Amazing Spider-Man #3

Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos open up "The Amazing Spider-Man" #3 with a two-page check-in on the spidery character introduced in the previous issue. Readers don't learn too much more than they have already, but Slott and crew continue to use this storyline as a nice pre-credits warm-up for readers.

"The Amazing Spider-Man" #3 hits a broad spectrum of Spider-Man's life, from Parker Industries to Anna Maria Marconi, the Black Cat, J. Jonah Jameson, Mary Jane and her boyfriend, Pedro "Ollie" Oliveria while not losing sight of Electro. Slott balances a wide range of moving parts and then smashes them together, illustrating the web of Spider-Man's world in an understated fashion. Once plot threads come together around a building fire in Alphabet City, the writer takes a little time to smooth out the wrinkles and set up new pieces, all while giving readers a reason to return. However, I can't help but believe Slott could have filled forty pages with this issue's contents, which would have allowed him to play more with Peter Parker's employees' perceptions of their boss, the Black Cat's grudge and the new platform offered to Jameson. Slott does have time to mess with Cat's head a little bit in an innovative and fun way that remains true to Spider-Man's character.

Longtime Spider-Man readers are undoubtedly familiar with Humberto Ramos' style; colorist Edgar Delgado tries something fairly new -- at least in a Spider-Man comic. While it is not a new effect in general, Delgado uses colored halos around characters intermittently throughout "The Amazing Spider-Man" #3, whenever he drops out backgrounds. It infuses Ramos' characters with a bit more vitality and perks the art up just a bit more. Ramos delivers a new outfit and accessories for Black Cat and, with the one page devoted to the character, and proves that his take on J. Jonah Jameson is definitive for modern Spider-Man.

"The Amazing Spider-Man" #3 is less about the powers and adventures of Spider-Man and much more about the humanity surrounding Peter Parker. Putting Spider-Man in the fire alongside MJ's firefighter boyfriend, Ollie, is a wonderful touch from Slott, deftly illustrating real world heroics alongside superheroics while allowing Spidey a chance to reflect on how his choices impact the lives of those around him. Slott continues to build up the duration of his work with Spider-Man while finding new ways to showcase his love for the character.

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