Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #12 Review: AndrewRoebuck’s Take


ASM2014012-DC31-18391

Is there such a thing as to many Spider’s? HAS Spider-Verse finally gotten to the point where you start rooting for the exterminators, or are you still rooting for the ragtag group of web-headed wonders?

“Spider-Verse Part 4: Anywhere But Here”
WRITER: Dan Slott
PENCILER: Giuseppe Camuncoli
INKER: Cam Smith
COLORS: Justin Ponsor
LETTERS: Chris Elliopoulos
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Dewin Lewis
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Ellie Pyle
EDITOR: Nick Lowe

Plot: We begin our twisted tale precisely where we left off last issue. Solus has just absorbed Captain Unispidey and is bearing the brunt of a Spider-filled counter attack. Unfortunately for the Spider’s Solus is supercharged and is easily beating off any attempts to bring him down to size. Morlun taking advantage of the chaos manages to slip away with the scion aka Spider-Girl’s baby brother. When all hope seems to be lost the one, the only Amazing Spider-Man arrives with the assistance of the 70’s japanese Spider-Man and his giant robot. The robotASM2014012-int2-2-fee48 does battle with Solus as the rest of the Spider’s escape into a prehistoric version of New York. Meanwhile we see Silk arriving on a highly irradiated universe that the inheritors seems hesitant to travel to. As we do our due diligence to remind readers that they need to buy 5 other titles we see a series of events happening in the Spider-Verse offshoots. Spider-Woman has infiltrated Morlun’s inner circle and has a meeting with the master weaver who bequeaths upon her three scrolls which pertrain to the prophecies the inheritors seem so keen on stopping. Spider-Woman manages to transfer the scrolls to 616 Spider-Man. Miles Morales the Ultimate Spider-Man is riding in a living Spider-Mobile, and The Spider-Man 2099 dissection of Daemos is still dragging on. 616 Spider-Man and his ragtag Spider crew find themselves in imminent danger when they discover Jennix has been listening to all of their calls and has sicked Lady Verna out to dispatch them. Silk sends out a message to 616 Spider-Man telling him to make his way towards the earth she is on. Once the Spider-Men arrive they discover the earth is highly irradiated and they make their way towards the bunker Silk spent so much of her life in. Once they enter the bunker they find out another Spider-Totem has already taken up residence there, and it’s UNCLE BEN!

STORY: This may surprise people who have been reading my reviews but this issue is where I am finally starting to feel Spider-Verse fatigue. The fact that this issue is almost impossible to read as a stand alone story really hinders its appeal. Sure last issue had similar storytelling elements but it showcased more of a “beginning” of the other issues, and didn’t really require that you read EVERY other Spider-Verse related issue. The fact that you need to read: Spider-Verse Team-Up, Spider-Man 2099, and Spider-Woman to even get a basic understanding of each plot shows the weakness of the core issue. Another downside to this issue is that it seems to cover a lot of the same ground, I enjoy that the Spider-Men are continuously on the run, but it seems like only the fan favourites are living long enough to become characters. For example how is the robot Mech Spider-Man from Edge Of Spider-Verse even alive? At the end of his issue its heavily implied that he was straight up murdered by Morlun. He hasn’t been in any of the other stories from my memory, at least not as a main character and now he is just popping up front and centre. The master weaver also continues to be an annoyance as he MAKES NO SENSE. There is absolutely no reason why he should be able to be held up by handcuffs. We see him do crazy all powerful things, but suddenly he is unable to free himself from the simplest of devices.

All that being said the issue is not without its positives. The introduction of the 70s Spider-Man and his giant mech robot arriving to save the day was pretty great. It is a pity we didn’t actually get to see much of the robot in action, but his appearance was enjoyable nonetheless. Lady Verna is always a charm to see on page, and it was nice to see that the inheritors finally were shown to have a weakness to radiation. That being said wouldn’t that make all Spider totems toxic food? They suck out their energies which are entirely based on being bitten by radioactive spiders. It also took an extreme amount of radiation to take out Morlun the first time Spider-Man fought him which also took a lot of effect on Spider-Man himself. So if the radiation was high enough to make one of the inheritors pass out and nearly die it must have been an INSANE amount of radiation which would have made short work of all the spiders asides from the one in the protective mech suit. The end reveal of Uncle Ben works, but I have a feeling it may not be all its cracked up to be. We have a few possible scenarios. One its an older Peter Parker who eventually begins to resemble Uncle Ben keep in mind the world looks very desecrated and old. Either that or we may have a deeply unhinged crazy Uncle Ben from being locked up all alone on a world devoid of all human life. Think about it, this Ben sat in his bunker as the world went to hell around him. That’s not the Spider-Man or the Uncle Ben we know and love.

ASM2014012-int2-3-0859dAnother quick note and I know this is a point that can get rather beaten over the head in our Spider-Verse coverage, but this issue really didn’t feel like Spider-Girl’s characterization was on point. She has become a solely militaristic and rude character. Her lines now play out like they should be said by Superior Spider-Man. I guess we will have to wait and see how Tom Defalco writes her in his upcoming story as it may shed some light and bridge the gap between classic and current May.

Overall this isn’t an especially bad issue, but its a noticeable step down from what we’ve had come up before, and the storyline from here on out seems relatively self explanatory. The heroes seem all but defeated, so naturally its about time for them to take charge and have a come back.

ART: In previous issues of Spider-Verse this has been the deciding factor in grade for me. Spider-Verse has had some truly outstanding and amazing artwork thus far, and this issue was simply…serviceable. Don’t get me wrong the art is not bad in any way shape or form, it is however more like a routine Spider-Man story and doesn’t feel as special as the art had in previous issues. I do have to give major props for the Japanese Manga Spider-Man that looks like amazing classic newsprint style.

B-

(16) Comments

  1. Spec Spider Fan

    Categorically despise that the only way they could bring back May/Spider-Girl was destroying her life/family. Would rather her riding off in the sunset series conclusion that was so well done. Just sayin'

  2. Spec Spider Fan

    This circuitous, big event mass is why I haven't picked up a Spidey book in an age. Nice art, some cool characters but overreaches and just doesn't work for me. May await the hardcover trade, but more likely than not will give it a pass and see what this "renewed vows" arc brings in the summer.

  3. Javi Trujillo

    I think a good idea was raised. What if Slott tries to go all meta-Morrisonian and winds up being the deus ex machina in the final chapter of the story? Morlun comes to our Earth and finds a spidey tee adorned Slott with his totem level off the charts and Slott reverts everything back to normal, reviving all the slain Spideys with a key stroke on his laptop?

  4. George Berryman

    That's one warning for Brad Dee for throwing a personal insult at Slott and one warning for Mike for throwing one at Brad Dee. For the third (and final) time Mike, tone it down.

  5. Mike

    And with all the universe hopping, isn't TIME is being warped also? It could be that Morluns first three appearances were before his family got fed up and decided to go capture the master weaver. For the inheritors, centuries may have past between morluns encounters with spider-man and black panther, but time stays the same in all other universes. And maybe you're taking his shackles too seriously. They look as much like shackles as thord hammer looks like a hammer. They're obviously magic shackles. Wait a sec this way as well be an argument about smurf mating habits. This is supposed to be fun. This isn't groundbreaking best selling fiction here, it's comic books put out by disney. You can't be a princess movie reviewer and complain that the princess movie had too much princess and not enough hard boiled detective/crime drama.

  6. Mike

    @5 No it is not. Spider verse is stirring up the question even more. The Inheritors being after peter was a sure sign that peters magic origin was the default. But now after spider verse has revealved that the inheritors are heavily based on TECH, the question is again 100% up in the air again. Give the man some credit once in a fckn while. Sorry but this is rediculous. This is just a Slott hate message board.

  7. Mike

    Maybe the Mother went down because she wasn't exactly the same species as Solus is? @2 If calling the writer a fat man makes you feel better about helping the man sustain his career, go all the way. But I'm callin it. I think YOU'RE prolly fat too.

  8. Ryan3178

    @7 Exactly on all point! Why did the Master Weaver just snap the webs and kill all the Inheritors. He did it their mother to prove his point and yet they kept coming and all he had to do was go: "Oh, you think that was a warning?" Just snap Solus and the rest. He could always reweave the web and make the Inheritors be... nice if he can make slave Jessica.

  9. Stillanerd

    <blockquote>The master weaver also continues to be an annoyance as he MAKES NO SENSE. There is absolutely no reason why he should be able to be held up by handcuffs. We see him do crazy all powerful things, but suddenly he is unable to free himself from the simplest of devices. </blockquote> Exactly! After all, this is someone who we see can literally erase beings from existence and alter reality as he sees fit. So how is this guy still being enslaved by the Inheritors. Moreover, how was someone this powerful even captured by the Inheritors, because even though we saw them try to kill the Master Weaver in the back-up for Superior Spider-Man #33, we never actually saw HOW he was ultimately captured. @#6 BradDee -- Actually, it was explained in this issue. Because it was revealed by the literal deus ex machina known as the Master Weaver that he subtly altered the Web of Life and Destiny to allow for Morlun to have an alternate version of Jessica Drew as his handmaiden/concubine knowing that Peter would send the 616 Jessica on a covert mission to spy on the Inheritors, thereby allowing the 616 Jessica to take the evil Jessica's place and make her job easier--all so the Master Weaver could give her these magic scrolls he's had hidden-up his copper-plated ass for the last 10,000 years or so which literally contain "everything [the Spiders] needs to know" about how to stop the Inheritors. Is it a satisfactory explanation? Of course not, but an explanation all the same.

  10. BradDee

    @4 Morlun already had Jessica on his world as a servant pretty much so when the 616 Jessica popped there she literally took her place. Now, before you ask why Morlun would have a Spider-character as a servant....it was never explained. But, that's the story and Slott is sticking by it.

  11. Jack

    I also don't understand how they are ALL totems. A "totem" is a representative of some sort of unseen mystical being, a spirit of some kind. How is Spider-Woman a totem? Or Cyborg Spider-Man? Is this whole series putting a great big stamp of official approval on JMS' magical revision of the origin?

  12. tickbite

    Right now, it seems like the most interesting parts are happening somewhere other than Amazing. Every time something exciting happens, like Spider-Woman almost blowing her cover, I get a commercial telling me to buy the new Spider-Woman (or whatever) comic. I feel like at some point they must resume the regular program, but no ... just these ads for something called Spider-Verse. :-( PS: Can somebody explain to me how Morlun cannot sense that there is a totem in front of him? I haven't read the tie-ins, but maybe I just missed the moment where it was explained why Jessica can hide from him in plain sight.

  13. hello

    going back to ancient Persia to the modern day stories follow archs, sometimes people mix them up a bit but generally they all follow the same trail so much so that some people argue that in all human history there is only about 7 stories and everything since the epic of Gilgamesh is a rip off, and some people say thats a rip off of earlier stories. If that has merit then don't think it is a leveled criticism for it to be predictable that the hero's will win, because in stories thats what the hero does with some sacrifice, the hero wins, criticism is in how its told, how they got from the low point to victory.

  14. BradDee

    I'm not saying that this set has fallen off the wagon, but, this set has fallen off the wagon. Right now, it seems like Slott just wants to make sure the last 132 Spider-men that haven't appeared in the set appear in some way, shape or form. We got "Peter Parked Car" in this issue which made me literally cringe. The last 3 parts have been all the same in terms of plot. Spidey find a place they can stay. The Inheritors show up. Discussion of the crossovers happens(are you reading them??). Spider-verse spideys die by being eaten. Spidey gets upset and shows low self-esteem. Spidey gets a pep talk. Spidey sends the Spider-verse characters to a new universe they feel safe in. Shock ending. There's 2 more parts of this mess left and part 5 will have the same plot again. The panel with Uncle Ben made me laugh out loud cause of how stiff he looks. Horrible honestly. I know you gave this issue a B-, but I would only give it a C- the most. I am honestly rooting for the bad guys at this point to just kill as many as they can, and then travel to the Marvel offices and wipe Slott out also while he's wearing a Spider-man(size XXXXL) t-shirt.

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