Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #23 Review: The Bogenrieder Perspective


It’s a Gwen issue written by Dan Slott. The worst of both worlds. Let’s just get this over with.

Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #23

“The Moment You Know”

Writer: Dan Slott and Christos Gage

Pencils: Giuseppe Camuncoli

Inker: Cam Smith

Colors: Jason Keith

Editors: Nick Lowe and Devin Lewis

Story:

This issue is particularly bare bones, so a short summary is in order. In between the pages of Clone Conspiracy #4, Ben
R
eilly gives Peter a tour of Haven, his 1960s paradise for all of the people he’s cloned, reintroducing him to the Gwen clone (Let’s not kid ourselves, this is a
clone.) and Captain Stacy. Rackal leaves them to bond, and Gwen and Peter go inside the house she and Captain Stacy live in. They joke for a bit about Gwen’s alternate dimension counterpart (Ha ha ha, talking about dead people in other dimensions! That’s heartwarming! Ha ha ha!) and they then switch immediately over to an “Intense” moral debate over whether or not she is truly Gwen Stacy (Spoiler alert: she isn’t. We’ve had this argument a couple dozen times over three different Clone Sagas.)

We then meet up with Clone Conspiracy #4, though this time it’s instead Gwen with whom Peter is watching everybody get pilled. (First off, that came out wrong. Second, how are two different timelines happening at once for a single event written by the same author?!) The cellular degeneration kicks in, and the issue ends with Peter screaming Gwen’s name as he’s trampled by supervillains.

Thoughts:

I generally try to be as objective as possible.

Slott seems to have made it his personal mission to make me tip on the scale.

Right off the bat, however, you’ll notice that the dialogue isn’t, for the most part, hard to swallow and makes you cringe when you read it. That’s because Mr. Christos Gage came into the office and Slott got first dibs on clean-up duty in his script. There’s still evidence of the Slottster, particularly in his back-and-forth with Peter and Gwen that goes on for far too long. But Gage cleans it up enough that I don’t find too much to complain about, and unless it looks like Slott wrote it, I’m gonna take what I can get.

Now, let’s talk about the art.

It’s bad.

To elaborate, I’m running out of things to say about Giuseppe Camuncoli that I haven’t said before, and I’m going to start
sounding like a broken record eventually. And I don’t like riffing on him, because he can actually do some good work. His work on previous Amazing Spider-Man volumes and a Ms Marvel stint are actually really great works in terms of pencils. But he seems to be really slacking when it comes to pencilling for Slott. Proportions are way off (particularly the Spoder-Man clone that Mark pointed out) and lines are incomplete, some panels don’t even have his webbing pattern, random lines are excessively inked, and he draws faces like they came out of Foodfight. He draws women (Gwen in particular) with this really weird, narrow and v-shaped face, and when you put her side-by-side with Power Play’s drawings of MJ, they’re uncannily similar in terms of proportion. I think it’s even more sad by the fact that Slott had a perfect opportunity to phase Camuncoli out for RB Silva, who is a phenomenal artist as well and arguably would have fit the mood better, and between him and Stuart Immomen pencilling “The Osborn Identity”, it would have given Camuncoli a more flexible deadline. I think he’s just overworked, and while it’s not an acceptable excuse given how much 60’s era artists were worked in their day, it’s the only one I can come up with that’s plausible given that this is a case of Power Play Syndrome.

When it comes to narrative, Slott has yet to get me fully invested, and we’re far past the halfway point and nearing the resolution of the story. And because the solicits mention nothing regarding the Clone Conspiracy, there will likely be no fallout, no real consequences, or many, if any, characters returning after the event is over. We’ll see Gwen die, we’ll get the drama of Ben having a conscience again and becoming the Scarlet Spider. We all know this drama, it’s manufactured as all hell, just as much as the clones that the story is revolving around.

I made a joke earlier that this issue is just a reminder of Power Play. But, to be honest, it isn’t that far off of an assessment. Bad art, bad writing (at least in terms of pacing)    and just a lack of wanting to get into this story and enjoy it, or die trying. Slott seems to revel in the fact that the reader suffers a massive disconnect when they read this story, and in the final stretch of an event written by a guy known for rushing his big stories, my hopes for a great finale are really looking grim.

Final Grade: D 

(5) Comments

  1. DPFW

    There are two big things that bothered me about this issue: First, this doesn't totally sync up with the Clone Saga #4. As you mentioned, there seems to be two timelines. I noticed it especially toward the end- Peter leaves Gwen (and he looks quite angry) to go talk to Ben but then in CC #4 he's standing next to Ben and clearly isn't angry. How can you not have communication between books that link together like this?? Second, as has happened for several Slott events, the Amazing title takes a backseat to other titles. It is especially noticeable for this event- everything happens in the CC mini and Amazing doesn't advance the narrative. Amazing should be leading the charge. This happened in Spider-verse to a lesser extent as well. This is really irritating to me- there is no need to have a separate mini (other than it being a money grab) because everything could have easily been told in Amazing.

  2. Enigma_2099

    @Jack Oh I've been annoyed with her ever since they started trying to replace Mary Jane with her.

  3. Fabio

    @Enigma_2099: Me too. Also, I'm tired of seeing Peter crying over Gwen, uncle Ben and all the people who died in his life. That's why I love Renew Your Vows, because Peter overcame all that, formed a family with MJ and Annie and went ahead with his life. No clones, no spider men from different universes, no Parker Industries. Only Peter, his family and a normal job, with the daily challenges of being a superhero and a good and dedicated father and husband who takes care of his family. That's the Peter I like, and not the Dan Slott version with the Peter Pan syndrome caught in an eternal déjà vu.

  4. Jack

    @Enigma: Then Marvel has successfully done what every entertainment company does: take a valuable IP and destroy it by running it into the ground.

Leave a Reply

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