Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #13 Review: AndrewRoebuck’s Take


ASM2014013-DC41-e58be

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, why are there so many damn Spider-Men? Can he carry his own series? Only with 5,000 tie-ins oooooh ooooh here comes the Spider-Verse

“Spider-Verse Part Five: Spider-Men: No More”
WRITER: Dan Slott
PENCILER: Giuseppe Camuncoli
INKER: Cam Smith
COLORS: Justin Ponsor
LETTERS: Chris Elliopoulos
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Devin Lewis
EDITOR: Nick Lowe

PLOT: The issue begins with the inheritors recapping everything that’s happening in those tie-in books you probably haven’t read. As the inheritors plead for forgiveness for all of their failures Solus appears un-phased stating that soon they can do the ceremony that will kill every Spider-Totem. From here we get the back story onASM2014013-int4-1-d2a05 ole Uncle Ben who had his Peter and May killed by his universe’s Green Goblin causing him to go into hiding while the world around him burned. Ben reveals that a crazed Otto Octavius was the reason for the world’s downfall. While the Spider’s attempt to deceiver the scrolls Silk slips away with Spider-Gwen in order to save Spider-Woman (who is being attacked by pirates on Loomworld). While Otto looks at the scrolls he discovers that Peter Parker Spider-Man is from the future and not the past. It is revealed that Spider-Girl from 616 can read the scrolls due to her totem powers. Spider-Man splits the teams into two sending one team to go and recruit Karn (reading Spider-Verse Team-Up #3), and the other half is going to do an assault on the inheritors. From the scrolls they discover that a ceremony must be done that sacrifices the scion, the bride, and the other in order to wipe out all of the Spider-Men. 616 Peter contacts Kaine advising him to stay out of Loomworld so they cannot complete the ceremony. Kaine shrugs off Peter’s request due to the death of Ben Reilly (in Scarlet Spider’s #3) and goes full out Spider-God mode on the inheritors. Kaine manages to lay a killing blow on Solus (they cannot be revived due to Ben Reilly blowing up the inheritors cloning facility), and an angry Morlun apparently kills Kaine bringing his body up in order to commence the ceremony. Back in the bunker 616 Peter notices that Silk is missing and discovers she is on Loomworld. Silk is comfronted by Lady Verna and her army of Goblins. 616 Peter calls everyone, and before they leave to the final battle a rousing speech from the Superior Spider-Man is made in order to get Uncle Ben back on his feet in order to commence the final battle.

STORY: This is the issue that proves above all else that if you want to understand Spider-Verse you need to read the rest of the miniseries associated with the event. If you are just reading Amazing Spider-Man you will be confused as hell reading this issue. The inheritors are talking about failures, and the last issue featured them with the Spider’s still on the ropes. Not to mention next issue when a reformed Karn comes out of nowhere in order to save the day. So in summation this issue has some great parts, and sections but you need the other issues in order to make the emotional beats work.

ASM2014013-int4-3-f313cFirst lets rattle off the amazing things about this issue. The realization that Otto Octavius is the Peter Parker of the past is really interesting, and kind of heartbreaking. This is the turning point for Otto, and I feel as if it makes the end of Superior resonate more. Otto now knows he is battling the one enemy he can’t defeat, time. This makes his speech at the end to Uncle Ben that much more moving, and inspiring. Otto’s insistence that you only need to win “once” is the tale of his life. Otto realizes that this is his one victory, he is living the reality of his only triumph and he is going to make it count. This is one of the many great speeches this issue has. The interaction between Spider-Man india, and Spider-Man UK is fantastic it really sheds a light on two characters who we may never see again after Spider-Verse.

Silk is interesting in this issue as it seems she has found her own little group of Spider-Pals within the larger scope of Spider-Verse. The only issue is that she may never have these characters to bounce off of in the future. Who else but our beloved Spider-Gwen can say all the things that we’ve been preaching about Silk these past few issues. It was also nice to see Spider-Girl of the 616 have some use other than being there for the sake of being there. It would be interesting to see if this is her only moment in the series, as there doesn’t seem to be much else she would be able to do.

Now the bad. Okay so Solus can take on CAPTAIN FREAKING UNIVERSE but he gets taken out in one shotASM2014013-int4-2-4be0c by the Other. HOW INSANELY POWERFUL IS THE OTHER? Apparently not much because Morlun then takes out the Other with ease. It is certainly surprising but it really confuses the power levels of the inheritor family. If Morlun can defeat the Other who defeated Solus does that mean it would be theoretically possible for Morlun to have absorbed the energies of Captain Uni-Spidey we may never know. Moreover why is the scene where the Spider-Friends recruit Karn not in this issue? It seems like this has to be the biggest redemption arc in the Spider-Verse series and they shuffled off its beginning into Spider-Verse Team-Up #3. Also the prophecy for the inheritors doesn’t make a lot of sense. The prophecy says that they must destroy all of the spiders with a ceremony in order to stop the spiders from overthrowing their empire. Yet its been stated time, and time again that they need the spiders in order to feast upon them. So their goal is to completely eliminate their food source? It also makes absolutely no sense for the prophecy to have a timeline, since when Anya read it she states the Spider’s will kill the inheritors in a thousand years. A THOUSAND YEARS FROM WHAT? They have the ability to jump through time and space, they are like a bunch of evil Victorian Doctor Who’s time should have no bearing on them whatsoever.

Overall a fun issue that fits well into the story as a whole, but make sure you read everything else in order to full understand what is happening. My prediction for next issue is that Morlun puts on a Spider-Suit at some point in order to have a big final showdown with our Peter Parker.

ART: Enjoyable art that again has some fun little details that flesh out the characters. For example the earrings on Spider-Man India.

B

(11) Comments

  1. RDMacQ

    @#9- We really don't know Slott's standing with the company. It's not like Marvel is going to come out and say they are displeased with him. I've been speaking with someone else regarding this, and when you think about it, Slott has been relying far too much upon a support writer despite the fact that he has a significantly reduced workload compared to other writers who not only write more Marvel books than Slott does, but also write other non-Marvel work and operate in other capacities within the company. Slott JUST had ASM for the longest time, and STILL couldn't meet his deadlines without having to bring in Christos Gage to finish up his scripts. That might not go down well with other departments in the company. If you'll notice, that practice has stopped now that Lowe is the editor on the books. In regards to not being replaced, again we have to remember two things. One is that the Spider-Offices are their own department. They can tie into the other series, and may have to be affected by line wide events to keep consistency within the company. But that doesn't mean they are subject to the same creative directives that other departments go through. The Marvel NOW initiative was more of an Avengers centric event, more focused on those titles than any others. The X-Books also didn't seem to be all that affected by it. It could be less that Slott is a "company favorite" and more that they could market the Superior direction as tangentially tying into that company wide marketing push. And again in regards to his standing with the company, Slott wasn't part of the "Architects" branding that was touted a few years ago. One would think that, if Slott was that important in the grand scheme of things, he'd be a part of that. But he wasn't. At the end of the day, Slott is a freelance writer. Bigger creators have been removed from bigger titles, or left altogether either of their own accord or being forced out. Chris Claremont left the X-Men after 17 years because he didn't want to go in the direction editorial wanted. Peter David left the Incredible Hulk because he didn't want to go in the direction they wanted. And other simply have decided to move on. Again, we assume Slott is locked in, will never leave, and because he got "Good sales" that he is immoveable because of that, and will ONLY go away once the sales start to dip. But good sales didn't prevent something like OMD from coming to pass. Bad sales didn't reverse the story direction of BND. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding who stays and who goes. Sure, Slott got good sales with Superior and with ASM#1. Or they could look at it that it was marketed well, which is certainly reinforced with the strong sales of Star Wars #1, which had NO story buzz on it. Marvel could decide "Well, he got us good sales with Superior. We can't just replace him." Or they could be thinking "Well, he's been on the title almost a decade, and while sales are good, the reviews aren't and we are getting a lot more complaints than normal. I think it's time for a change in direction." Just from a general impression, it feels like we are closer to the end of Slott's run than we ever have been before. I wouldn't be surprised if his last story on the title happens around January to March of 2016, in time for another relaunch of the series.

  2. Chasing Amazing

    @8 I get what you mean, but I think editorially, Marvel really loves Slott. He's a company-guy and when they shook everyone up for Marvel Now, he was the ONLY writer that got to stay in the franchise he was currently writing. That, and Slott has made it plainly clear that they're going to have to pry Spider-Man away from his cold dead hands. I don't see him losing interest or relinquishing. Yeah, things could always change, and never say never, but between the fact that the book is selling well and Slott never seems to be butting heads with editorial (like JMS clearly did many times over), I don't expect anything to change. When you add in that people outside of our respective echo chambers seem to love what Slott is doing, and that makes it even more unlikely. In terms of writers to take over, I know arrangements can be made but I guess what I meant is I just don't see someone in the stable that I think would offer much better. ASM is a flagship title so they're going to want to be a big gun on the book, which means someone who I believe has a good grasp on the character like a Spencer or Kevin Shinick isn't going to get it, while the other big guns either don't interest me or don't inspire confidence. I'm not a huge fan of Jason Aaron and I haven't read enough of Gillen to form an opinion. I know Mark Waid's name gets thrown out there, but outside of a few great stories, don't know if he's an improvement over Slott. I think Spidey is a tough character to write because you need to work in the humor (but not making it goofy) while also emphasizing his noble heroic side. I feel over the past 10 years we've either gotten goofball Spidey or super serious no fun Spidey (which, despite some people saying otherwise, was what we got in the last year or so of JMS). Anyway, appreciate your feedback as always here and on Chasing.

  3. RDMacQ

    @#7- The book "selling" is not a guarantee of a writer leaving or being removed. JMS' Spider-Man sales were consistently high, but he wasn't removed because sales started to dip, but because the book was going to be relaunched and they wanted a different set of writers on the title. Plans to replace him were well underway several years before it was decided that it was time for him to leave, and still during a time when he was getting remarkably good numbers. So just because sales are good it doesn't mean that Slott is immune to being removed from the title. He may have decided to leave by a certain point anyway, deciding he's told all the stories he wants to tell with the series. And even if he wants to stick around, the "good sales" might not prevent him from being replaced. Heck, bad sales didn't prevent him from being removed from BND or even during Big Time. Just because Superior managed to sell well and AMS#1 got great sales it doesn't mean that Slott has become immune to editorial influence, any more than Star Wars #1 getting good sales mean Jason Aaron is untouchable. It might not seem there is anyone to replace Slott now given the busy schedule, but if the editors want it, they'll give the writers they want enough time to clear up their schedule to have room for a Spider-Man title. Look at Jason Aaron with Star Wars and Kieron Gillen with Darth Vader. They were told almost a year before the titles came out that they were going to be working on them, so they had time to wrap things up. So, if the editors know that they will want a reboot of the series around ASM #31 or 32, for example, or that they are planning a relaunch of the series for next March, then that gives writers they want to come onto the title plenty of time to wrap things up and start working on the comics.

  4. Chasing Amazing

    @BD I would say considering how I haven't enjoyed this book since "Goblin Nation" that yes, it's time for a change. Unfortunately, the book sells and people seem to love it. I think the readers of our respective sites have recognized the flaws of Slott's writing over the past year, but anytime I try to carry that conversation beyond our own echo chambers, it's met with hostility because people think the book has never been better. So with all that in mind, I don't see anything changing. That and I don't know who Marvel has in their stable that I think would be all that better. Matt Fraction would probably start out great but the book would start missing deadlines and the quality will suffer. Peter David is great but I mean, I don't know if going back to the past is really what this book needs right now. Maybe if Nick Spencer continues to turn heads (Ant-Man #1 was great and we all know how great Superior Foes was), he can eventually assume the title.

  5. Andrew C

    @5 This isn't a knock against (other) Andrew, but I just don't understand the appeal of this arc. And this isn't about me being a Slott hater, either. I enjoyed 'Superior Spider-Man.' But this Spider-Verse is more bloated and convoluted and non-grounded than anything that came out of the much maligned 90's. Like I said above, this mess makes the clone-saga seem straight-forward. The main problem is this is not a Spidey story. I feel like I'm watching some overly crowded DragonballZ anime or something. I know it's been a verrrrry looong time since Spidey stories were considered street-level or grounded, but why do we need these constant, universe-in-the-balance events? Why can't we just have stories like Spidey taking down the Juggernaut, or saving a train full of passengers? Something that hinges on characterization and not ….. whatever this is….. I don't even know how to define it….. It's ironic that a storyline called Spider-Verse has so little to do with the spirit of the Spider-Man comics. But yes, it's really time for Slott to go. A spider-writer hasn't overstayed his welcome this much since Howard Mackie.

  6. AndrewRoebuck - Post author

    @3 I think that if you have the time and money to invest in every section of Spider-Verse there are some really great stories. However most of these stories are ons that are more disconnected from the event itself. For example I throughly enjoyed both issues of just Spider-Verse, Edge Of Spider-Verse was great, and Spider-Verse Team-Up are for me the best things to come out of this event. As for the Amazing Spider-Man issues themselves my enjoyment of it has waned from my initial enjoyment, and its true they cannot be read as stand alones at all. Still in my opinion as a part of a larger narrative they have enough quality in them for me to not feel like I've wasted my time. But that's just my view, and I can totally understand you viewpoint. I really hope this is Slott's swansong and we get someone new.

  7. BD

    @Chasing Amazing, Since you're not a fan of this arc, are you wanting some new blood on the title? Do you think it's time for Slott to step down?

  8. Chasing Amazing

    I've been one of the biggest Slott defenders on the internet and have even argued as much with reviewers on this site when I thought they were unfairly crapping on Superior, but "Spider-Verse" is a bloated mess and the sooner it ends the better. No action, no character, no emotion, no pathos. Just gimmicks and shiny objects meant to distract from the fact that there is no "there" there. I hear a lot of people say this event is "fun" and therefore a good read, but I don't see what's fun about a bunch of people standing around waiting to get their butts kicked, talking about strategy and having to recruit new people every issue. Peter is so far away from the action at this point, I don't even know why he's in this story, and even the characters that Slott has put the focus on are so inconsistently written that it's hard to feel any kind of emotional connection to this story. I really don't care what happens next and find myself buying this book out of habit more than need to read it.

  9. AndrewC

    This dumb story is so convoluted and overstuffed it makes the clone-saga look straightforward and simple.

  10. Shaun Martineau

    I found this review really spot on. The weight of the pros outweighed the abundance of cons and I'm really loving the Spider-Female team up and it makes me really sad they'll be operating in their own corners post SV (though hopefully we can see some sort of Secret Wars crossover between the 3)

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