The second issue of Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley’s Amazing Spider-Man arc is off to a good start with everyone’s favorite wall-crawler’s life falling apart as fast as it coalesces. Petey boy has spotted some familiar faces at college, and luckily so far only two of them are trying to kill him!
Title: The Amazing Spider-man #2
Writer: Nick Spencer
Pencils: Ryan Ottley
Inks: Cliff Rathburn
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramanga
Publisher: Marvel Comics
We open on a hysterical fight between Spidey, The Ringer (idiot) and Man Mountain Marko (also idiot) robbing a book fair of all places, brilliantly lampooning one of the biggest troubles with comic collecting; people who don’t read thinking books are worth a lot of money. Spidey takes them down with ease and gives them a couple books to read in prison, they seem touched by the gesture. (again, idiots)
We cut to Pete and MJ in bed, Pete thinking of all the good times they’ve had (great progressive panel here, Ottley NAILS MJ’s first appearance originally drawn by Ditko) They share some nice moments I’ll let you discover, and Pete scurries off to class.
Pete arrives in class to find the Lizard teaching, as Connors now has control over his other form thanks to an inhibitor chip. He greets Peter warmly and takes him into the next room, showing him a surprise, the Isotope Genome Accelerator, also known as THE MACHINE THAT MAKES RADIOACTIVE SPIDERS! Coincidentally and very helpful for moving the narrative along Taskmaster and The Black Ant burst in to steal the IGA (not typing that again) and hilarity ensues! This looks like a job for Spider-man!
Two issues into the new creative team for Spider-Man my initial impression is a positive one. I think Nick Spencer has a real handle on the tone and feel a Spider-Man book should have, and I love Curt Connors with his lizard persona under control as his teacher. The cameo appearance of the machine that created Spider-Man is an interesting 1 especially right before this big multiple Spider-Man crossovers coming up, could they be building towards a new Spider-Man or some other variety of animal-based hero? Perhaps a gibbon? A rhino? A grizzly bear? A scorpion? Nah, none of those will ever work out. I absolutely adore Peter and MJ being back together it was downright touching.
I really liked the first act of the book fair, as I briefly touched on. The perceived value of books by nonreaders is a blight on the comics industry, as anyone who has every excitedly found a box of comics at an antique store and realized they were all valued at Overstreet near mint for a pile of meh crap.
I did notice last issue some people thinking Ottley had a little trouble with facial expressions, I personally was not bothered but I can understand what people are saying. The only reason I bring it up to provide context for my statement that this issues art is a step up from last issue if you were bothered by the face thing. Likewise, Ottley’s lizard is, in my opinion, the best since Mcfarlane, although it’s no surprise as he did a lot of work with Dinosaurus in Invincible, which is a vaguely similar looking character.
I don’t know when Taskmaster went from Marvel’s unbeatable badass to a comic foil for every third-string hero in town but for some reason, I find it incredibly hilarious when he gets knocked down a peg. The goon School jokes were particularly funny and I thought Peter asking if the skeleton was his real face was so funny I cropped the panels and made a custom page of them because one wasn’t available as the joke spreads across two pages.
Final Thought: I’ve now read this issue 4 times and highly enjoyed it all 4, I’d call it a win, this arc is a great jumping on point for any new readers, and a return to form for older readers jilted by the huge changes made during Dan Slott’s run.
If anyone ever wants to contact me, look me up in my groups for the love of comic books and New Fans, Old Comics, I also have several comic pages dedicated to my various true loves, Batman, Superman, Sword and Sorcery, Indie Comics, Spider-man, Marvel, Oldie Goldies, and Hats! (Long story on that last one haha) or on Twitter @johnbatusijack
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