The Amazing Spider-Man #28
The new-and-improved Doctor Octopus takes his upgraded tentacles for a rampage through Oscorp! Can the deadliest Doc Ock ever be stopped?
There are a lot of drawbacks within the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #28 that does not fall upon the back of Zeb Wells.
The regression of Otto Octavius and Kraven the Hunter, which are both directly a symptom of Spider-Man writers constantly chasing nostalgia, was not his prerogative. When you strip this book off expected complaints that fall on the lap of others, you get a predictable issue of Spider-Man that, all things considered, is pretty okay.
The issue picks up where the last left off, opening with a relatively zany situation where J. Jonah Jameson comes barreling into Oscorp with the tattered remains of Otto Octavius’ original set of mechanical arms. The situation is very flimsy, depending on the reader to accept the incredibly zany and unbelievable characterization of Peter and Norman so Otto can break into Oscorp and execute his revenge plan successfully.
It’s all in all a very simple issue that tonal feels super out of place, in no small part thanks to Ed McGuinness’ art. He’s a fantastic artist, but is so out of place on this title it’s hard to feel anything for it at all when reading. His art doesn’t really congeal with the run or the story, making everything feel more like a Saturday morning parade cartoon than a story with real stakes or drama. However good his art may be from a technical stand point, it shouldn’t be on a book/run that aims to be taken seriously regularly. It works for this story in how cartoonishly irregular everyone in this issue behaves, but it lacks an atmospheric quality.
Besides the screwball setup and the persistent issue with art, this book is, at the very least, fun. Otto is played up a little more maniacal than usual, but it works within the tonal framework of this issue and the last. The action that unfolds is fun, if sugary, and the introduction of Otto’s new arms is cool. While not exactly filled with depth, it offers up a new challenge and action figure design that I’m many will come to appreciate over time.
Zeb writes Jonah in a particularly great way, his interaction with Norman unexpectedly humorous. †he plot moves at a decent pace, and while the surface-level plotting remains, it is at least justified by the story working as a fun, classically inspired palette cleanser.
While it may be easy to yell at him for playing with those toys, Zeb is coming off of a tour of constant criticism where most fan response is in regards to how different a story he was telling was from classic Spider-Man instead of genuine criticisms that have been expressed in previous Comic Watch reviews, of the book’s structure, pacing, and failure to delivery a tight and rich narrative.
However, what’s here isn’t as criminally wrong as the book has been since Dark Web began. As Zeb moves closer to his strengths as a storyteller, it seems that he may likely return to stories more like his Tombstone arc, which was an excellent Spidey story in both tone and characterization. This is simply a fruity and familiar palette cleanser that is still riddled with issues, but ones that are easy to ignore in favor of the book’s value as cheap entertainment.
The Amazing Spider-Man #28 is a step towards the light, delivering an unproblematic but wholly vapid story that is sure to be building towards something, but as of right now is simple surface level 'fun'.
The Amazing Spider-Man #28: Surreal Sincerity
- Writing - 6/106/10
- Storyline - 6/106/10
- Art - 5/105/10
- Color - 7/107/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10
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