“Sometimes you just have to hope people learn from their mistakes.”
Well, I’m a bit triggered by nobody answering my pop culture reference challenge. Oh, the last issue’s out.
Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man #4
Writer: Christos Gage
Pencils: Travel Foreman
Inks: Travel Foreman
Colors: Rain Beredo
Editors: Nick Lowe and Devin Lewis
Our story picks up from last issue, as Clayton thoroughly throws Peter through the dryer. Peter tries to use the sonic inverter, but it fails because Clash has been making next-gen sonic tech. (Why are you losing?! How is this tech any harder for you to fight than Learning to Crawl?! Why didn’t you make something more advanced when you had the opportunity?!) Peter tries to talk him down, saying that he has personally changed Ulysses’ visions (Except this one, where you two fought. Great logic.) Out of nowhere, the Robot Master (Whose jaw was ripped off last issue to the best of my knowledge. So how is he still functioning this well?) comes back into the fight and incapacitates the two. Clayton breaks free and, instead of helping Spider-Man, who’s begging for help (How can you not defeat him?! You have a suit of armor that you shouldn’t even have!) and walks away. Peter then somehow finds the power to defeat him on his own. (Which he should have been able to do since the beginning, but let’s not dwell.)
Back at Parker Industries, Harry and Spider-Man lament Clayton’s disappearance, while Harry is visibly shaken by what Ulysses can do. (Either that or he read the main title for Civil War II.) Spider-Man acts a mature adult and says that he’s changing his mind about Parker Industries’ offer to him, saying that science needs to make mistakes in order to improve. He does, however, say that Ulysses can do a lot of good with his visions (Looking over at you, main comic.) and hands him back over to the Inhumans. As Peter and Captain Marvel (whose hairline is REALLY looking flatter than usual) agree to work together, Clash decides to pull a Black Cat (which shouldn’t even be a thing, but let’s ignore that fact for a minute.) and reveals that he got some off-the-books funds from Roxxon and is starting his own criminal organization as the book ends, everybody in the bar giving him their allegiance. (I swear to God, if he turns up in Miles’ book, I will lose all hope.)
I was worried that Marvel would really drop the ball for this series, and for the most part, it doesn’t really disappoint. But on the other hand, there are some major stumbles that I can’t ignore.
The first negative, as per usual in this mini-series, is the art. Travel Foreman somehow got progressively weirder as the series continued, and it may have something to do with Rain Beredo’s colors blurring so horribly that I felt somewhat diseased by looking at the colors. The line work itself is consistent (not that it’s a good consistent), but the teamwork between the two shouldn’t ever happen again.
Also, he draws a very weird Captain Marvel. Something tells me he should never draw in her ongoing. (assuming that she’ll ever get an ongoing again due to how unlikable they’re making her character)
That said, not really much to talk about this issue, because it was mainly just to wrap things up, with little in the way of adding more to the narrative.
I was happy that there was a conclusion, but am disappointed that it also is opening up things that should have really happened in the main title. Clash should have come back under Slott’s pen (not that I want that, but ASM is under Slott’s pen and it’s where Clash should have been brought back) and it really should have been an arc in the ongoing rather than a mini. The ending is also such a lame dud. It’s stretched for over eleven pages but feels like it could have been done in three. When I read the last page I thought the Sherwood Forest Rap would come up, since it was so abrupt yet so stretched out.
I can’t really see any reason for this to exist, because I only read it because it has the Amazing Spider-Man brand on it, and I’m contractually obligated to read it. But, for what I saw, I was impressed, and I feel that Gage could take the reins for Amazing Spider-Man if Slott was willing to let go of his ego. But he was bogged down by editorial mandate to write a story with no purpose. If he was given Slott’s creative freedom and a good artist, he could write something I deem at least somewhat readable consistently.
Final Grade: B-
Arc Grade: B