The Amazing Spider-Man #4
We open on a shadowy lab with a scientist named Doctor Mendel Stromm (co-creator of the Goblin Serum that made Norman Osborn nuts, also a cyborg) having a fit as Spider-man steals his Tri-Sentinel. (hyphen bros!) Hilariously he pops a cd-rom into what appears to be an early 90s Macintosh (Tri-Sentinel was stolen from Loki by the Life Foundation in 1993 ASM 351-353) The computer instantly crashes after a very 90s esque instructional video launches, Stromm destroys the relic of a computer.
We cut away to The Looter (most recently seen literally peeing his pants in Venom 163) robbing an art gallery, when suddenly he is interrupted by Spider-man riding the 60 foot Tri-Sentinel into battle, as the fight is instantly ended the robot steps on all of the art, causing thousands of dollars in damage in the process!
We continue in this Clone Saga-esque split Spidey arc, which plays like a quirky 80s movie, I found it decently funny and I like Spencer bringing back third-string villains from my childhood, the core story does seem a bit uninspired, even containing a twist that feels right on queue. The personality divergence getting worse is pretty evident, with Spider-man forgetting Uncle Ben and Peter Parker helping everyone he sees with no restraint.
I also found the image of Spider-man riding a giant robot into a completely weak street-level fight pretty hilarious, and it was something a responsible crime fighter would never do, doing more damage than he prevents. I looked at the big panel with Spider-man riding the sentinel for a minute or two, it’s pretty awesome.
Not a ton of action this issue, but eventful nonetheless between Stromm and an argument between Peter and Spider-man. The big reveal of Spider-man not remembering Uncle Ben was pretty damning in terms of the split, I’m curious how Peter is going to get Spider-man to rejoin him, as he is stronger and smarter than Peter and probably won’t go easily. It is kind of funny that Spider-man with no morals is apparently Booster Gold?
The art this issue by Ryan Ottley is probably the best yet in the series, I loved the Stromm sequences with their older issue nuances, and as I said above I loved the Spider-Tri-Sentinel panel, and some of the villain cameos, I’ve always been a Stegron fan…
Stromm is such an odd choice for a villain but perfect at the same time. It seems like Spencer is pushing the c listers, all eager to gain the power necessary to defeat Spider-man, ready to be exploited by the mysterious villain who appeared in the ASM #1 b side story, Mephisto maybe? Are we building towards a one more day scenario?
A pretty fun issue that provided some interesting plot points to be resolved later and a few really great panels. All in all it's kind of hard to say much about this issue though because it didn't make a huge impression on me. As a single issue, it doesn't seem overly vital, although I'm sure it will be a good facet of the larger story once more events unfold.
The Amazing Spider-man #4: Blast from the Past
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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