Amazing Spider-Man #695

"Amazing Spider-Man" #695 appears to be the beginning of the end for "Brand New Day," launched so long ago. At least that's what is set to happen if Julia Carpenter's prophetic visions come true. Without spoiling anything, she's got visions of everything. Not all that helpful.

There's no denying Dan Slott and Christos Gage provide suspense through slivers of futuristic visions accompanied by exclamations of "An ending approaches..." With Marvel NOW! pumping new creative blood into the characters and concepts of the Marvel Universe, Slott's run on "Amazing Spider-Man" coincides with the end of the series after issue #700. Who he takes with him on the way out remains to be seen as Peter Parker and Spider-Man face a serious threat from the Hobgoblin (or perhaps Hobgoblins) and Kingpin in "Amazing Spider-Man" #695. Slott raises the stakes for both sides of the Spider-Man coin in this issue, attacking Parker's identity and Spidey's senses. It might be exactly what it sounds like, but Slott spins it in his own way, which is to say that very human characters experience the situation.

Giuseppe Camuncoli returns to the book after delivering the Lizard story one arc ago and he appears quite well rested. The art is still rough and filled with imperfections, but it's a much cleaner rough than it was towards the end of the Lizard's tale. Antonio Fabela joins the visual crew in this issue, filling the book with colors that remind me of the Spider-Man comics from the late 1980s. Spidey's costume is colorful and bold and the world around Spidey is just as colorful, but those colors tend to avoid the reds and blues in order to help accentuate Spider-Man's presence on panel. Camuncoli is a much better fit for the misdeeds of the Hobgoblin than he is for the Lizard.

Dan Slott has some big plans for the book in "Amazing Spider-Man" #700 and he seems ready to poke at the foundation of Spider-Man's current status quo, like an over-caffeinated teenager boldly shoving Jenga planks out of a once-sturdy tower. This issue has a little wobble in it, not enough to topple that tower, but certainly enough to draw out concern for future moves. That said, Slott has provided plenty of entertaining stories in the past, enough to nurture hope that "Amazing Spider-Man" will be a fun, enjoyable read right up to the final issue.

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