“Amazing Spider-Man” these days is a fun book, but one with some rough spots. On the whole, I like the direction that Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos and Victor Olazaba are taking the title, as Peter Parker continues to rebuild his life post-possession. But as this issue illustrates, while the big ideas are good, the execution of them is sometimes lacking.
Some parts fire on all cylinders. The resolution to last month’s cliffhanger (with J. Jonah Jameson unmasking Spider-Man on live television) is handled in a way that’s both funny and also fits in with JJJ’s character in a nutshell. I like the repeated/expanded dialogue on the second page that fills in some of the details, and the reactions to JJJ’s stunt are fairly amusing.
The continuing introduction of Cindy Moon (aka Silk) also works well here. She’s got an exuberance that makes her a strong addition to the title, and I like that Slott has given Peter a new partner in heroics to share some of his experiences (and can also keep up in the battle itself). When it comes to Peter Parker himself, I feel like Slott has a strong understanding of what makes the character tick, and it’s the heart and soul of the book.
On the other hand, Black Cat’s storyline feels particularly muddled this month. Her anti-Spider-Man attempts at vengeance are getting progressively over the top, to the point that you can’t help but start to wonder if she was possessed by a super-villain too. This is bad super-villain dialogue and actions on display here, and it’s hard to take her character seriously. Electro’s fate this issue also feels like it’s missing a page or two; ignoring the fact that Black Cat’s plan doesn’t make a lot of sense, the resolution of Electro within it feels like it’s happening off-panel. After all of the build-up, it would be nice to see the execution actually happen.
Ramos’ pencils look good overall, although there’s a little inconsistency in the art too. I like how he draws Peter Parker, for instance, and those reaction shots on the first two pages of the comic are pure gold. The dumbfounded looks on people’s faces that shift into annoyance and surprise are a riot, and it’s a good reminder on how strong Ramos is with physical comedy on the comics page. On the other hand, Black Cat when she comes back to the Slide-a-Way looks curiously shrunken and squished, almost like a little girl. And with the big battle involving Electro and Black Cat, there’s so much lightning and electrical discharge packed into the panels that it’s hard to figure out what’s actually happening. This is a scene that needed clarity, not muddling.
“Amazing Spider-Man” #6 is enjoyable, but with a little more care it could be so much better. The ideas are strong here, but the execution needs a little more polish. This should be a flagship title for Marvel, and if that’s the case, let’s see it shift back up from good to great.