Amazing Spider-Man #790 Review: The Bogenrieder Perspective

… I honestly don’t know what to say right now. I dunno, I’ll just use some meta humor and get on with this schtick.

Here’s a forced, but admittedly witty remark about Legacy and how Dan Slott should leave the title.

Let’s just get this over with.

Amazing Spider-Man #790

“Fall of Parker, Pt 2: Breaking Point”

Writers: Dan Slott and Christos Gage

Pencils: Stuart Immonen

Inks: Wade von Grawbadger

Colors: Marte Gracia

Editors: Nick Lowe and Devin Lewis


Now, this is the story all about how Peter Parker found his life flip-turned upside down. So if you would, take a moment and just sit right there, I’ll tell you how it’s all Peter’s fault because he deflects his responsibilities onto others now.

Not exactly the most rhythmically competent song, huh?

So it turns out that Parker Industries is going to have to sell the Baxter Building because Peter is an incompetent moron. Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch, isn’t happy, while Clash plans to steal some of his tech from when he worked at PI. After a lame and contrived fight scene after Johnny blows a fuse, they get an alert that Clash and his goons are raiding the place.

After another fight where Clash inexplicably mops the floor with both Spidey and Torch, he accidentally almost levels the building and the city with an overloaded energy source. Working together because the plot demands it, they manage to stop the device from going boom. Harry quits, fed up with Peter’s dumping off of his responsibilities, and I guess he goes to work for Liz Allan now that they’re bumping again.

Having a nice lunch on top of the Baxter Building, Peter and Johnny have a heart-to-heart, and the issue ends with Peter getting an offer from Robbie to be the Bugle’s new science writer.


I’ve got nothing.

I know that’s me pulling a Peter Parker and deflecting my job onto Mark, but I’m just seriously baffled by how so much happened in this issue, but it feels like nothing happened.

I guess I’ll just what’s objectively good out of the way because I’m not sure how to feel about everything else. Stuart Immonen must have a hell of a recovery because he got back into form this issue. I don’t know what happened for 789, but I’m glad he’s back… mostly. His Peter Parker still leaves something to be desired, but his heroes in costume are exceptionally well-done. Human Torch, in particular, looks phenomenal, with fire coloring courtesy of Marte Gracia. I think that he functions best on metal and fire characters (Hence, why he excels on titles like Invincible Iron Man but struggles on titles like this.) but everything else needs to ghost-colored and re-shaded before it gets shipped out.

Christos Gage is, as per usual, an automatic bump up. I do find it kind of telling that Slott hasn’t even cleared the first barrier of Legacy without having to crawl back to Gage, but I won’t complain. Dialogue flows a lot smoother now that Gage has returned, but still has a very cartoonish feel. I guess it’s reminiscent of Slott’s dialogue, but at this point, it feels like Gage is ghostwriting for Slott when it comes down to the finer details. There’s a conspiracy theory that, during the production of Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Steve Lieber ghostwrote the structure of the story while Nick Spencer handled the bigger picture. (Given that Nick Spencer can handle writing by himself (see: Astonishing Ant-Man) I tend to not believe it) And I think that conspiracy might have some relevance to Slott and Gage’s dynamic. At this point, having Gage take over as the main writer wouldn’t change much; he pretty much does the nitty-gritty as far as I can tell.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the characterizations of Clash and Human Torch. Gage does a really good job with him (as per usual) portraying him as a Robin-Hood-esque rogue who doesn’t even want to steal everything; just what was his, and that’s fairly admirable. Likewise, Johnny Storm gets some much appreciated love, especially given his overall lack of use in the greater MU (Just now getting a spotlight in Uncanny Avengers (Which has pretty much always been a stealth Rogue and Deadpool title) and sharing a main character slot with Ben Grimm in the recently revived Marvel Two-in-One.) and I commend Slott for being one of a handful of writers to consistently use Johnny in guest appearances over a length of time.

However, he seems to be recycling plotlines, namely the Human Torch getting mad at Peter for something involving the Baxter Building, and there being a generator that goes awry akin to Big Time. It just feels lazy, especially when we’re in a phase (Namely, the Legacy relaunch) where we should be experiencing new things with a tinge of nostalgia, rather than bringing back what we loved about Marvel, to begin with.

I recognize that this review was extraordinarily late. But, my head kept spinning trying to find something to say about this issue, I know so much happened, but it felt like so little. I guess the status quo is going somewhere, and that’s good, but I don’t feel like we’re going anywhere. It’s more of the same, and that just sucks right now.

Final Grade: C-

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(7) Comments

  1. Mark Alford

    Negative Neil no more! You were way kinder than I was in my review. We'll call you Nice Neil from now on.As far as the random scenes go, my thought was that Slott saw how well those worked in Homecoming and tried to pull it off here. It would have probably worked had not the acts of random kindness been overshadowed by what a jerk he was being to Harry.Good review, Nice Neil!

  2. Joshua Nelson

    @Neil Bogenrieder -- Very well put as usual, Neil. I agree that a mediocre issue can sometimes be worse than a bad issue.

  3. Neil Bogenrieder - Post author

    @Joshua Nelson- I think it was simply Slott writing Peter as he always does; unable to handle pressure or responsibility for long periods of time.Back when PI was a thing, as you mentioned, Peter would duck out of incredibly important meetings (See: ASM Vol 4 #13) because he couldn't deal with it. Instead, he went to the park to play with Miles. And in the ASM 789, Peter says (paraphrased), "Peter Parker? Who needs that guy? Whenever I want, I can turn into the amazing Spider-Man." This leads me to think that Peter is using Spider-Man as an escape from his real-life problems as Peter Parker, under the editorial guise of him reconnecting with the people of NY after being away for so long.I back this up with the preview for ASM 791; Mockingbird basically says out loud that Peter is doing the bare minimum of Peter Parker time that he had to. It's building up to something. It's lame and I don't like it, but the fact that Slott is acknowledging it in his own script is basically telling me that this train of thought has merit to it.I also don't tend to back up my grades outside of the review, but I feel this is an exception since I felt it so tedious to get through reading the issue. I don't despise it, it's just.... THERE. It feels like a comic that exists for the sole reason of existing. It does nothing, even though it somehow gets a lot of stuff done. It's substance, but with no flavor. It's bland, and while I don't like it, I certainly don't hate it. I'm not even mad about this issue.And most Slott issues are fun to talk about, but this one just was a bore to get through. I feel a bland issue deserves an equally bland and mediocre grade.

  4. Joshua Nelson

    @Jason -- Yeah, I really don't know what Dan Slott was going for there. Is he trying to make Peter Parker as unlikable and irresponsible as possible?

  5. Jason

    @Joshua - YES!!! That's what I was thinking of in my post. I did not understand why Peter had the sudden urge to perform these random acts of kindness. What notification did he get on his phone? I thought there was real danger when he suddenly had to excuse himself.

  6. Joshua Nelson

    You were far kinder to this issue than I would have been Neil. Aside from Stuart Immonen's artwork, I didn't like it one bit.Aside from all of the obvious gripes (rehashing vol. 4 #3 and Clash being as boring as ever), I find it really dumb that Peter decided to duck out of important meetings (again) just so he can go take photos with civilians, help an elderly woman carry her groceries, play jump-rope with some kids and move a double parked car. It's always nice to see that Peter knows where his priorities lie.

  7. Jason

    I liked the issue. The writing definitely was different, in a good way. It flowed better and seemed to have more substance to it. I don't know how much I agree with Parker deflecting his problems on others as he did meet with his employees personally. Plus, he's the boss. Isn't it his job to delegate others to do his work while he rakes in the cash? I wish I had a copy of the comic in front of me as I'm posting this because something didn't sit right with me during a phone conversation Peter was having with Harry. I'll try to remember to check back and see if I can remember what it was, unless someone has a link to a digital copy.

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