Amazing Spider-Man #3 Review: AndrewRoebuck’s Take

ASM3The issue that will cause Black Cat fans to grab tissues. With a brand new costume, and a villainous objective will this new route for this classic Spider-Man romance work?

WRITER: Dan Slott
PENCILER: Humbero Ramos
INKS: Victor Olazaba
COLORS: Edgar Delgado
LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos
EDITOR: Nick Lowe

PLOT: As par for the course we start out the issue by yet again checking in with our mysterious Spider-lady. We learn that she has been locked away from her family for years, and now intends to get out. We finally get her name which is Cindy, and we learn who it is that put her away for all these years…EZEKIEL. From here we get to the bulk of the story with Black Cat. She is showing off her snazzy new costume, and proceeds to break into a penthouse to steal wine and caviar. Felicia further pontificates that she intends to watch Spider-Man squirm. Next we check in with Electro who is still suffering trauma from his bout of mind control during the superior era. He wakes up in fright and starts a mighty fire in an abandoned building. The last story thread we begin to weave is that of our hero Peter Parker. Peter is still attempting to win over the hearts of his employee’s after Doctor Octopus scared the heebie jeebies outta them. He invites few choice employee’s to help him track down Electro so he can cure him. Anna Maria and Sajani try to convince him the folly of this situation, Peter of course shoots them down and begins his journey. Anna Maria tells Sajani she can finish the nanotech that Peter has abandoned.

Now we weave all of these disparate story threads together. Peter and the gang meet up at Electro’s building fire, who haselectro1 Pedro combatting it with his firefighting team. Peter, and Pedro team up to save the trapped homeless people in the building. All seems to be going well until Pedro makes a wrong step and nearly falls into the fire. Black Cat comes out amongst the rubble revealing that she was the cause of Pedro’s ill luck. Spider-Man, and Black Cat duke it out. Felicia has not a care in the world who it was in Peter’s mind at the time of her arrest, she declares her intent to send a message. Peter psyches her out by doing his best Doc Ock impression, which scares her off. Peter rescues Pedro, Pedro reunites with Mary Jane, and Black Cat meets Electro with the intent of teaming up. Oh and J. Jonah Jameson gets hired by the “Fact” network to be an on air personality.

STORY: This is a fantastic issue, that has some interesting developments that make me really excited to read future issues. First of all unlike Superior Spider-Man #20 this issue actually has the Black Cat in it, and has her doing new and exciting things. Personality wise the Black Cat seems to have reverted back to her late 80’s, and early 90’s personality but ramped up in the anger department. She is less playing coy, and more playing kill. Unfortunately she seems to have the same opinion that every female has had in this book post-superior which is “I DON’T CARE IF IT WASN’T YOU”. They don’t have any trouble believing the mind swap but they don’t think it matters regarding his actions. Mary Jane had this same exact sentiment in Superior #31. It’s forgivable, but regrettable. The best part about her appearance is the new costume. I adore this costume to the nth degree: the fur lining, the awesome eyes, and that weird butt belt. Yes you read that right BUTT BELT…look at the artwork that belt is only ever around her butt, how is that comfortable?

As far as the revelation that Silk has a connection to Ezekiel I’m a big fan of that. Ezekiel was an interesting character introduced by JMS in his Amazing Spider-Man run. He has all the powers of Spider-Man but chose to become a wealthy businessman. I suppose I should have seen this reveal coming with the fact that Morlun is coming back, but nonetheless it surprised me. Perhaps this is the answer to the question people were asking from the previews a few months back in which they touted the surprise return of a particular character.

blackcat1The Otto Octavius fake-out was an enjoyable addition at well, at first I half suspected that Doc Ock really was back, but then I remembered Dan Slott hadn’t tweeted yet saying it was “THE GREATEST SPIDER-MAN ISSUE EVER” so I knew it was a fake out. As for Jolly Jonah being given the reigns to a TV station I feel like this could turn into a mind numbing parody of Bill O’Rielly or something of that nature. It also seems just a little bit too similar to Jonah’s role in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon.

ART:  I am surprised by how easily this book’s artwork won me over. I really enjoyed all of the art for the costumes, and environments. I particularly adored the fight with The Black Cat in the burning building. It looked outstanding to see the flames consume them during the fight, absolutely beautiful artwork. Also a lot of nice background work, with little details such as the repairs of the P in Parker Industries, and the code we see Silk entering during the Ezekiel segment “616” the commonly used universe number ascribed to the mainstream marvel universe.

ODDITIES: The butt belt? Why have the code 616 a mere reference or a deeper meaning? The Fact Channel is bound to be up to something more than just Jameson’s new employer, where did they come from? Who was their benefactor? What are there goals?

BEST BACKGROUND CHARACTER: Pedro, I am really enjoying this character. He seems like a legitimately good guy, who works well with Mary Jane. Mary Jane may not be written super well as of late but at least she has a decent boyfriend.



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(20) Comments

  1. Deana

    The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of a better life danced in their heads. Drew stayed there a little longer, so this fan came running up to our publicist and said 'Well, where's Jonathan'. "What you be doin' here, Doctor, I ain't starting no trouble on your account.

  2. Al

    @#13-Yeah but Felicia dating Flash to get back at Peter in the early 90s was IN CHARACTER and perfectly rationale for her back in those days and was part of an arc where she softened up and became nicer out of it (plus it was done because she LOVED Spider-Man). This Felicia should still be nice after that. Also intending to break someone’s heart isn’t as bad as physical assault and attempted murder. It wasn’t

  3. Sbee

    Does mr. Slott hate women? You would think so the way he writes two of the biggest female characters in spider-mans history. Is his goal to try to make us hate them like he obviously does so that we can consider Peter never having any kind of relationship with them. Besides anna who I have no interest in (surprise) every important female character acts unrationally and unfavorably.

  4. Scarlet Spider

    @16 - I haven't been following Original Sin and I'm dropping ASM until Spider-Verse so I won't know how well the tie-in works. But the Spider-Man event tie-ins have always been pretty poor quality, so I wouldn't hold out much hope for a great tie-in. I think the problem is that Spidey isn't Marvel's most marketable character anymore, that spot now belongs to Iron Man or possibly Deadpool. The extended period of poor storytelling and dumb editorial decisions pushed a lot of comic readers away from Spidey and, in my opinion, it's gonna take an a really high quality run (and a new writer) to bring them back. Though the recent sales spike that ASM has been experiencing could be a sign of his returning popularity, or it could be because of the 50+ variants that ASM #1 had.......

  5. QuilSniv

    @15- I guess we'll never know, since Slott'll probably brush over the Original Sin story arc, and not let people who aren't following the story get invested into Peter's involvement in the event. I get that he has all this other stuff going on, including the Spider-Verse event, but they're advertising Original Sin like crazy. And not crossing over that much with Spider-Man, your most marketable character along with Iron Man, is a waste of potential, even though they'd screw it up anyways.

  6. Scarlet Spider

    @10 - Haha. The real sin here is Slott's terrible portrayals of MJ and Black Cat.

  7. cubman987

    Like others, I enjoyed this issue quite a bit except I think Slott has gone a little too far with Black Cat. I know she's been a bit erratic in the past but I think this is too far.

  8. AndrewRoebuck - Post author

    @6 I think in MJ's case her blaming Peter about Spock is a blend up of a lot of issues. It wasn't handled perfectly, but it hasn't turned her into a "harpy" imho. As for The Black Cat point...fair enough to each his own. I forgave it because it was a single line in the story, and not really her primary motivation..she is just super angry about losing all of her stolen goods. No one is really talking about her characterization in the early 90s. Remember when Felecia was dating Flash only as a means of getting back at Peter? She has acted plenty irrationally before so her having a brief stint as a VILLAIN VILLAIN is understandable at least in this issue. I'm not a huge fan of her teaming up with Electro as it seems like one step too far for her. Anyways I'm loving the split, and debate on this one! Some have some strong negative opinions on this one, some really enjoy it. So good points everyone!

  9. Stillanerd

    Yeah, I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with those who say that both MJ and Black Cat's developments have been downright awful. However, I do agree that the information we got about Silk and her possible connection with Ezekiel is potentially intriguing. And I also liked the new subplot involving Anna Maria apparently going to develop Doc Ock's nano-machine's behind Peter's back. Anyways, great review as always, Andrew.

  10. Big John

    I liked the Ezekiel mention, but HATED the Black Cat arc (another character Slott should not be allowed to write). We need a new writer on this title.

  11. Daniel

    Throughout Slott's run characters have acted unrealistically simply to allow him to have whatever silly plot he want go ahead. It's lazy, weak writing and just takes you out of it completely. Comic books have crazy things happen, that's fine but at least let the characters act believably and rationally so it doesn't just come across as stupid.

  12. Shaun Martineau

    I'm right there with you on like every note. Love the costume, loved the art, loved the developments, excited to see an Ezikel mention... I've never been a huge fan of Slott's, but he's doing solid work with the ol' Web-head right now.

  13. RDMacQ

    I don't think for a second that Felicia or MJ mad at Peter for something that wasn't his fault is forgiveable. It's a completely irrational turn for the characters that railroads them into unlikeable harpies. If the entire reason they are mad at Peter is because of how he acted, then the fact that it wasn't him should end their grief. This is just the plot forcing the characters into an antagonistic role for no other reason than the plot says so, and it damages great characters for no good reason.

  14. Scarlet Spider

    Dropping this book. It's boring as sin. At least most of the other Spider-titles are currently having good runs.

  15. Daniel

    Honestly, I am really tired of Slott's style of writing and really wish a new writer had been given a chance to take over the book at the reboot. The combination of Ramos' art just makes it all seem really childish and I am not enjoying it.

  16. QuilSniv

    Also, is it bad that I hate having to clarify between the original Spider-Man issues and the 2014 reboot of the series?

  17. QuilSniv

    I got this issue, and about time. It's been pushed back a lot, and I'm curious as to why we're only getting one issue a month. But for what we're getting, I really did like this issue, especially the artwork, which I know people will kill me over. Except for Jameson's creepy rant. In those panels, he looks like he's getting ripped apart and going insane at the same time. Great review anyways, as always, Andrew!

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