At a glance, Dan Slott, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Cam Smith’s “Amazing Spider-Man” #11 wraps up “Scorpio Rising” and the Zodiac storyline in a way that’s easy to dismiss as a simple solution to the dangers of Scorpio. While it seems like a fairly easy solution, though, it’s nice to see how this storyline has made Parker Industries a real asset to Spider-Man’s crime-fighting abilities.
The first few pages are one of the best parts of this book, in that they echo a plot point Dan Slott used throughout both “Scorpio Rising” and “Amazing Spider-Man” in general: namely, that Parker Industries isn’t just a successful company, but one that can actually help Spider-Man out a great deal. Peter’s ability to call in multiple technical geniuses from across the globe and have them all tackle the problem at hand is not only an inventive solution, but one that shows how Spider-Man has grown up enough to be a team player. In this instance, he recognizes the strength of numbers and uses it to his advantage. “Amazing Spider-Man” #10 hinted that Parker Industries could be on the way out now that one of its owners won’t use Gemini’s powers to nudge things along, but this issue makes one hope that’s not the case. There’s enough brainpower present in this company to make it not only full of assets, but a welcome part of the title overall.
Slott’s method of defeating Scorpio does feel a bit too easy, but — as pointed out — this is a character who was unstoppable only because he had access to knowing what would happen 24 hours in advance. Without that to help him, Scorpio becomes rather ineffective. Slott has played up the sheer power of such knowledge if used carefully, something that makes the importance of what the Scorpio Key was meant to unlock that much more massive. Big Marvel Comics readers will no doubt love the hints of what’s to come for both this title and the company’s comics overall, but I appreciated the fact that Slott understands just what a treasure trove of power that gift would have been.
As per usual, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Cam Smith do a good job on the art; the strong-jawed Peter Parker really has grown on me, as the look gives him a certain amount of gravitas. Camuncoli and Smith provide heroes who always look heroic, even as the members of the Zodiac — both in and out of uniform — look sufficiently creepy. The storytelling is strong here, too; Camuncoli’s decision to use two wide, narrow panels across the middle of a two-page spread show us members of the Zodiac assembled, even as their astrological signs burn around them. It’s creepy and eye-catching, and Marte Gracia’s colors are the icing on the cake thanks to the pale and eerie shade of green added into the mix.
“Amazing Spider-Man” #11 is another great installment in a must-read series; Slott, Camuncoli and Smith give us a fun new take on Peter Parker and company that reminds us yet again that you can change the character’s overall status quo without losing drama or a good storytelling hook. As long as the stories are this good, I’ll happily remain on board. Good stuff.