Alford Notes: Amazing Spider-Man #1.5

asm1-5coverDEAD NO MORE

Amazing Grace Part 5:

Flesh and Heart Shall Fail


Happy Towel Day  (if you are reading this on the 25th) to everyone and while I would rather spend it reading Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Brad has me reading the penultimate* (thank goodness) issue of this Amazing Grace arc (and don’t make Brad angry – you wouldn’t…well, you know where I’m going with that).

Anyway, we have Julio who was raised from the dead.  It’s a miracle!  Guest starring the Santerians!  Another chicken!  What could possibly go wrong?

Well… besides this comic.



The Devil in the Details

Writer: Jose Molina

Artists: Simone Bianchi & Andrea Broccardo

Colorist: David Curiel

Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Cover Artist: Simone Bianchi

Editor: Nick Lowe

Published: May 25, 2016




The Story – Pay Attention, This Will Be on the Test

asm1-5Spidey tries and fails to follow Julio.  Everybody learns that God didn’t bring Julio back from the dead.  Julio uses his new killing and resurrecting powers to win the hearts of New Yorkers.  Spidey and Santerians make up.  There’s a big fight….next issue.

Oh, and Matilda the chicken makes her brief debut.


Analysis –

This really didn’t need any more than what you got above other than to say that any momentum that this arc was gaining spins out this issue.  There is no hanging from a jet plane or Spidey facing down a group of superheroes over the life of a chicken, but the general blahness of this issue is, in my opinion, worse.  At least you can have fun with utter stupidity (like jumping from a satellite and landing safely in Paris), but with blahness, you just languish in boredom.  Even the revelation that God is not behind this resurrection is nothing shocking.  I’ve read the bible.  This isn’t really God’s style.  Plus, we still don’t really know who this impostor god is or why he is doing this with Julio.  I’m really wondering why the decision was made to drag this out to six issues when it could have really be done in four or less.


What Passed:

Peter doesn’t curse God or blame Him from Uncle Ben’s death this issue.

I got the chance to look up a new god.  For those of you who read Cobwebs, you know I love to research.  On top of that, I love mythology.  So when Don Anselmo mentions his master, Ochumare, I had to look him up.  Ochumare is a rainbow god of Santeria.  Santeria is a Cuban mix of African mythology (Yoruba, to be exact) and Catholicism.  While in Africa, Ochumare is a goddess of fertility and elongated things (ewww), in Santerian belief it is a he and he is in charge of rainbows (which, by the way, are really multicolored snakes stretching across the heavens).

The cover is a nice bit of art and is the best art of the book, but it really doesn’t tell you anything about the story.

And the one panel that they managed to squeeze in four onomatopoeias and a person screaming.



What Failed:

Pretty much everything else.  Let’s run them down, starting with the most egregious offender of them all:

Nick Lowe, editor fail – This whole arc is a bad choice.  The first is that you are trying to build up to a major story in the main title where a guy is bringing the dead back to life, but you green light this arc that also has a story about someone able to bring the dead back to life?  Unless the two are connected (which seems very doubtful), readers are going to get tired of the concept.  If this had another story line, even if it was just as bad, at least it keeps the story lines fresh.  How in the world this arc is outselling Spider-Man 2099 is beyond me. I guess that’s why he is editor and Marvel has’t called me in yet.

David Curiel, colorist fail – what was Curiel thinking with this panel?



Jose Molina, writer fail – Molina continues to give a story that doesn’t feel like a Spider-Man story, but whether that is because he’s going for a different market or because he doesn’t really understand the character is neither here nor there.  What really is irritating is how he writes the Santerians in this issue.  Two of them go to visit Don Anselmo and are completely shocked when he sacrifices a chicken.  Back in #1.1 and #1.1 they had no problems with sacrifices.  Plus this Don Anselmo is a mentor to them.  They would have seen him make sacrifices plenty of time before.  On top of that, what was with the masturbation joke that Iron Man makes?  This isn’t a Deadpool comic.

Simone Bianchi, artist fail – the two artists just do not blend their styles together very well.  Plus, we still get unidentifiable characters.


To prove my point, see if you can spot Peter Parker in one of the panels below.  Click your choice to see if you are correct.

asm1-5peter3 asm1-5artistfail




asm1-5peter asm1-5peter2



Plus the artist fails with pacing.  There is a scene where Don Anselmo creates a serpent (this shocks the Santerians even though they should know a guy who worships Ochumare would be into snakes).  The serpent then rears at the Santerians.  The next panel, someone’s legs are sticking out of the serpent’s mouth.  There is nothing to show who until the voice balloons lets us know that the serpent, for some strange reason, ate Don Anselmo.  The point of art in a comic book is to help tell the story, not to be illustrations for word balloons.

Jose Molina, onomatopoeia fail – an onomatopoeia, students, is a sound spelled out.  What exactly is this sound?



Clayton Cowles, letterer fail (maybe)– in one panel, the false god shows up while Spider-Man is watching Julio use the bathroom (I’m not making that up) and when Spidey tries to web them, the god says, “Evanescido” and he and Julio vanish.  Now look, I know next to nothing about Spanish, but I looked that word up.  It means vanish, but it is the past participle.  That makes little sense to use a past tense form.  I know, grammar nit picking is not enough to fail a comic for most people (I am not most people, though), but even the Spanish teacher down the hall said it should be something else, like “desvanecido”.  I’ll leave it up to you Spanish-speaking readers out there to decided if it is enough to fail the letterer.

Plus, I hate that they keep putting the title of the issue in quotation marks.  That’s only for referring to titles when they are not on their own work (which is why you don’t see books with their title underlined on the cover).

O.K.  I’m getting to nit picky here.

Extra Credit:

This comic is like the student who comes up to me in the last week hoping that a little extra work will move his grade from a 24 to passing (actually just had that conversation with a senior today).  There is just not enough extra credit to salvage this issue.

However, since I always give my seniors something to shoot for, I’ll give you a chance to earn extra credit right now.  Shout out that above onomatopoeia and then tells us what other people’s reaction was.

Final Grade:




And I’m the positive one.


Your Turn:

What grade do YOU give it?


What’s Next?


Spider-Man and the Santerians team up to fight a foe that will shake what faith they have!


Really?  That’s the promo?  I thought we just spent the first four issues pointing out that Peter has so little faith that he makes Richard Dawkins look like a Sunday School teacher.

And the cover – we are about to get a huge fight with weirdly dressed heroes.  Why not have THAT on the cover?

Oh, and add promo fail to the above list.  They shouldn’t say, “You want to know what happens next?” with a question mark, because my answer is no.  They should put an exclamation point instead to make me think that I actually do want to know what happens next.  You know, like a Jedi mind trick or something.



*penultimate – next to last and if you needed this to define that word, then you need to read more.  May I suggest you try Free Rice to increase your vocabulary skills?



(13) Comments

  1. Mark Alford - Post author

    @ b thompson 1886 - I'm very glad you liked it. I am not enjoying this arc at all and wouldn't be buying it except that Brad threatened to take away my privileges to the Crawlspace staff beach house if I didn't. I want to like this. What about it is making you enjoy the arc? I'm hoping a little positive energy you send my way on this will help me enjoy the last issue some. @ all else you said they laughed - I'm glad my misery and misfortune had some positive outcome... (and thanks as always for the kind words)

  2. b thompson 1886

    Why is this outselling 2099? I can only speak for myself of coarse, but as a person who is normally a fan of 2099, I have found the new series to be offensive enough to make my voice heard by not buying it. 2nd, I am buying it because it isn't Slott. Other than this issue, which I agree is especially awful and pointless, the plot overall is one I have found to be enjoyable. with Spidey/Deadpool it looks like the real spider-man is likely to return in the (hopefully) not to distant future.

  3. herbiepopnecker

    "Blrkbqrkpqrblnb!" will join "crazy town banana pants" in the marvel hall of infamy. Someone PLEASE buy a couple vowels!

  4. herbiepopnecker

    @ the stunningly astute (by the way, I know the word penultimate!) Mark Alford: That wasn't a number "2", that was a letter "Z"!

  5. tickbite

    Awesome review! Thanks for the fun read. It's always good to know I'm not missing out on anything. PS: That jedi mind trick suggestion ... wonderful. :-)

  6. PeterParkerfan

    The "editor fail", "writer fail" and "artist fail" had me laughing so hard that it surprised my folks at home. :p

  7. Mark Alford - Post author

    @ Evan - Glad someone is enjoying this arc! Wish I could have heard your onomatopoeia outburst. @ herbiepopnecker - I think a 2 is more than fair. More than fair. @ Al - I don't know, man. This arc makes me appreciate Slott's writing. :)

  8. Evan

    This review made me laugh at loud twice ( and get funny looks from a coworker in the process): the onomatopoeia panel (which I tried to read) and your suggestion about how to improve the promo for next issue. Nicely done! At least these issues make for entertaining reviews, but I don't think that's what the writers, artists, editor, etc. intended -- though I'm not sure exactly what they had in mind. Unless it was ""Blrkbqrkpqrblnb!" And I just laughed again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *