Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #17 Review: Stillanerd’s Take

AmazingSpider-Man(2014)#17--cover“…Parker Industries is a joke!”

So last issue, Spidey teamed-up with Daredevil against the Circus of Crime. This time around, he’s face-to-face with the Ghost!

Oops…that was the wrong Amazing Spider-Man #16.  Spidey already faced the Ghost in that issue.  No, wait a minute! He’s up against the Ghost this one, right? Crap, this is embarrassing. Um…April Fools?!

“The Graveyard Shift, Part Two: Trust Issues”
“Repossession, Part Two: No Take Backsies”

WRITERS: Dan Slott & Christos Gage
PENCILER: Humberto Ramos
INKER: Victor Olazaba
COLORS: Edgar Delgado
LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos
COVER ARTISTS: Humberto Ramos & Edgar Delgado
EDITOR: Nick Lowe

STORY #1: Peter and Anna Maria are having dinner at Aunt May and Jay Jameson’s apartment, when Aunt May asks Peter that, since he and Anna Maria are living together, when they’re going to get married. Peter tries to think of an explanation without revealing how Doc Ock took over his body, but Anna Maria comes right out and says she and Peter had an amicable break-up, and that she’s only staying with Peter because working at Parker Industries hasn’t given her enough time to find a new place—basically telling Aunt May truth but omitting everything about Spider-Man and Doc Ock. And much to Peter’s surprise, it works! After dinner, Anna Maria also comes up with ways Peter can take her back to Parker Industries as Spider-Man without blowing his secret identity, adding that no one really believed Peter’s press conference that he was “no longer Spider-Man’s tech supplier” anyway.

Back at Parker Industries, Sajani Jaffrey is still railing against Peter’s super-villain prison concept, while Clayton Cole (the former bad guy, Clash, from “Learning to Crawl”), defends it. Peter and Anna Maria arrive and the entire Parker Industries staff proceeds to do a trial run of their super-villain containment system. Unbeknownst to them, however, the Ghost has broken into the facility and, after killing a security guard, hacks into the building mainframe and uses the super-villain security measures to attack the Parker Industries staff while also putting the building into lock-down. Peter, with the help of Anna Maria, the Living Brain, and the secret use of his spider-powers, is able to get his staff to safety, leading them to his secret door he uses when he needs to be Spider-Man. Sajani, however, has secretly slipped away from the rest of the group and manages to find Ghost. She then proceeds to make him a deal—spare everyone’s life and leave the other projects alone and she’ll tell him the fastest way to destroy Peter’s super-villain prison. Ghost compliments Sajani on her being a smart and ruthless negotiator, but tells her he doesn’t sabotage corporations for the money but because he hates them. So just as Spidey is about to come to the rescue, Ghost uses his phasing powers to stab Sajani in the chest.

STORY #2: Regina Venderkamp, the blond woman who was buying Felicia Hardy’s property at the auction last issue, is showing off the Renoir she bought and donated to a museum when the lights go out. When they come back on, the painting is gone and the words “Mine” are scratched on the wall in its place. Regina returns to her penthouse vowing revenge only to find the Black Cat has also stolen back everything Regina bought at the auction. Regina and her security team run upstairs and find Black Cat waiting for them. Using her luck powers, Black Cat takes out the guards and, with her poison-tipped dart claws, tranquilizes Regina. When Regina comes too, she’s tied-up at Black Cat’s casino in her storage room. Black Cat overlooks all of her possessions and notes there’s just one item missing. We then go to the apartment of Aunt May and Jay Jameson and see that they bought from the auction an abstract sculpture for the mantel. Yet as the couple relaxes on the sofa to watch a movie, Black Cat is outside their window, ready to break-in.

AmazingSpider-Man(2014)#17--p3THOUGHTS: One of the aspects which has set Spider-Man apart from other superheroes is that he has one of the most in-depth and diverse supporting cast of characters in comics, many of whom whose lives seem to have just as much importance as Peter Parker himself. The women in Peter’s life both in and out of costume are especially significant, and just as he did in the last issue, Dan Slott has them be the driving force in the overall narrative. Yet just as it also was the case in the last issue, your mileage may vary when it comes to the way Slott depicts those female characters.

Take for example Anna Maria Marconi as Slott continues to show why she’s been one of the better additions to the supporting cast during his tenure. While she does play a similar role as Mary Jane Watson and (as Slott tried to do with) Carlie Cooper of being Peter’s confidant, there are notable differences when it comes to Anna Maria. First, because she was created to be Doctor Octopus’ love interest in Superior Spider-Man, Anna Maria has no romantic interest in him whatsoever; this allows for a more unique and refreshing angle in that Peter is friends and colleagues with a woman who knows his secret identity yet technically never had or sought a relationship with him. Second, Anna Maria’s method for protecting Peter’s secret identity by being upfront and honest about everything else is shown to be an effective tactic in creating “plausible deniability.” The result is not only giving Slott a running gag, but also the means to highlight Anna Maria’s intellect and ability to think fast under pressure. The only downside is it also makes Peter, at least at the beginning of the comic, come across like a bumbling fool as he tries to over-think his way into an excuse, and makes you wonder why, after all his years of being Spider-Man, he never once thought to try Anna Maria’s methods. Finally, in spite of Anna Maria’s belief that “it’s better to be transparent,” she herself is keeping secret her work on Doc Ock’s nano-tech project from Peter. Thus, instead of Peter potentially endangering and ruining friendships and relationships because of his double life, events are in motion for Anna Maria potentially ruining her friendship with Peter because she doesn’t trust him enough as he does with her. If one could award an MVP to fictional characters, it would go to Anna Maria Marconi without question.

AmazingSpider-Man(2014)#17--p13The same however cannot be said about Slott’s other new female supporting character, Sajani Jaffrey. It’s obvious Slott wanted another foil for Peter in the mold of J. Jonah Jameson or Flash Thompson, but at least Jonah and Flash have some redeeming even admirable qualities. Sajani has none. Once again, her reasons for opposing Peter’s super-villain prison changes on a whim (this time it’s because if a villain breaks out, it makes the company “a joke”) and the result is making her come across as though she’s just looking for any excuse to badmouth Peter for no other reason than the sake of the plot and set up her eventual comeuppance–especially once Clayton Cole points out he used to be one of the “lunatic psychopaths” who Peter was willing give a second chance. Also, just like she did with the Black Cat back in Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #6, she tries to strike a deal with the Ghost in helping to destroy Peter’s super-villain project under the belief it will save Parker Industries from financial ruin. With the Ghost turning down her offer and about to kill her, it’s now clear Slott has prepared Sajani all along to be undone by her own self-importance and prejudice. Yet because Slott made her so unsympathetic, the cliffhanger for the first story fails because you don’t care at all whether she lives or dies. Even what Slott does attempt to inject her with some redeemable qualities, it’s little too late. After all, was she asking Ghost to spare the lives of the other employees out of concern for their safety, or since she also wanted the projects to be spared along with them, she was more concerned about the loss of the company and her future in it?

And then there’s the continuing disintegration of the Black Cat. This time her back-up story isn’t as egregious as it was in the last issue or in her past appearances over the course of the relaunch since Slott has Felicia do what she does best: stealing valuables with style and kicking ass. Only the idea of her stealing back the very stuff she had stolen over years of being a thief makes her out to be petty because, once again, her entire motive in wanting to rebuild her life after SpOck “ruined” it wasn’t believable to begin with. Also, whatever time Slott has devoted to this Regina Vendercamp via flashbacks showing how she was jealous over Felicia comes off as a complete waste since the Black Cat takes her down with ease. Moreover, given how the cliffhanger to this Black Cat’s story has her about to break-into the home of Aunt May and Jay Jameson, it appears Slott is setting the stage for some potential tragedy involving someone Peter cares about that he’ll believe he could’ve prevented. Why else have Spidey allow for Felicia to get away way back in Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #3 and #6? Why else have Aunt May and Jay buy that ugly silver centerpiece that used to belong to the Black Cat? And why else would Slott keep reiterating how Felicia’s bad luck powers become stronger the more ruthless she becomes?

AmazingSpider-Man(2014)#17--p20I admit I’m not very good when it comes to predicting the outcome of stories, but my gut is telling me that Black Cat robbing Aunt May and Jay could result in Jay being critically wounded due to Black Cat’s bad luck powers, thus making her feel guilty because Jay will remind her of her dad, Walter Hardy, and also make Peter guilty because he let his feelings for her get in the way of stopping a criminal. This could also be the thing which helps to further precipitate the inevitable collapse of Parker Industries since Jay is one the top shareholders in the company. It would also be the last bridge connecting both stories, with the twist being that rather the Ghost and Alchemax being what brings down Parker Industries, it’s the Black Cat and her need to “steal back her life” which indirectly causes this. Though with Secret Wars on the horizon and Amazing Spider-Man to take a hiatus due to the upcomingAmazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, the question is whether Slott will even head in this direction or, if he does, even follow it up.

As for the other villain in this issue, while the Ghost is an proper choice given his stance against corporations and, due to Humberto Ramos art, makes for a creepy visual, he felt rather pedestrian as a threat. Maybe because of him being an Iron Man he makes for a better antagonist for someone like Tony Stark than he does Peter Parker. It’s one more reason Peter being the CEO of his own company feels out-of-place and, if the solicits and covers are to be believed, why Slott and Marvel appear to be getting rid of Parker Industries.

Speaking of Ramos, my qualms about his overall style remain unchained. This time around, with the Ghost’s hijacking Peter’s own security measures for his super-villain prison against him, the story allows him to use his strengths, which is depicting action on the panel. However, due to Edgar Delgado choice of color for the “hard light smart walls,” many of the panels are portrayed in very bright but harsh oranges and reds, giving the impression that the lab was on fire and difficult to distinguish between them and any explosions on panel. What’s more, Ramos continues to display some rather baffling choices when it comes to depicting a sense of proportion as once again characters, especially Anna Maria, seem to change size and shape in each scene. There’s only so much enlarged grimaces, expanding foreheads and noses, and shriveled and spindly legs one can endure, and at this point, saying Ramos’ art distracts and takes one out of the story would feel redundant as it is self-evident.

Once again, this is a comic that’s “okay, but not great,” which also feels as though it’s killing time in-between events even though it’s intended to advance the current status quo in important ways. It’s also at a huge disadvantage in light of Secret Wars since whatever developments do result from this story we have no reassurance how many of them will stick or even be addressed in the future. Whatever happens in the next and presumably last issue of The Amazing Spider-Man when Renew Your Vows temporarily takes it’s place, it won’t result in dangling plot threads left in limbo.



  • “You landed a good one, Jay.” And thus Peter in a single phrase proves he has zero taste when it comes to art or sculpture just like his step-uncle. Because it certainly doesn’t look all that attractive a centerpiece. Maybe it’s supposed to be symbolic because it looks like it has a cat-head with very large “ears,” but that could be because it used to belong to Felicia. Either that or someone is bound to get stabbed with it.
  • Oh, I see what you did there, Slott and Ramos. You’ve got Spidey swinging with Anna Maria in front of a billboard with Mary Jane, and there’s a “no left turn sign” that appears to be pointing right at her under a traffic light post that appears to be in the shape of a cross? As if to say her and Peter being married is off limits, even though we’re going to have an upcoming story showing them as a married couple? How clever! Still, there’s also that other street sign with the arrow pointing directly at her and you can just make out the word “only” so maybe we’re getting some mixed messages here?
  • Also, since when did MJ return to being a model? Doesn’t she have her own bar and nightclub to run?
  • “Super villains break out. That’s what they do!” It’s funny how Sajani’s statement can be both correct and yet ridiculous at the same time, isn’t it? Because while, as readers, we see the correctional facilities in the Marvel Universe as a joke because the super villains do constantly break-out of them, did any of the people in the Marvel Universe actually regard those facilities as a joke like Sajani thinks will happen to Parker Industries. I don’t think anyone was laughing at Tony Stark’s Negative Zone prison during Civil War, for example.
  • Oh, hello anonymous, generic security guard who we’ve just now been introduced to only to get killed off one page later. Did Sajani call you Clayton by mistake? Or was Sajani supposed to be talking with the real Clayton and apologizing for the interruption. Because the way Sajani says “Yes! Sorry, Clayton. Pressing security issue here…again…” it could have meant either one.
  • Hey, Anna Maria. I know you’re a smart gal, but there’s this cutting-edge technology that’s been out on the market for a several years called a “usb drive.” Some of them are capable of storing up to hundreds of gigabytes worth of data at a time. Best of all, they’re small enough to fit inside a pocket, making them easier to hide and thus far more convenient and practical for storing whatever information you want to keep safe and out of Peter’s prying eyes than say…I don’t know…A bulky green robot!
  • So if the Living Brain can bust down walls by analyzing their weak points, then doesn’t that also mean the Parker Industries staff don’t actually need to use doors, much less secret ones that are “not linked to the main system” to escape? Or better yet, why not just use his strength to pry open the doors? And what kind of supposed high-tech facility doesn’t have a manual override on their exits? Way to meet those fire and safety codes on your building there, Pete?
  • “It’s the Black Cat all over again.” Yeah, and whose fault was it that the Black Cat was able to sabotage Peter’s last project ( in that instance the Electro cage), used against Parker Industries employees and endangered their lives, Sajani?  Here’s a hint: look in a mirror. 
  • “That was the scream of someone staring death right in the face!” You mean, the scream of someone being killed, Pete? Looks like you’re having a dash of purple in your narrative prose.
  • And as though we need more irony about Peter and MJ’s retconned marital status, we’ve got Aunt May’s comment about how she’s “about to give up on ever seeing [Peter] married before [she dies].” Because you know, Peter used to be married and is about to be married yet again, get it? Get it?!


(41) Comments

  1. Jason

    I'm surprised by the "C-" rating. I thought this was one of the better-written Spidey comics in quite a long time. It had personal drama, action, a plot twist, and a little suspense. The issue didn't feel rushed in term's of it's plot. And I kind of do care if Sajani lives or dies because I want to see how Peter reacts to her act of treason. As for the Ghost being a perfect villain...I don't really know much of The Ghost to say that.

  2. Frontier

    Y'know, I actually like Anna Maria but I agree that in this issue she really came off way too perfect and it came at the expense of Peter. But what doesn't these days when it comes to Slott's handling of him these days? Was Clayton really a "Lunatic psychopath" as Clash? Maybe a little violent and narcissistic, but compared to some of the other Supervillains in the MU he's pretty tame. Heck, once Spidey caught him in high school it seems like he quit his Supervillain career cold turkey aside from being a professional henchman. He probably didn't even go to a real prison, likely just juvie, considering his age. Honestly can't say I felt bad for Sajani at the end there, nor will I care one way or the other for her ultimate fate next issue. Which is bad handling of a supporting cast member in my opinion. At least back during Big Time she had the rest of the Horizon Labs team to balance her out.

  3. Magnetic Eye

    #39 - Yes I agree. That's what my sarcastic little comment at the end of my post was meant to imply. :-)

  4. RDMacQ

    @#36- Well, the main reason people might be buying the book is that they enjoy it. Simple as that. I mean, we might not enjoy it and want it to be better, but that doesn't mean that there aren't those that find it enjoyable for what it is.

  5. Magnetic Eye

    #36 Realspideyfan I guess some people want to keep their collection complete and so therefore continue buying even if the product is lacking in quality. It's an emotional attachment that can be hard to break. For me ASM #700 was the final straw that broke the camel's back after being disappointed in the title for some time. Some probably haven't read much Spider-Man beyond the last eight years, whilst others obviously like the flatulent juvenile storytelling of a pseudo writer. :-)

  6. Realspideyfan

    I have to ask what makes people buy this drivel in droves? Sorry to those who do buy it but I'm asking honestly not being sarcastic or mean. I mean after years I know a lot of them have noticed the deteriorating quality and still go out and buy it. When it's as bad as it is I really am befuddled at the sales it gets. the difference in quality is jarring in comparison to titles likes spidey 2099, scarlet spider and venom heck even the new .1 issue shows how much better the title can be.

  7. Wolfie Stickel

    As for MJ being a Model again, I was under the impression that she never stopped. Here in LA, actors own businesses but it doesn't put a halt on their previous line of work. Heidi Klum is still does ad campaigns but she is also a business woman. Many are like this so it's not inconceivable. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if MJ still did that "Project Runway-ish" show she was hosting before the nightclub gig. That TV gig was modeled after Heidi Klum's own Project Runway and that show is still going on strong on cable. --Wolfie

  8. Chase the Blues Away

    #33 Of course Lowe is going to promote the book and its writer. He likes getting paid. Publishing "yeah, I agree with you" would be a death knell to his future career prospects. And yes, he's more professional in his interactions than Wacker. But a banana peel is more professional than Wacker. It's not a very high bar to cross. When I made my comment about Lowe, it was more about his abilities as an editor, period. X-Men fans viewed him as to editing what Slott is to writing: someone who pleases the bosses and gets issues out the door, but with a poor story sensibility and a lackadaisical eye toward continuity and characterization. I don't think Lowe is going to replace Slott anytime soon. He and his assistant editor can't even catch typos and wrong universe designations,. They're not going to go to bat for replacing a writer who sells well but whose writing is mediocre. I get the feeling that would be too much work and might potentially cause too much flak - even though the upside risk is even greater. I think publishing that letter was more of a, "yeah, we know there are people like you out there. Tough $#!&. Either stop moaning or stop reading. Next!" Yes, there are layers; but there is also inertia. And usually inertia wins, especially when the book is selling quite well.

  9. RDMacQ

    @# 32- What I'm saying is that things are rarely as clear cut as they appear to be, and that there are more layers and more things that go into determining a change or a decision that just "Good sales/ Bad sales." I doubt Marvel is completely unaware of the criticism of the book, and history shows that despite decent sales books will still try to accommodate dissent. I think the situation we had with Wacker the past few years was the exception to the rule. His attitude and editorial style was needlessly confrontational, and he clearly didn't care about the opinions of those that didn't endlessly praise his work. Lowe, by comparison, is far more reasonable in how he deals with people upset with the book, on the rare instances he chooses to engage them.

  10. Realspideyfan

    @31 so you're saying there's a chance? Well I'll just hope beyond hope for that one chance to get a Peter Parker who isn't buffonish and a man-child.

  11. RDMacQ

    @# 27- Yes, Lowe is going to talk up Slott. That is his job. It's his job to promote the talent to the fans. He's not going to dismiss or belittle someone who is working on his book, particularly to the customers he wants to buy said book. @# 30- And there would also be a writer change if sales were good. Or if sales were neutral. Or if the editor would want to go in one direction and the creator another. "Low sales" is not the only qualifying factor for a changeover in talent. Sales weren't that great during the BND era, and really didn't rebound until Superior Spider-Man. And yet Dan Slott remained on the title for the entire time. So there is a lot more to factor into the decision making process other than "the book has dipped in sales."

  12. Jack

    Everything here is about dollars and cents, unless the writer absolutely can't get along with the editor. ASM only started selling really well again in the last 18 months, and that was because of [i]The Adventures of Otto Octavius.[/i] If that had failed, I imagine we would have had a new writer by this time. But it succeeded beyond all expectations. So Dan Slott has received the laurel wreath. Remember also that Slott originally was hailed as an [i]improvement[/i] over the erratic, confusing BND Brain Trust phase. And Slott is writing the very well-received Silver Surfer series, so he is not regarded by Marvel as a B-lister by any means. We also don't know that there are qualified writers just itching to be the next ASM writer. There must be some who would love the gig, but they might not be able to write ASM even as well as Slott has. I think ASM receives critical fan attention far higher than any other Marvel title, which can be daunting. Despite all of us knowing all the Spider-Man tropes, I think Peter Parker is a hard character to write well, just as I think Clark Kent is a hard character to write well -- harder than he looks.

  13. Jeff Gutman

    @27 Well, I never said Lowe wasn't being reasonable. He is in a sense saying "if you don't like it don't buy it." However, he continues to repeatedly talk about what a genius he think Slott is in interviews, which even as a company man he doesn't have to say. I think he genuinely feels that the writing is brilliant and that Slott deserves to have written more Spider-man comics than Stan Lee. What that does show however, is that as an editor, he has NO TASTE and as long as he is editor, we will never see a change in authorship. I think Lowe is being completely professional, it just upsets me to know that as someone who is no longer enjoying Slott's run, I will not see a change in the authorship of the title in the forseeable future.

  14. RDMacQ

    @# 21- But again, I have to ask, what would you expect them to do? Marvel is still a business, and still has to maintain a professional front. They aren't going to do anything that makes them seem like they are a conflicted or divided company. They are going to present a united front. So if someone writes in criticizing the comic, they aren't going to tell that person that they are right in every single way, and they will immediately change things to this particular person's satisfaction They are going to back the person writing the comic. Sure, they might come out later and admit that certain things didn't work out. But they aren't going to do anything that undermines the book right now. Because the only thing that would probably kill a book faster than a creator telling a fan to perhaps go somewhere else is to make it seem like the people working on the title are conflicted and fighting one another. Just look how bad that sort of conflict hurt the Nu52. However, as I pointed out, Lowe's response is still VERY reasonable. Look at how Wacker and Slott reacted. If someone criticized just ONE aspect of the book- be it character interpretation, or certain aspects of the narrative- they would tell them to get out, and would mock them for doing so. That is highly unprofessional. Here, a fan is saying they have a major problem with Dan, and that they don't want him on the book anymore. Lowe merely tells them that if they don't like Dan, they have permission to leave. THAT IS ENTIRELY REASONABLE! He isn't mocking the fan for his beliefs. But he's also backing the talent. This is a situation where it would be appropriate for the creator's to tell fans to perhaps go elsewhere, since the biggest source of conflict is not a minor aspect of the book that doesn't need to be confronted, but is about the main creator on the title. In addition, just because Lowe has told the fan to go elsewhere if they don't like Slott's work doesn't mean that he isn't aware of the problems people are coming to him with. Publishing that letter shows that they are willing to acknowledge that there are people with issues with the narrative. And given what Lowe has said about the franchise, he does seem to be more in tune with what some fans want moreso than Wacker, who would TELL people what they want, and then mock them if they said they didn't want it. Personally speaking, I do feel that Lowe has been completely reasonable in his actions regarding with fans. It may not seem like much, but having lived through the Wacker experience, it really shows just how bad it could be if you get the wrong person in the wrong position.

  15. Ryan3178

    Also looking back over the story, it really makes Sajani look even more like an idiot. If she is so against Peter and thinks she knows people like the Ghost so well. She wouldn't have fallen into being set up to be killed. Do I see her surviving and then confessing to everything she has done as a kind of "moment" sure. However, I rather she end up dead and then everything is revealed leaving Peter to also throw Anna Marie out too and then have it revealed that Otto shows up and Anna has more reason to bring him back as payback to Peter.

  16. Lee

    This is going to be felecia's first encounter though with a civilian she knows. I think the whole point of this set up with aunt may isn't about Peter and Parker Industries, but to set up that either Black Cat still has a soul or Felecia is totally crossed over. Either way the outcomes won't make sense a bit of sense to the stories that have been written so far. On one hand Felecia is a sociopath with no qualms about people dying so she can get what she wants on the other hand its a complete contradiction to the anti-social behavior felecia has been written with since amazing was relaunched. No matter what decision Felicia makes it amplifies the faults of her character turn because the authors are shutting down and restarting her capacity for empathy on a whim. Besides wasn't the whole point of Felicia being a thief the thrill seeking aspect not an obsessive compulsion to own or be greedy. Isn't this why she has been portrayed as a hero more than a thief since her creation because she is now having that thrill seeker itch scratched through being a their for the good guys or being a hero.

  17. JRT!

    I don't need any permission to leave,I leave whenever I bloody well like.....and I left ages ago,lol! Might just get the .1's or whatever though,and hope for better days. It's so hit and miss these days that I'd rather just not read it at all. Might change though,when I get this sudden urge to read ANYthing Spidey,lol! J-R!

  18. PeterParkerfan

    I liked Peter's interactions with Anna. Other than that, this issue was a bore. @6 Nick seriosly responded with THAT? *sigh* Oh well, I better stick with Conway's ".1" issues from now on.

  19. Evan

    @#19 -- I didn't even make it that far. The last issue I purchased was right after Ends of the Earth, I think. Johnny Storm and Spider-man had a two-part arc in space, if I remember correctly. I had had enough by then. I do remember thinking the cover to #700 was neat, but you know the saying about books and covers. It just confirmed for me that I made the right decision.

  20. Cheesedique

    I think it's still bad form and bad business on Lowe's part to tell readers to stop buying the book. He chose that letter to make that statement (it's not like anyone thought Slott was really going anywhere) It goes along with Marvel's overall attitude towards readers since at least the Jemas / Queseda era: a single finger salute. I wonder if he'd change his tune if enough readers took his advice. But yeah, keep blaming sales having dropped on a changing industry, guys. Probably has nothing to do with your general shitty attitudes towards the fanbase. Or from not understanding the characters you're caretaking.

  21. RDMacQ

    I'm going to play devil's advocate here and defend Lowe and his statements. I know people are concerned regarding his statements about Dan Slott's tenure on the book, and it is disheartening that Dan Slott is sticking around, as I do not feel that he is not a good writer and a poor fit for Spider-Man. But that's just me. But Lowe is just doing what any editor would do. He's defending the talent. Really, if someone wrote in, asking to have Dan removed, do you really think that Lowe would cave in, tell the reader that they are entirely right, that they have made incredible points and that they are going to remove Dan right away? No, or course not. He's going to defend Dan. He's going to tell the reader that they are sticking by him and that they are going to keep him on board for a while. They chose that letter for a reason, and to tell people that Dan isn't going anywhere after Secret Wars. And that's entirely reasonable. If Dan were to leave, regardless of what happened- be it him leaving of his own accord, or being removed in favor of another writer- they would spin it as if everyone is on the same page and everything is hunky dory. That's just how comics work. But the reason I think that this statement IS promising is actually the response. Yes, Lowe is telling the reader that they have "Permission to leave." Alright. But you know what? Compared to Wacker, that is INCREDIBLY professional. Wacker would tell people to get out if they had the SLIGHTEST problem with the series. Hated OMD? Disliked MJ not being present? Disliked a particular story? Didn't matter. If you hated a SINGLE thing, Wacker would tell you to leave. AND he'd make fun of you while you were doing it. Wacker would make the person complaining out to be some horrible, disgusting human being who didn't understand comics and wanted to ruin it for everyone because they didn't automatically agree with everything they were doing on the book. Compared to that, Lowe telling someone that they should leave because they don't like the writer who is currently on the title is downright reasonable. Sure, it's a low bar to clear, but given what we had to deal with in the past eight years it's not all that bad.

  22. Magnetic Eye

    I haven't purchased ASM since the deplorable #700. I refuse to spend my money on disposable pulp fiction. Slott's writing is as forgettable as it is over rated. I'm glad I got to read it for free and putting his issues straight back on the shelves. His plot driven stories lack character development and his character derailment of Peter is disrespectful, embarrassing and totally unrelatable.

  23. Chase the Blues Away

    Re: Nick Lowe: Ask X-Men fans their opinion of him as an editor. The ones I know feel about him as an editor the way most Spider-Man fans on the 'net feel about Slott as a writer.

  24. Roy Lichenstein

    @Jeff Gutman "No, it wasn’t because of the story, which was admittedly full of exaggerated cartoon like drawings and personalities." Wow exatly that. That's my problem with Slott's whole run, it feels over the top and bizarrely cartoonish and almost slapstick at times

  25. Constantine

    Sucks. I thought I'd be able to start buying ASM regularly again sometime in the near future.

  26. The Lament Beast

    Is it bad if I miss Wacker? He was a troll and loved Internet fighting too much but atleast he wasn't a-- fanboy I guess? And this issue! Jesus, I'm must be suffering event burnout pretty badly because I just didn't give a damn about this issue. Sajani is kill? Whatev. Anna Marie's perfect? Seen this before. Peter's still a bumbling manchild? Just as expected. Black Cat? Not even touching that with a laser pointer. And all these hints and jabs at the Marriage?! Sweet Jesus, may as well just come out and say Renew will just as we feared! When will this last remnant of the BND-era end? ~Lament~

  27. Jeff Gutman

    @11: Well as Mr. Lowe so eloquently put it, if you don't like Slott's writing, you have his "permission to leave the book behind." He doesn't want your money apparently. Or n mine either.

  28. Evan

    @#10 - Does that mean I can never buy an issue of <i>Amazing Spider-man</i> ever again? I guess there are always point-one issues. I wonder why he believes that "everyone in the world" seems to enjoy the writing, especially given his response to the letter to the editor. I guess neither me nor the person who wrote that letter count. That the editor himself said this makes me sad.

  29. Jeff Gutman

    This statement from Editor Nick Lowe is compounded by an interview he gave to CBR just six days ago. Here is the pertinent quote: "Well, we just trust our creators, plain and simple. Talking about "Renew Your Vows" specifically, Dan Slott has now written more issues of "Spider-Man" than anybody, and there's a reason for that. I would have had a perfect opportunity, if I wanted to, when I came in on the Spider-Man books to take Dan off of "Amazing Spider-Man" and put somebody else on. That can often happen when there's editorial changes. But not only was I a big fan of Dan's Spider-Man, everyone in the world seems to be, too -- it's such a great book and he has such a keen vision for this character and for pushing Peter in new directions. I'm trusting in Dan and the incredible art of Adam to bring our readers along. " So essentially Nick Lowe thinks that Slott is a genius writer. As long as he is editor, Slott is here to stay. Here's a link to the article:

  30. ryan3178

    I'm agree, Lowe's response reminds me a lot of Machio during Mackie's run on both ASM and PP. He didn't put it in those terms but said: "Howard is here for the long run but John Bryne is sadly leaving us in a few months do to other commitments." Of course, then Paul Jenkins took over Peter Parker and then JSM was on Amazing in less than a year after that was said. Slott's story telling really makes Peter look very iliff and can't understand the basic concepts of a situation. Aunt May is one thing but the rest is just bad. Its shocking just how much Peter differs in his main title and Spiral right now. Conway is writing Peter as very confident and experience. How he handled Tombstone and what he said with Wraith was extremely in character and made the story progress well. Here as stated by Jeff, its very non-linear like Lost and is setting everything up to have Peter fail and fail hard. I'm not talking: First Attempt In Learning because Slott's Peter can't learn, he just has to play catch up or reacts to everything. Sanjani's constant 360 on her motivations on why she wants Peter to fail is always out of left field. Any normal person, scientist or business would see the profits and needs that Peter is trying to profess. Just because Otto wanted to go more into medical and nano tech might have been profitable but think about it? Creating a containment system and power shut down for super villains or other heroes that go bad and then are rehabilitated. The government and associated businesses would be lining up at the door with money and grants in no time. I mean look at what Alchemax is doing, Sanjani would be loving trying to take out a rival company, not hoping they screw them over. Its bad writing to make the characters fit the story plot. It doesn't work and yet we are being told by Lowe: "Its brilliant writing!" I'm sorry, look at your spin off .1 issues and tell me if they can hold up the same caliber.

  31. Realspideyfan

    @6 wow this is not hyperbole but in all seriousness that is the worst thing I've read in months. so now it's not only the writer who responds to fans distastefully now it's the editor. And we know he put that on the letters column to rile up the many fans who are calling and asking for change. I really appreciate the writers who know when it's time to walk away and leave the book on a high note or when they feel they are hurting the product,which I believe we can all agree won't be amazing spidey.

  32. Riablo

    @#6 That does seem depressing. I’d like to think no matter how good a writer is eventually they need to be rotated out so that the series remains fresh. Slott has been on ASM for about 10 years now and whether you love him or loath him I think now is a good time to try something new. Heck if Nick Lowe is a fan of Slott, there’s no reason why Slott couldn’t write some other “spin-off” spider title whilst having someone else write Peter.

  33. Jeff Gutman

    C- seems very very generous. This was one of the most depressing issues I've read in a very very long time. No, it wasn't because of the story, which was admittedly full of exaggerated cartoon like drawings and personalities. It wasn't because Anna Marconi (like Silk pre-Spiderverse) was made to be a thousand times smarter and more decisive than our hero. Seriously, every time a conflict came up, Anna Marconi knew exactly how to handle it while Peter stood there stammering to himself - frozen with indecision. Whatever - that's who Slott thinks Spider-man is obviously. Not just emotionally immature and indecisive, but unable to think quickly when problems arise - characters like Silk and Marconi can react to crisis while Peter stands unsure. No none of that (as bad as it was) was what depressed me about this issue. Take a look at the letters page and you'll see what upset me. As it should depress anyone who's ever cared about Spider-man. In the letters column, a fan writes a long and very thought out letter pointing out some of the limitations of Slotts writing and asking how much longer he will be on the title. The editor Nick Lowe responds by saying this: "Pains me that you're so unhappy, so take this as PERMISSION TO LEAVE THE BOOK BEHIND. I'm a big fan of Dan's work and WON'T BE REPLACING HIM ANYTIME SOON, providing we're still publishing Spider-man after Secret Wars." Let that sink in for a minute. Nick Lowe is saying they have no intention of ever replacing Dan Slott and is a sense saying that fans who don't like Slott can stop buying the book and "leave it behind." I mean yeah, he is in a sense saying "if you don't like it don't buy it." What depressed me is the notion that Marvel has literally no plans to ever take Slott off the book.

  34. Riablo

    My thought on this issue is that it seems to be all set-up and no progression. Also it seems like all of the plot twists in this comic are red herrings (i.e. filler). The issue again highlights the flaw in Slott’s format. The format Slott has been using in the ASM relaunch would work perfectly for a TV like Lost but not so much for something like ASM where a linear progression is needed. The non-linear plot twist orientated format (with reduced focus on character development) seems to disenfranchise the reader rather than engage them (especially if the twists aren’t interesting and the characters aren’t consistent). It’s kind of sad really but I think most of Slott's storylines in the ASM relaunch could have been much more engaging had they been told using a format similar to Gerry Conway’s Spiral. Take this issue for example it could have been a character driven tale of corporate espionage/sabotage involving the Ghost.

  35. Cheesedique

    I'm sure Sanjani getting killed by the Ghost will lead to another "haha nope, she's fine!" fake out next issue. But in this case I hope I'm wrong--Sanjani sucks. Also does Slott think he's being cute by also mirroring the ASM #2 Mackie run here, down to the issue where Peter faced Ghost who was breaking into Tricorp? Clearly the best thing to happen next would be to follow suit with that: go back the original numbering after Renew Your Vows (ASM #720 or whatever it will be), get rid of Slott and get JMS back on writing the title.

  36. Ryan3178

    I'm on all marks, since Sajani was meant to be so ego full that it would be her undoing. We see that here and the fact she has been so full of herself, going as far as striking deals because: "Its best for the company." Her dying or being critically injured would be the only justice to it but in the end, Peter will never know how far she went. Even if Anna Marie tells her and we can see that Anna is being set up for the fall here too. She is coming off with all the right answers and yet keeping secrets that you know like Sajani will undo everything. I also see where the Black Cat story is going and its going to be really, really bad for everything.

  37. Darkspider94

    To be fair, ever since the Big Time run Sajani has been rather unlikable (which could be interpreted as kind of defensive), the difference being the fact that now she's working more closely with Peter on PI compared to Horizon Labs... And to be honest, I'll be fine if she leaves the supporting cast altogether, though I'm unsure she'll bite the dust (given that she was one of the first infectees that started mutating on Spider Island and then the Morlun attack on the Lizard arc)

  38. RDMacQ

    I'm not really as sold on Anna Marie as a supporting character. She has the same problem as Carlie Cooper- she's too perfect. She's awesome. She's incredible. Aunt May LOVES her and wants her to marry Peter, and because they are broken up it's tormenting her that she'll never get to see Peter married before she dies (More on that later). She makes Peter's life far easier by her presence, yet doesn't add the additional complication that someone like MJ provided by having that emotional tie that caused her to be concerned if Peter endangered his life. I think the main reason there wasn't the same backlash was that Anna Marie wasn't pushed on fans the same way Carlie Cooper was. But I think the same problems dog both characters, and I'd rather that she be written out of the narrative rather than have her stick around. Given that Sajani is getting killed off here and the advertisement for the next issue teases the end of Parker Industries, I do think that her death will be permanent. And that there will likely be a "soft" reboot of the series in the fall, given that most of the elements Slott set up after Superior is being done away with rather quickly and unceremoniously. The theory regarding the Black Cat endangering JJJ Sr's life seems rather plausible, and it could also be a way to set up Felicia's return to grace, as she discovers the consequences of her actions. However, I also think it would probably be done just to reinforce how "evil" she is. But in regards to Aunt May's comment about the marriage, I think that's pretty blatant foreshadowing that the marriage might actually be coming back in one form or another. Slott's not likely to throw that line in there just to have it there. That's him trying to be "cute", but it pretty much telegraphs what he is going to do or likely will happen. And if the marriage doesn't return, at the very least Peter will become aware of it and work to "correct" things. I also think that we should point out that once again we still have an established character like May raving about a Slott created character to talk up how awesome and amazing they are. Before it was Harry, May, and even MJ praising the awesomeness of Carlie. Now it's May and even Peter talking up the awesomeness of Anna Marie. It's a bit of an annoying habit that he has established character spend more time talking about how HIS pet characters are amazing more than he actually spends time GIVING these established characters moments to shine themselves. They seem to be just there to praise Slott's own creations. That's part of the reason why I want Anna Marie written out of the narrative. I'd prefer if the series is going to be focused on Peter reconciling with MJ, I'd prefer the series to be ABOUT that rather than spend time focusing on HER storyarc, and stealing focus away from other characters.

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