s pen. Also, I have same feelings about Ramos’ art as I did from the last issue. Once again, his style is well-suited for action sequences, as evidenced in Spidey’s fight with Electro, but not so great for when characters are standing around conversing, which takes up at least three-quarters of this comic. The scene with Spidey punching Cap is particularly glaring, as the way Ramos’ illustrates the panel makes it look as if, save for the “Krakk!” sound-effect, Spidey is punching the air while Cap tripped over his leg.

All-in-all, Amazing Spider-Man #2, is decent enough, but it also comes off rather ho-hum, as though Slott is just biding his time until he gets around to the “Original Sin” tie-ins and the upcoming “Spider-Verse” event. My final grade for this is an inoffensive:

B-

NERDY NITPICKS:

  • Don’t be fooled by the variant cover showing a proud and confident Mary Jane on the front.  She doesn’t appear in this issue.  At all.
  • It seems Marvel’s sliding timescale is still acting wonky. Again, Based upon when Peter and Silk were bitten by the radioactive spider, that would’ve made the year 2001. Yet, all the movie posters Silk has in her windowless living quarters—Fight Club, The Matrix, and American Beauty—are all films that came out in 1999. Granted, those could have been posters she had before being cooped-up in wherever she is, and we don’t see any evidence that she has anything from after 2001 in that place. Not to mention, Silk does have very good taste in movies based on those posters.
  • Want more evidence time in the Marvel Universe has become messed up? How about Captain America telling Spidey about how SpOck claimed his actions were all the cause of the Venom symbiote “just last week,” when “Goblin Nation” took place “31 One Days” after “Darkest Hours?”
  • A close-up of Peter licking frosting off a wooden spoon, followed by him proclaiming, “That’s the greatest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth!” If Sigmund Freud were still alive, I’m betting he’d have a field day with that particular scene.
  • Yeah, it might be difficult for Peter to find you a “baking try,” Anna Maria, considering how no such thing actually exists. A baking tray, however…
  • So Doc Ock changed Peter’s ring tone to Beethoveen’s 5th Symphony, and thus reinforcing the notion that only villains like classic music. I guess since I like classic music, and Beethoveen in particular, that makes me a super-villain by default.
  • You know, Anna Maria…claiming that you were pregnant, then telling Peter that you’re not and that you just said it just to get Sajani out of the room was probably not the most tactful way to get you two alone so you could talk about Spidey stuff. Because claiming you’ve been knocked-up is not something you just causally say in jest to any one, ever! Although, that is some definite grade-A trolling by Dan Slott, no question.
  • Gee, Francine did seem like an interesting new character before she was unceremoniously electrocuted, huh? And Max, for all your protests that she shouldn’t kiss you and that it was too dangerous, you still seemed to lean in for that kiss and not push her away. I guess you can just claim her piercings were once again being magnetically drawn to your face as part of your defense, I suppose.
  • Okay, here’s a question for you No-Prize contestants: since Johnny Storm’s Human Torch powers are on the fritz and was one of the bystanders during the Electro fight, how did he get to the Statue of Liberty before Spidey? *Cue the theme from Jeopardy.*
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(45) Comments

  1. Jason

    I still think the last panel of page one is Anna Maria, not this mysterious woman who just happens to know Peter's secret identity.

  2. Stillanerd - Post author

    #38 QuilSniv -- I believe Dan Slott stated that we'll be going back to having regular issues of Amazing Spider-Man come out twice a month again after "Learning to Crawl" (Amazing Spider-Man #1.1 to #1.5) gets finished. Which means we'll hopefully be getting both Amazing Spider-Man #7 and #8 coming this October.

  3. Arachnobat

    #42 Superior 31 was deplorable you’re right that it simply was not the character. The whole argument to keep them apart has a mountain of a case against it but there is one little fact I haven’t heard anyone bring it up but Ignoring the stalkers Mary Jane holds a higher position in canon on the hit lists of both Mysterio and Chameleon and though dead for the time being Alistair Smythe was never fond of her either. In 2010 Wacker expressed the opinion that Spider-Man was a creatively exhausted character and that all of his stories had been told. What he should have said was every story Marvel wants to tell as we all know there are a good five hundred stories we could see if they ever decided it was okay for a spider-baby to exist without being miscarriaged, kidnapped, killed or erased from continuity. I’ve examined Tom Brevoort’s youth argument and if he were right Stan should have never invented MJ in the first place. Apparently for Spider-Man to exist he must always be an outcast and if even one person understands him or even if his civilian persona had my goodness friends then the Spider-Man legend ends I’m sorry but if that were true the title would have never survived the Romita era. Dan Slott himself has admitted recently that he is terrified of 2015 because he has run out of ideas! But we’ll be hearing myths and propaganda continue to come out for some time as they perpetuate The Big Lie(s) “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Spider-Man doesn’t have a clear goal like eliminating crime, world peace or defeating someone he is an atoner saddled with the infinite debt and as has been demonstrated nothing short of losing a limb could make him quit there is no danger of the title ending in the next fifty years as long as they stop fossilizing things. Why is it that Batman can have 3 Robins grow up and be anywhere from 8-80 but Peter’s last name must be Pan?!

  4. Al

    @#41-Back in BND and early Slott’s run Mary jane was an out of character riff upon her goofy party girl personality which she grew out of and then later an out of character riff on her 80s and marriage confidant role. At this point she is just straight up not Mary jane anymore, Slott’s deconstructed the character because...I don’t really know why. Because he doesn’t like her. Because he’s resentful that people didn’t accept Carlie Cooper? Because he’s trying to set up another love interest? I dunno. But your right it was tied in with Superior. For that story to work MJ (and everyone else) had to be dumb but he took it the extra mile with MJ. I mean her little speech in Superior #31 was deplorable. A friend of mine basically said that the whole Pedro/MJ thing is a riff on what happened in Spider-Man 2.

  5. Arachnobat

    I've only collected the trades so there's a good 28 issues of Spider-Girl I haven't read I get what your saying but I'm talking about it dialed down by 75%. I'm not saying their poor characterization is a result of their separation there's been absolutely no shortage of bad writing I'm just that more recently we have seen MJ sink below imitation 80's levels and that it is very clearly connected to what was going on in Superior as we saw it. I don't know what Slott intends to do with the Pedro angle but I can't see it being resolved other than in a way reminiscent of the page I mentioned. And I have no interest in discussing the other women once again I've just heard a lot of pro-marriage fans talk about them in the past. I'll post the dialogue tomorrow and I'll see what I cant do on the boards.

  6. Al

    @#38-What is funny to me is that Stan talked about the illusion of change but never personally put it to practice, at least not on Spider-Man. I was thinking of Mayday myself but I did feel too many of her villains went good by the end that it undermined her rogue’s gallery. At this current point in time Pedro is just a placeholder thus I judge him as the placeholder. I agree that they need each other but I think thier poor characterisations are due to bad writing not an in-universe response to being separated. Um...what’s Pedro got to do with smoking? I mean I know he’s a fireman but I don’t get the reference? I think Felicia might’ve been interesting post-OMD had she actively tried to pursue him but between not knowing who he was and Peter’s own experiences with her I can’t see it happening. If ever there was a time for it to have happened it would’ve been literally just after MJ uncharacteristically dumped him and he hit Felicia on the rebound, but as was Peter (also uncharacteristically) didn’t give a damn that MJ broke up with him. As for Felicia now they really need to just say ever since OMD it’s been a Skrull or LMD running around because that isn’t Felicia at all. Again I just never felt there was anything between them. I don’t think Spider-Man was interested in Sable romantically though he probably objectively appreciated she was attractive. I only asked because were you a board member it’d be easier to continue this conversation

  7. Arachnobat

    #37 Hence why I put air quotes on the illusion of change Stan says he doesn't remember using that phrase. As for reforming villains I'm not talking about more than one or two going straight in the long term the point would be to show that Peter is trying new approaches in dealing with his villains maybe taking a lesson or two from Mayday's book. As for Pedro refuse to judge him simply because he's going out with Mary Jane it's to early for me to form a verdict other than pity for him as a victim of Superior just as I pity Anna-Maria. It's very unlikely that he becomes a legitimate male friend and that scenario is why I brought it up. One thing the past seven years have made very clear is that Peter and MJ really do need each other Peter's regression was instantaneous as for her I hope she soon realizes she's just a few steps away from the 60's. I don't want this to be taken the wrong way but when I think of MJ and Pedro my mind goes to that last page of "Trial By The Jury" when she quit smoking I'll have to find the dialogue. The Ms. Marvel thing certainly was exaggerated, while I believe Black Cat in BND was something that could have been worth exploring IF she had retained her post marriage character development I really want her to drop out of the titles altogether until someone finds something constructive to do with her, you are right that Spider-Man and Sable work best on a business level I do believe they could build something interesting very fast it would be over just as quick. My operating system is old and doesn't like this website much so I don't go deep into the boards. #38 Yeah I noticed I don't know what the deal is but I thought one of the reasons Slott has his job is because he could handle a bi-weekly schedule so much for that.

  8. QuilSniv

    Did anybody else notice that the release of Amazing has now dropped another issue per month? When you look at the release dates, April 30, May 21, and June 18 for the upcoming issue 3, it seems to be a wider gap in the release of comics. I don't really mind but I would at least like some extra content. I was okay with Amazing #1 because they had six backup stories, along with the main story, but somehow that came out in a two-week span while the other issues are taking three weeks or more to get out on shelves. Still waiting, Marvel. I love ya, but I don't have all summer to wait until you release all six issues the day before Spider-Verse comes out.

  9. Al

    @#36-I think the entire illusion of change argument is BS personally. I like the idea of Spider-Man trying to reform his villains but I don’t want him to scucceed as good villains are a precious commodity. Considering he’s nothing but a low-rent Peter Parker for MJ to rebound off of I don’t see Pedro’s inclusion as a good one. Maybe if he became something more like, I dunno alegitimate male friend for Peter then it’d be different. For me all three are asinine choices. Sable and Spider-Man’s relationship was refreshing because it was strictly business. I think the Ms. Marvel thing got exaggerated and wouldn’t be a good idea since I don’t think a super powered girlfriend is really a good idea for Spider-Man and with Felicia it’s downright idiotic because Peter would know it wouldn’t work. She’s bad news. And that’d be the case even if she was written IN character in BND (she wasn’t). Btw are you on the boards at all?

  10. Arachnobat

    #35 I get that the dinosaur reference was very weird On the Ms. Marvel/Silver Sable/Felicia thing iv heard a lot of pro-marriage fans say they wouldn't have minded the separation as much if it were mitigated by one of them I don't really have much of an opinion on it besides the characters being stronger than anyone new. #33 I’ve already communicated that that mentioning TV Tropes Quesada hypothesis was out of line I’m way more interested in discussing the relaunch and how it could have be done. So I'll periodically drop some thoughts and see what everyone thinks. 1. With Harry MIA Flash as Agent Venom one thing the title could use is some new Male supporting characters (though bringing Teresa or Pity into canon certainly wouldn’t hurt) in that regard I’m glad Pedro was introduced. 2. If Spider-Man is to get new readers and yes they can get new regular readers they have to offer something they can get into and invest in. Jumping points like the relaunch are good but let’s face it most issues before the 90’s were great jumping points. Besides offering at least a better “illusion of change” every couple of years Marvel needs to settle for a single issue story between many of these arcs they could put a little logo on the covers that advertised that they were friendly for casual readers. Issues could have better recaps like the ones that they had in the late 90’s. Returning to the story arcs accessible single issue stories between them could be used to bridge them into a larger story which would be great for trade paperbacks reduce the need for decompressed storytelling meaning more stories each year and a better return on readers money. 3. Expanding the roster of villains with an emphasis on females and having Peter take measures to reform/make peace with his classic foes toning down the jokes in those instances would make things interesting maybe we could see an Amazing Six.

  11. Al

    @#27-Um...okay...forgive me but I’m a bit floored by MJ being compared to a dinosaur before so I don’t know how to react. @#28-Sure but with a cast and history this rich you can generate new stuff from exploring that history and those relationships. You don’t need to do the same thing over and over and you don’t need to rotate the cast to do it. DeFalco didn’t need to do that for instance. Hell JMS didn’t either. He in fact limited the cast but got more out of three characters than most runs. @#29/#32- I 100% back Peter being a father though and most of your post. Except the Ms. Marvel/Silver Sable/Felicia thing. In all cases a serious relationship would’ve been detrimental or out of character. Frankly at this point I’m sorry to say that you’ve only got MJ and that’s it. Yeah untold tales were always an option or you know...just reading old comics where he’s single?

  12. George Berryman

    @29 You would be hard pressed to find someone who dislikes One More Day than I. Similarly you would be hard pressed to find a stronger critic of many of Quesada's decisions while EIC. But we *absolutely* do not talk about people that way here.

  13. Arachnobat

    I did go a bit far on that Stillanerd it's just that my father is a pedophile who has still not been imprisoned and that the possibility many people have pointed out gets me a little wound up and yes One More Day really offends me on a religious level. I should also point out that they could always do more Untold Tales stories with him single there could easily be 25 issues for the Romita days and 25 for the Conway-80's

  14. Stillanerd - Post author

    @#16 Bob Jones -- That is a good point, and I like your mask/phone number analogy, as well. Still, I do think, given Spidey's history with the symbiote and that Flash is one of his best friends, I would think Flash being Venom would bother him far more than how it seemed to here, IMO.

  15. Stillanerd - Post author

    @#29 Archnobat -- While I realize "One More Day" was a terrible story and that you are making reference to the fact that Carlie Cooper was named after Joe Quesada's daughter, saying that "he can no longer vicariously carry out his pedophilic fantasies" is taking you criticisms WAY too far, not to mention taints your otherwise eloquent criticism. Consider this a warning, and dial it back next time.

  16. Arachnobat

    It has just as much to do with that they are unwilling to let the character raise a child which contrary to popular belief would greatly extend the longevity of the franchise. There are another fifty years of stories to be told if they took that route rather than recycling the same revolving door stories that were old even in the early 80's. And a significant portion of writers Stan Lee, Gerry Conway, Tom DeFalco, Peter David, JM Dematteis, David Micheline, Matt Fraction, Bendis and JMS are not happy with the current direction. And in the end no one is happy with it Quesada isn't happy because he wasn't talented enough to write his own FanFiction and he can no longer vicariously carry out his pedophilic fantasies. Slott certainly isn't happy since he wasn't allowed to write Superior indefinitely and the fans certainly aren't happy. Basically there were three approaches they could have done with single Peter Parker that would have been fresh but most certainly out of character Batman Loner and Iron Man Playboy either one of these would have pleased a minority of fans but since for various reasons most of them having to do with a certain mary sue they could not nor could they have exploited the chance for a serious relationship with Black Cat, Ms. Marvel or Silver Sable not only would many fans have preferred one of these three characters but as established characters they would have a considerable advantage over anyone new. Of course even if one of these alternate means was used they would still not justify the ends that were taken since as long as the title is fossilized they are siding with the freaking devil for crying out loud.

  17. Jack

    Marvel editors are absolutely addicted to the rule that their serial action characters need to stay single. They think they know that male readers live vicariously through a character's romantic antics. They also want to play the "will they stay together or won't they?" story-gag forever. This is based on an antique view of the readership -- the idea that their readers all eventually drop out, so Marvel needs to be free to take the character through the same tedious five-to-seven year romantic cycle for each new generation of reader. The writers also get bored with established casts, and no matter how much they publicly praise their predecessors, they would like to do new things. I can kind of understand this -- following fifty years worth of the same deeply-trodden character-beats between two characters must feel tiresome.

  18. Arachnobat

    As a kid I grew up on Ultimate so of course I liked at least that version my relationship to the character is defined more by a great deal of respect and fascination than affection everyone has their own taste but we can put the interest of the franchise ahead of our own. I used to be a die hard Gwen fan and had a great deal of sympathy for Felicia as well I do like her but only a little bit more than Carlie Cooper. I didn't say Stan was a basher he was the guy who was responsible for the marriage for crying out loud. I acknowledged that he consistently undermined the character a little bit in his run and that in time he surrendered to the narrative. There was always something unsettling about her power like a Velociraptor opening doors I found myself wondering what she was thinking when it wasn't spelled out an inordinate amount of time for a supporting character almost like a real person. And then there are writers like DeFalco who say that to write her properly you sometimes have to enter kind of a trance.

  19. Al

    @#25-Stan isn't an MJ basher. Quite the opposite he liked her to the point where he struggled to justify her not being in the book to the point where he either just ignored her or hooked her up with Harry. He doesn't actually dislike the character though. Wait so you dislike MJ?

  20. Arachnobat

    I didn't mention PAD and Stern because their runs aren't very fresh in my mind. As for Stan in time he waved the white flag honestly I've been an MJ basher for many years I waved the white flag a year ago and haven't regretted it since.

  21. Al

    @#23-Again though I don't think PAD and Stern treated her badly. I mean yeah she was more villainous and she got injured but I don't think it was dislike or misogyny on their part. If you mean since BND has she been treated badly...oh boy yeah. In fairness I think to some extent some creators DID hate Mary Jane unto herself. Possibly it's because they liked Gwen more or because they had a sexist view of her being a party girl (which apparently makes you a whore). More likely it's because she and Felicia were so popular it was hard for them to shunt them off and invent their own pet girlfriends. Even Stan struggled to downplay MJ in favour of Gwen and in the 80s Marvel sabotaged Felicia to get rid of her

  22. Ryan Knight

    You are most definitely right about Micheline, Defalco and to a good extent her creator Wolfman what I meant to say was that no writer has ever treated her with respect (outside the MC2) when Peter was on the open market. Once he was married off we saw a considerable improvement in the form of Micheline's run. It's just that while Marvel hates Mary Jane for her role as the wife of Spider-Man a completely misogonystic hatred that would have gone to anyone in that capacity and their degree of hatred more or less goes to resenting her very clear and unsettling power in the narrative mythos overall Marvel has disliked Black Cat from the start I don't know why but when she is sabotaged their hatred is of the character specifically not of women in general.

  23. Al

    @#21-Very astute sir. I disagree that NO writer has treated Felicia with respect. Wolfman, Stern, Michelinie, DeFalco, Sacasa, PAD. they all did treat her respectfully.

  24. Arachnobat

    It’s rather clear what Slott’s doing he’s realized that it’s going to take more than a certain departed mary sue to beat the deuterogamist of the series so he’s going to use Anna Maria as a non-romantic confidant making the now defunct friendship redundant he won’t use Anna Maria as a love interest because while he clearly does not care about the implications of Otto raping her if Peter dates her then it destroys one of his stupid arguments for Otto’s moral superiority that he is supposedly deeper when it comes to his choice of women. So we’ll see a tag team between Anna Maria and Carlie Cooper 2.0 because Slott’s writing carries the aristotlean method of writing a method that dominated fiction for 2,000 years until people realized in the mid nineteenth century how terrible it is namely the method of treating your characters as if they are in no way meant to stimulate anything resembling people and that everything and everyone must be enslaved to the plot no matter how many contrivances are necessary or how much things suffer. This is a man who has acknowledged in his own writing that Peter and Mary Jane are soulmates but he’s still going to push “new ground, new characters and new angles.” As for Felicia her turn to villainy is completely out of character but not surprising (like how her new costume is almost as modest as her original) not one marvel writer has ever treated her with a shred of respect it’s such a shame but it’s one more reason why this status quo must end. Remember in Shed when Black Cat talked Peter into asking Carlie out without even having met the woman before gee I wonder why they were just friends with benefits?

  25. Al

    Anyone else think Slott might try hooking up Peter and Anna Maria? Personally I think that'd be asinine

  26. Bob Jones

    @4 - I think I'm going to be siding with Cap on this one. Regardless on what the symbiote represents, a mask is a mask. Venom at this point was on the good side. And identities being given out, should only be given by permission of the one who it jeopardizes. I view it no different than given out someones phone number without permission....its a big no-no.

  27. Al

    @#2-I'm with George on this one. At this point I want MJ as far away from Slott as possible. Also fun fact a few years ago fans voted for a character to be made into a Marvel action figure and they picked Mary Jane. That Deodato image on the varient cover was the image the action figure was based on. It also had Ms. Lions included in it

  28. Scarlet Spider

    @13 - I don't think any artist would have drawn her crying, it's obvious that she's putting on a brave front, that will no doubt collapse in the following issues.

  29. frame-oh

    Great review as usual. I think anna marias lack of emotion is more down to ramos. Imagine the baking scene done by someone like romita. It would be all dough caked fingers and tears running down a chubby little cheek. The drama would be turned up to 11. Even electro's gf dying was done as an action moment. There was no fear or pain - just sparks. As for the cap-punch. Cant express frustration, anger, and hurt in your characters, heck dont worry just throw an exaggerated punch instead. Im not saying that im not enjoying the book though :)

  30. Scarlet Spider

    Better than ASM #1 (though that's not exactly hard). But Slott continues to make Superior completely irrelevant by having everyone accept Peter's explanation without any conflict at all. The scene of Electro "tragically" zapping that dumb girl was incredibly cliched. Eh I dunno this book is so boring, it's not offensively bad, it's just sort of there. The only thing that really frustrates me is that Learning To Crawl reminded me that Slott can do so much better when he tries.

  31. Franz29

    @9 It was supposed to be the fact that OttEr had slept with Anna Maria. I actually thought this was a solid B issue. Peter felt like Peter without all the whining about Parker Luck. You are right though in that it seems any and all ramifications of Otto's actions on Peter's personal life are being cleared up a little too easily and without consequence and pushed aside in favour of those from his Spidey side. To be honest I'd prefer it the other way, but then I'm also reading though the entire run of PPSM Vol 1 again right now so I'm appreciating the soap opera side of Parker that that title brought through more so than ASM of the time.

  32. Adam T

    I don't normally compare the issue the solict, but I remember being worries when I read this: "• Electro’s power is out of control! And only one person can fix it... ...the Superior Spider-Man! Wait. This book’s the AMAZING Spider-Man now. So we’re probably out of luck. Plus: That thing that freaked you out last issue? There’s more on that. The return of you-know-who? There’s MUCH more on that. Action! Drama! Surprises! There’s MORE OF EVERYTHING!" What's the thing that freaked me out last issue? How is there more of it this issue?

  33. Adam S.

    I thought this issue was alright. I gotta give Slott props because this comic did a pretty good job of making me go from disappointment to relief in the span of just two panels. When Anna Maria said she was pregnant, I thought something similar to "Aw naw. Slott, I can't believe you actually went there," since the previous scene between her and Peter seemed like it could have supported that development. Then she was like "lol jk" and I thought, "Geez, that was a close one." I wonder if Francine being fried was a reference to that rumored ASM2 deleted scene where Max visits his mom before he goes to Times Square. It's also interesting cause I felt like Johnny giving Peter that flashdrive was a Cap 2 reference. Lotta potential movie references in this issue.

  34. Enigma_2099

    I find it hilarious that we're going into something called Original Sin, and Marvel will not bring up the most obvious one. Though I guess that's more Joe Quesada's original sin, isn't it?

  35. QuilSniv

    While I didn't like all the art as much in the first issue, this one, I feel, nails it on the dot. The action scenes were awesome, and while Anna and Peter talking in the beginning was a bit rushed, I felt genuine concern for both of them, along with the affection that Andrew saw in his review between Electro and Francine. But, like in most of Slott's titles, there has to be a joke about intercourse somewhere, and he just left it out there like a comic book hater at a convention. It was nice to see Spidey return to the Avengers, but, again, it was rushed and poorly paced. Granted, the series is still starting up, so I'll give it a B+, just because of the amazing art and the way it fits the mood. @5- "I hoped that Superior represented his departure from that team and the next phase of his life. Silly me:expecting development." John, it's a Slott title. Think of it as a Nicholas Cage film: you get one big thing after so much testosterone-filled hysteria is thrown at you, only for it to be swept under the rug for something completely different (i.e. Ghost Rider to National Treasure; granted, those are two of his better films, but his career works just like Slott's Spidey run)

  36. Big John

    In the spirit of being underwhelmed, I also was disappointed to see Spider-Man back on the Avengers. I hoped that Superior represented his departure from that team and the next phase of his life. Silly me: expecting development.

  37. Stillanerd - Post author

    @#1 RDMacQ -- No doubt. @#2 George Berryman -- Indeed. @#3 AndrewRoebuck -- Well, to be fair, Andrew, the idea that Spidey would punch Cap over the fact that Cap knew about Flash being possessed by the Venom symbiote is understandable to me. After all, Spidey knows better than anybody how dangerous the symbiote really is, so him getting angry about this seems rather in character. Where I believe it doesn't make sense is immediately afterwards, where Cap explains how Flash is a "good soldier" and that he respects Flash's need for a secret identity just like he does with Spidey, and that Spidey just acts all "fair enough" and, "Gee, Flash is space with Venom sure is weird." That part is definitely out-of-character and also goes right back to main problem I had with this issue in that any potential conflict that arose out of Superior Spider-Man gets all but brushed aside. Not to mention how, as you said in your own review, the fact that Spidey is still an Avenger after all this really does make SpOck's whole "I quit!" moment really seem pointless. Also, like your Fantasticar guess. Definitely No-Prize worthy. :)

  38. AndrewRoebuck

    Can we talk more about that Captain America punch...Stillanerd did that scene make any sense to you? Also as for the no prize Johnny Storm question I imagine he just has a fantasticar on hand at all times.

  39. George Berryman

    "Don’t be fooled by the variant cover showing a proud and confident Mary Jane on the front. She doesn’t appear in this issue. At all." Funny how Brevoort and others bemoan how popular MJ is with the fanbase, yet they will throw her on a variant cover just to try to gin up interest. @1 - "Seriously, if you’re going to have MJ be on an entire variant cover, you can’t at least have her show up for a panel or two?" The fewer chances Slott has to put words in MJ's mouth the better at this point.

  40. RDMacQ

    Seriously, if you're going to have MJ be on an entire variant cover, you can't at least have her show up for a panel or two?

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