Okay, so I might be giving this issue a higher grade than Mark…. What, that’s what I’ve been doing this whole time? Well, too bad!
Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man #3
Writer: Christos Gage
Pencils: Travel Foreman
Inks: Travel Foreman
Colors: Rain Beredo
Editors: Nick Lowe and Devin Lewi
Peter has apparently been waiting all night for Clayton to call him back, and Harry brings him a cup of coffee. (Alright, once Clayton gets back, I can write my fanfiction!) Peter does his usual schtick of saying “It’s all my fault”, and Harry makes the very good point that Clayton is a grown up and can take care of himself, and they should let him make his own choices. (To be fair, Peter must be stuck in between his two personas; the other thinks he recruited a kid after his parents were shot.)
Meanwhile, Clash visits the Robot Master, and double-crossses him.
Clayton is surprised that somebody in the Marvel Universe used Common Sense™ and soundproofed his robots. (I should know, I’m just as surprised as Clayton!… Except I’m not because I can see coming before the comic can.) As Clayton gets mixed up in Stromm’s Fifty Shades of Gray and Spongebob fanfiction crossover, Spider-Man intervenes and saves his life. (What, did Ulysses get a vision and tell you? That seems to be the only reason he’s doing anything in this run!) After a thrilling fight (I use the third word in that phrase semi-loosely.), Stromm has all of his robots combine to form what is either Bruticus or Dan Slott’s reign on the Spider-Man title. (Wow, I was just kidding about Combiners being in a Spider-Man comic last issue! Is IDW giving them the license again?)
Using a crap Meghan Trainor reference (C’mon, Gage! I was saying you were better than Slott, you’re losing points tonight!), Clash wins the Combiner Wars and Spider-Man webs up Stromm. (Excellent work, you two! Now kiss!) Sadly, Clash now has to give up all of his tech. Peter defends it as simply being that it makes him dangerous, comparing him to Harry and his Goblin tendencies, and says that in order to make him a better person, they will take away his sonic tech. (Yeah, I’m sure that’s how rehab works! Harry’s glider made him become the Green Goblin!) Clayton gets understandably pissed at this and sonics Spider-Man into the ground.
I’m writing this review with a Red Bull, three-quarters of pizza I got from a very family at work, and a bag of carrots that I haven’t bothered to skin next to my laptop that just got back from the shop.
Let’s make some magic.
I’m very tempted to completely agree with Mark on this one, but the one thing we won’t agree on is the letter grade, because I frankly think that a C is Slott’s stomping grounds, and Gage has earned himself a bit higher of a grade.
My biggest positive is that something actually happens to the narrative that doesn’t set up something else. Issue 1 has Peter starting getting worried about Clayton, and issue 2 was basically a cliffhanger for this issue. Even though this issue also ends with a cliffhanger, one of my negatives about this issue, something was actually accomplished this issue, and everything did come to a head here.
Another positive is that it doesn’t necessarily paint Clash as what I’d call a villain, but more of a person who has a singular thing to lose, and when he proves he can wield it effectively, he’s told that he can’t go anywhere near it. With literally nothing to his name, he does have a relatable sense of personified desperation that I can identify with. I dunno, I find that interesting that Slott is making all of his villains really one-dimensional despite that fact that most of them have already been established. I just have a bit more respect for Gage, who’s filling in dimension for a character that Slott really didn’t go that far in developing. And yeah, I know it’s a stretch to compare Christos Gage to Dan Slott. (Who ironically hires Gage to clean up his messes that even 4Chan universally hate. Also, yes I know I compared Slott to James Roberts last review.)
A large negative on my part is the art. I cannot get over how… weird it looks. Travel Foreman is trying, and I can see that effort on the pages. But for the love of God, mate, get yourself an inker! I say this because as much as I love Ryan Stegman’s work, his inks really turn me off from the style. and it’s sad because if there weren’t so many flurries of frantic ink, then I would probably love Foreman’s art. The colors are fine, but like last issue, Foreman just bounces between excessive hatching (sometimes it actually hurts to look at how many lines there and trying to find the color) or just coloring the shadow in pitch black. I dunno about you, but as little as I know about photoshop (I’m a penciller; I only use Photoshop for inks and colors, and even then I have a contact for that) I’m pretty sure there’s a system that people can use to rig shadows and determine where the light is coming from. Either way, the proportions seem better than last issue, but the switching between shading is really starting to get on my nerves.
I also found it weird that Peter was telling Clayton to give up his tech, especially when he himself is responsible for a lot of crap himself using his own tech, more so than Clash himself. If Peter really cared about the law that much, he wouldn’t be so hypocritical about Clayton’s place. Is he only doing it because Clayton’s already been caught doing something before? This is where the comic lost me, when Peter was bouncing back and forth trying to save his own skin and deflect blame.
Otherwise, I’ve got nothing really against this comic besides maybe the last few pages and the art. But at least, unlike the current run of Amazing Spider-Man, I actually have investment in this series. And hopefully it’ll continue to carry itself through to the end.
Final Grade: B