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

ASMRENEW2015003-DC11-8a2eaWe return to the world of renew your vows this week to find the Parkers in their greatest pickle yet….see Spider-Man do something so shocking this issue you’ll forget he’s already done it millions of times before. Will Spider-Man live to fight another day, or fall under the iron boots of REGENT.

WRITER: Dan Slott
ARTIST: Adam Kubert
INKER: John Dell, Andrew Hennessey, and Mark Morales
COLORIST: Justin Ponsor
LETTERER: VC’s Joe Caramagna
COVER ARTISTS: Adam Kubert and Justin Ponsor
EDITOR: Nick Lowe

PLOT: Our issue begins with Regent visiting the steroid shop, and getting all supped up inside a super secret laboratory. He monologues about the return of Spider-Man, and claims Spider-Man’s powers are more important than any of his prior conquests. We meet up with our unfriendly neighbourhood Spider-Man as he visits the Terrible Tinkerer and demands inhibitor chips for his family. Tinkerer presses a button whilst he converses with Spider-Man leading to Screenshot from 2015-08-05 19:26:42Doctor Octopus charging through the store intent on capturing the web head. While Spidey battles Doc Ock we see Flint Marko AKA THE SANDMAN reporting to the underground S.H.I.E.L.D. about the movements of the Sinister Six. The mysterious man Marko is reporting to refuses to risk his men in order to save Spider-Man who he calls “The coward who abandoned the Avengers”. Spider-Man completely demolishes Doctor Octopus ripping off all of his mechanical limbs, and fleeing with the inhibitor chips. Once the rest of the Sinister Six arrive they do some investigative work, and Kraven determines that Spider-Man has a child which is why he decided to come out of hiding. Back in the Parker household we see Annie watching Ole J. Jonah Jameson ranting and raving about how evil Spider-Man is. Annie asks Mary Jane about Spidey and wants to know if her father was really a monster. Mary Jane briefly tells Annie about her past before Peter interrupts and the couple tuck Annie into bed. In the living room the two overhear a broadcast made by Regent commanding that everyone from Annie’s school come down to the old Avengers Mansion and receive mandatory scans. Peter works hard on ensuring the inhibitor chip works, and the family goes to Avengers Mansion to face the scans. Annie, and Peter make it out of the scans scottfree unfortunately another student is found to be exhibiting mutant powers and Peter decides to jump into the fray. While he is attempting to rescue the child and fight off the remaining Sinister Six Annie and Mary Jane are captured. The issue ends with Spidey attempting to fight off the Sinister Six, and save his family.

STORY: Overall this issue isn’t quite up to par with the last issue. There are a multitude of moments here that are meant to be “surprising” that fall flat. OH ITS SO DARK THAT SPIDER-MAN RIPPED OUT DOCTOR OCTOPUSES ARMS…oh wait no its not he’s done that at least five times prior to this issue. OH NO REGENT CAN TURN ON THE TELEVISION AND DO MANDATORY BROADCASTS…oh wait that’s not really an effective form of communication seeing how Peter and Mary Jane could have easily missed it if they’d just spent a few more minutes with Annie. There’s a few other nitpicky things about the issue. Like the fact that the inhibitor chips allow them to pass Kraven’s smell test? It would only make sense if the only thing Kraven could smell would be super powers…but even that explanation wouldn’t make sense. When the Tinkerer reveals that he had inhibitor chips Mysterio states he is going to write him up. Wouldn’t Mysterio already know about the chips? Wouldn’t that be the only reason they’d even bother doing a stakeout at the Terrible Tinkerer’s workshop. The Black Costume has also not gone into play at all. It seems to only have been introduced for symbolic reasons. The same ideas could have easily been expressed with the Red and Blue costume. Contrary to what they had us believe last issue he isn’t really doing much “stealth” work with the suit. Something that isn’t helped by the cover which shows Spidey striking out in the night (doesn’t happen at all in the issue). While we are speaking symbolism I don’t care much for Regent having the idea that Spider-Man’s powers are “The Most Important” it would be a much more interesting story if his presence was just an annoyance to Regeant and that he wasn’t really that special. It’s also curious as to what he’ll even do with Spider-Man’s powers. The ability to stick to walls is not proportional to the powers of Flight, or Hulk’s Leaps, and Spider-Sense is kind of useless when you’re all powerful.

Screenshot from 2015-08-05 19:27:02All of the nitpicks are not enough to make this an outright terrible issue. Like prior issues there are a lot of cool little details in the world that help to flesh it out and make it interesting. Flint Marko being part of S.H.I.E.L.D., the introduction of different viewpoints there are people who agree with Regents rule, and there is a very touching sequence where Mary Jane explains Spider-Man’s past to Annie. (although the best parts of the sequence are achieved visually). The Sinister Six becoming the Sinister Cops is an awesome touch, and I especially enjoy the fact that they are doing investigation work it’s a nice flip. Normally Spider-Man is the one tracking them, not the other way around.

ART: While Kuberts art is still spectacular there are moments that don’t quite hold up as well as prior issues. For example when Spider-Man is laying the beatdown on Doc Ock and we see Octavius’s reflection in Spidey’s eyes. It looks really cool until you realize that all of Ock’s arms are missing (at this point Spider-Man had only tore off one of his arms not all eight of them). It’s not a big detractor to the overall style of the issue but when the art has been A+ this entire series it’s noticeable when you see a B+.

Overall the issue doesn’t lose it’s sense of fun, but in some ways it loses sense of what it wants to tell. Artwork is still for the most part spectacular, and the world is well developed just some of the idea’s present in the world could use a little work.


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(38) Comments

  1. ?

    "Aunt Anna"?! Ugh, Slott.... really? What's next? Uncle Clayton?? As for Regent, he contiunes to be OVERPOWERD Deus ex machina villian. I hope THIS screw up of a supervillain won't show up in the main series.

  2. Ronny

    Hmm I have scans that show the minute he thought she was in serious trouble for several pages all the way into the next issue that no jokes he was serious & almost brutal to Goblin for pushing him too far with this. He may of initially joked at the sight of the goblin but further inspection the situation things were real serious for a while unstandably as situations like this & maybe next few moments in RYVs. Also it was an error in the old story right? That's clearly the Brooklyn bridge? & oh man it wasn't even you who said about him not joking. Sorry meant @PeterParkerfan #33 @AL #36

  3. Al

    @#35: Peter did crack a joke or two when Gwen was at the bridge and even in the issue after. He lold at Jonah and even said it was typical for Osborn to choose a bridge named after his favourite President. You can attribute it to nervous joking or him doing it just as a coping mechanism when he's emotionally all over the place.

  4. Ronny

    @AL #32 Well he cracked one joke in the last one, "Hobgoblin, ladies & gentlemen. Give im a hand". But then he did say," Not funny? Good I'm done being funny". Is okay for him to not crack a joke sometimes like this? I mean I couldn't imagine him cracking a joke when Gwen was in trouble on the Brooklyn bridge.

  5. Al

    @#32: just go to see the Master Planner trilogy where he is desperate to save Aunt May and literally rips a steel staircase away to get info on the ISO-36

  6. PeterParkerfan

    I'm just gonna wait and see if RYV Spidey cracks a single joke in the upcoming issues.

  7. Cheesedique

    @14, great points, and that first paragraph is so on the money. Look at the through line of the first Sin Eater story (where Betty Brant was almost killed, and Jean DeWolff was), Back In Black where Aunt May was shot, and now RYV, where his own daughter and wife are at risk. There is a precedent there, Peter will f-up whoever threatens those closest to him in a snap situation.

  8. Al

    @#26: I'm sorry but you are off on this. Back in Black Spider-Man was absolutely who Peter was. It is just that it was him under very specific circumstances we don't often see. But it was IN CHARACTER. Peter is a human being and we all react differently in response to different stimuli and contexts. The context of Back in Black was his mother was dying and someone was responsible. He was angry. And Peter has shown us time and again you do NOT mess with his loved ones. We've known this technically since the Master Planner Trilogy where he hit the criminal underworld hard to find out who took the ISO-36. Of course this hard line and angry Spider-Man shouldn't PERMANENTLY be Spider-Man but regarding him never being like that it speaks to an idea the character must be a specific way at all times when he like all of us is multfaceted

  9. Constantine

    There's also the end of the Sin-Eater arc wherein Peter beats the ever loving crap out of Stan Carter, and of course the end of the Death of Gwen Stacy where Peter has to stop himself from murdering Norman. Peter's definitely capable of dishing out some brutality when pushed far enough.

  10. Ronaldo

    The grim and gadritty personality dosen't really suit Peter Parker. Peter can be serious at times, but not THAT serious. He's SPIDER-MAN, not Punisher or some other gritty anti-hero. Regarding Back in Black, Spidey was not really himself in that story. Let's face it, writting Peter too serious or too comedic isn't suitable for the characters.

  11. Al

    My comment got caught in the spam filter's web of eternal misery. Could someone help me out please? <i>Done! --George!</i>

  12. Al

    In regards to Peter being seemingly more violent and out of character I shall just give you this quote courtesy of J. Michael Straczynski: “As Spider-Man, there’s a lot I have to swallow, and accept, and deal with, because that’s the nature of the beast. An awful lot. And at the end of the day, I have to let it go, so I can come home… whole and at least a little sane. But there are some things in my life you just don’t touch if you want to walk away with your spine intact.”

  13. George Berryman

    What Spidey did to Otto in this (or at least the parts we saw) was gentle compared to what he did in Spec #75 - which, by the way, we covered on a Friday Night Fight podcast last year. <img src="">

  14. Ronny

    My opinion, Peter did not seem out of character he's always shown to be a bit more ruthless &amp; less non sense when it s really really called for. Back in black with Kingpin for example... (This situation def calls for it not just cause of his FAM but more because of regent &amp; the state the world is in.I still feel this was a great read &amp; would of been a five star if two things first ended with more bang and pow as it was almost there &amp; two if the black costume would of used the stealth in the shadows like a true bad arac that a lot of us were lead to believe we'd see &amp; it would of been cleaver. More questions...1)OK shouldn't Peter's Spider sense of went off insanely for mysterious when Mysterious was trying to find out the identity of him &amp; his family. The spider-sense is that good &amp; has done so always in the past 2) Did anyone else go back &amp; read them straight through? Regent mentions being able to find out where the powers come from. I think some is right about the web of life is what he wants and needs most.

  15. PeterParkerfan

    @18 Well, it's quite unusual for Peter to break Doc Ock's arm like that. That's.... just not what he should've done.

  16. Ronny

    So questions for everyone. Lets say for a minute this becomes the reg 616 Spider-man. Does this Spider-man need to kill his opponents for his daughter on the reg &amp; does that then change Spider-man as mentioned? " Haha Slott wins? He'd have to be like wolverine?" 2 Lets say for a minute this all ends bad in another way. Does Slott still win? "Haha see this is why we can't have this?" #8 #7 #9 #10 #12 Also just want to add reading mines is one thing but the spider-sense can avoid any kind of attack before it actually happens if focused. Even not focused semi conscious or asleep it can actually be considered more focused actually. Still If he has powers of people like Ms Marvel maybe it shouldn't make a difference? Can't say because who's powers does he have? &amp; up to what levels cosmic? If not where are they &amp; how'd he get those guys? Are there somethings Spider-man could of done differently in this story for him to not end up in this position? The Venom part I don't think there's much that could of be done. Venom knowing his identity was too dangerous if not by Venom then by Regent. However it may of been smarter &amp; more protective of his family if Spider-man decided to take down Regent creating something using his scientific mind before he was going to quit...hmm come on Peter like this Regent taking over couldn't of possibly affect you and your maybe potentially super powered daughter later in life. I will always go back to that if any or all end up gone... Just saying, come on.

  17. Ronny

    Good review @andrewroebuck I half agree with most of your statements. I think the issue had great moments but they all could have been worth more if say they let it go on a little more in the end to end it in a real pow. Also would really of loved to see S-Man use the costume for stealthy take downs in the shadows. One thing Im not seeing that some are saying is that MJ isnt doing enough. To me she's been right there with great moments since the start of this ser

  18. Al

    @#11: I though you meant anything necesarry meaning ANYTHING. The thing is we cannot apply our own individual morality system to Spider-Man or other characters who've been defined like he has. No one knows what they'd do in a extreme situation until they are actually in it for one thing, but with Spider-Man specifically he very obviously has a morality system which is different to the average person. He is literally more adverse to killing than most people. And I don't mean people who're stressed and agressive, I mean people who are like nice, and calm most of the time. Spider-Man's issues with guilt and the abuse of power (of which he has A LOT of since he can benchpress 10 tons at the very least) mean he is constantly holding back subconciously. He doesn't like killing and he doesn't want to go down that slippery slope because it'd be way too easy for him to be tempted to abuse his power again and again. 'Just this one time' turns into 'and then maybe this time too'. Its different for most people because we don't routinely engage in innately violent and dangerous situations like he does. Its easier for us to make the exception than it is for him and you also have to bear in mind that killing stays with most people who perpetrate it regardless. Peter compromising his already fragile peace of mind is something he adamantly wouldn't want to do (not least of all because he already blames himself for a number of deaths as is). More than that though compromising his peace of mind like that could literally make him second guess himself and stressed out, thus over all making less effective as a crime fighter, thus costing more lives over all. This is partially why Peter in issue #1 said that Spider-Man died the day he killed Venom. It was like in Batman Beyond when Bruce Wayne threatened someone with a gun and then retired. It was just a step too far across the line for him. Game over. Again his morality is different than how we think of it and has been defined that way for many decades. He is generally speaking more morally high minded than most of us. This being said I'm not saying it's out of character for Peter to kill for his daughter. For Mary Jane or Aunt May I'd say maybe but probably no. I don't think Peter would kill ANYONE if he was in his right mind or even pushed really far. We've seen him literally in the midst of a mental breakdown and though he's come close actually killing someone isn't something he'd do. For his CHILD though? That's very different. You go to greater lengths for your kids in the first place and we've got no precedent for him with a child to judge him by. So killing to protect her I buy completely. I don't however think it 'makes him evil' or 'makes him bad' for him to have killed the way he did with Venom. Maybe not even Ock. But if he did it overly casually then that'd be different. It's a dangerous path once gone down but just because you've taken step 1 doesn't mean you need to complete the course. As for there being a message, I guess it's just that Spider-Man will go to extremes for his family but whether they want to say that's good or bad or just a realistic examination of him in that situation is up in the air.

  19. RDMacQ

    @#11- Perhaps the "message" that the story was supposed to portray was changed between editorial shifts. Slott could certainly have initially planned it to show "Look how being a family man doesn't work for Peter. Look at the lengths he'll go, how much it changes him." And, filtered through Wacker who had his own agenda, the emphasis WOULD be on the "shock" and the focus on how being married "changes" Peter "too much." Under Lowe, however, the situation may be different. It's less "This is wrong" and more about whether it WAS right or wrong. Under Lowe, the answer becomes less obvious and the questions become more thoughtful.

  20. Jack

    OK. BTW, I didn't mean that Peter should be out there killing innocent people. I mean, if a murdering psychopath with slaughtering mechanical tentacles came at ME, and I knew he was part of the regime's secret police, I'd try to end him. But it's hard for me to tell from the synopses and reviews if there is any editorial "message" in the story so far. "Peter will do anything to protect his wife and daughter." Yup. "Peter would even kill, to protect his wife and daughter." Yup. Of course. So would I. Am I supposed to be surprised by this? "Peter is irreversibly fractured and morally compromised by having to do that." Nope. If that's the message, then that's asinine. We're all here in the U.S. walking around safe, because of hundreds of thousands of military people who are either ready to do just that for us, or actually are doing that for us, every day. If Peter manages to tears the head off the Regent and kicks it down 5th Avenue like a soccer ball, then throw that man a party.

  21. Al

    @#9: I...I don't know. Slott in the past has tried to make points in the story which don't make sense in context (Peter is just as bad as Doc Ock for endangering a child, Peter was irresponsible in not comforting Aunt May in AF #15) so maybe yes. But that never even crossed my mind. I was somewhat on the edge of my seat during the Doc Ock fake out but since he didn't kill him it was the standard thing from before. Maybe Tinkerer being scared is supposed to be our reaction but honestly at first glance I just took it as something he was saying since he wasn't used to seeing Spidey like that and because it was violent. But to us no its not shocking. Peter's been like this many times before. With Venom that's is different. That WAS shocking because Spider-Man does NOT kill and so the break in character is alarming. If it was Wolverine then it wouldn't be the same. It wasn't out of character or anything but it was like when he nearly beat Norman to death in ASM #122. It isn't what you expect from him. But if Slott wants us to see how 'wrong' Spidey was then he messed up. With Otto, I was worried but I dunno how I would've felt if he'd actually killed him since the need to kill him was less so than with Eddie. Eddie was very strong but Peter could curbstomp Otto more easily. I don't think the Hobgoblin thing was truly ruthless. He's done stuff like that before. Spider-Girl did it in her debut appearance. I also don't think Hobby is actually dead but now you've brought it up it's something to check on next issue. I disagree that ANYTHING is justified because if he had to kill innocent people to accomplish the greater good that would be different. And I don't think he NEEDS to kill anyone in general if there is an alternative. Hence Otto didn't die. With Venom there was little alternative.

  22. Jack

    I asked this at a different site, and I'll ask it here, too: Is the story's POV that we are supposed to be appalled at Peter's ruthlessness? Because so far, (if that's the case) then I think Slott, being an extreme New York liberal, is misreading how most non-liberal-outside-of-New-York people will take Peter's actions. It's sounding like he thinks most readers will cry out, "Oh no! See the descent of Peter into madness!" Meanwhile, out in the real world where Walker, Texas Ranger was a consistent hit, you have people saying, "Well, it's too bad he had to kill Eddie, but Eddie was a monstrous alien psychopath. Otto ought to be happy he's breathing at all, and it sure is about time he thought to glue one of those pumpkin bombs to the goblin's hand!" Or head, or foot, or wherever. Basically, Peter, MJ, and Annie live in a Manhattan ruled by the super-villain version of ISIS. So basically //anything// Peter does to kill off these guys, I'm cool with, and AFAIC it doesn't compromise Peter's core at all. Because the dystopic, totalitarian circumstances in these stories merit his actions. So if the series is still trying to make you feel a sinking feeling in your soul about Peter, it doesn't sound like it's accomplishing that goal.

  23. Chase the Blues Away

    #7 The Regent can read minds thanks to taking Charles Xavier's powers. I can't see spider sense trumping that - - until I remember this is written by Slott and logic rarely has much to do with the story.

  24. Al

    In fairness if he has spider sense then he is truly nigh invincible since no one could sneak up on him and he'd be alerted to danger

  25. ryan3178

    I can completely see the Web of Life being the reason because if it comes down to: "You have a Spider Sense." "I want that power so I have all the powers." Then that's when you just insert forehead slap right there.

  26. Chase the Blues Away

    I'm betting the Regent wants access to the Web of Life, which is also referenced in the Spider-Verse tie-in. And I'm betting the Web of LIfe is one of the "elements" that carries over to NuMu. But otherwise, I agree with #3: typical Slott "plotting" of withholding information that has no reason to be withheld except to build false suspense and because if it was revealed, the story would be over.

  27. Al

    Honestly I think you are being too harsh on the issue. In the days when Spider-Man is a joke of a character the fact that a single panel over sells how brutal he is can't sink the fact that he is at last competent once more. And the domestic stuff with Annie and MJ (which is what we paid to see in the first place) are still handled really, really well taking Spider-Man to natural places he should always have gone to.

  28. ryan3178

    Regent still comes off as completely generic: "I have a great plan but I can't tell you until the final issue." "I need Spider-Man's powers more than anything but I can't tell you until we get there." Most likely its going to turn out he wants to overthrow Dr. Doom and be the ruler of Battleworld. Calling it now. The human aspect with Peter in this roll is great and especially the scenes with MJ and Annie. Seriously, would Dan Slott write like this all the time but at least give us a villain with motivations instead of a knock off of his previous villains or Darkseid?

  29. Jack

    I wonder if this Peter is going to die in the process of destroying the Regent, and Annie will "carry on the fight."

  30. RDMacQ

    Sounds like it's suffering from "Middle chapter" syndrome- in that it's got to bridge the gaps between the most important parts of the narrative. Still, it's not surprising that a Slott story would overplay how "AWERSOOMMME!" a particular moment or character is supposed to be, regardless of whether or not it actually makes sense. But at the very least this story does something that the previous chapters haven't done- give MJ something to DO!

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